And now for the silver lining

The last post turned out to be mostly about murk. But now I wanna do a brain exercise where I try to discern what this is all for. SO often writing a PhD with ADD feels purely like a ball and chain. An unfortunate circumstance I have to try to get the fuck out of as soon as possible. Now I want to think about what good has come out of not only the PhD but the battle of the PhD. The battle as battle. Yes, this is a Pollyanna exercise.

  • It has forced me to get diagnosed with, and get support for, adult ADD. This means I understand myself a zillion times better and even more, understand my mother and aunts and other ancestors who I have no doubt inherited it from. I also understand the impact on my relationships and can talk about it honestly and openly with Annelli.
  • I now know without a shadow of a doubt I can never do an unstructured academic project again. I know what can of work will make me happy and able to work with ease when this is all done.
  • I have a huge amount of compassion for people with mental illness, not limited to ADD. I didn’t have this understanding before when I was sauntering along without the demons.
  • I have a much more conscious appreciation for ADD gifts like hyper focus and wild creative thinking that I didn’t have when I thought I was just normal
  • I have been forced to find and learn survival strategies – walking, free-writing, artists’ dates, dancing and to be vigilant about actually doing them. I feel like now I’m able to survive almost anything.
  • I have awoken the fiction writer in me. The one who has tantrums when reigned in by academic prose. I’ve finally learnt to listen to her and let her write too. That had led to a sense of deep peace and simmering excitement.
  • I have learned how hard it is to be an academic with a divergent mind. (or even a converging one). That has led me to develop a whole exciting new strand of work about learning to be an academic and write with creativity



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