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Whee! I'll change this later. (Maybe)

Community Member
My life at present...
I'm taking a full load of courses at my second-attempt Master's program, and I'm in my second-to-last semester. I'm scared sh*tless about graduating and not finding either (ideally) a PhD program to enter or (failing that) a job that will keep me going until I do. My depression and family issues are getting in the way, so I'm behind on my coursework by a lot. I'm too scared to meet with my professors to discuss the situation, but the longer I wait, the worse it will be.

I'm also in sole charge of our oldest cat, Guinevere. She's sixteen now, and has been our family's cat since she was a very young rescue kitten. She's got thyroid and incontinence issues from time to time, so I have to keep her in a crate with her litterbox to make sure she uses it and give her medicine every day. She's a really sweet cat, but it's taking a lot out of me to give her a good life because nobody else seems to care if she lives or dies. In fact, my mom and stepdad want her put down for no reason besides her inconvenience. I am personally disgusted by that attitude, and for as long as this cat lives, I will take care of her.

I'm trying to bring structure to my life in small ways, and I think it's helping me some. I'm trying to clean out my room, getting rid of at least five pieces of clutter per day. I've been sweeping and dusting, and making my bed regularly. I'm also fasting, so I eat one full meal per day at the most and substitute the others with nutritional drinks or bars. I feel like this helps me focus on parts of my life that are more important than food, which I use to comfort myself rather than as nourishment.

Finally, I try to pray at least one rosary a day. I'm glad I'm Catholic, because this is a great way for me to deal with my anxiety. Concentrating on the repetitive prayers drives anxiety-causing thoughts from my mind, and replaces them with productive ones that I feel like I would never have come up with without divine assistance. I get answers to so many of my problems this way. Years ago I would have scoffed at myself for succumbing to religiousness, but at this point, if it works, I will do it and be grateful that it does.

Oh, and I've re-taken up my violin-playing. I don't have a lot of time to devote to it, but I try to play for half an hour a day, going over songs that I learned when I was much younger and trying to use them to express myself. I have a really great violin, so the sounds it makes are beautiful with little effort on my part. I'm just revisiting old Suzuki lessons at present, but I want to take this slowly and enjoy it. I want to work on my technique - especially bowing - and add expression to what I once thought was expressionless. People used to dance to this music, it used to bring them joy - these are things I want to incorporate into my playing that I never knew when I was younger.

Also, I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize of living on my own. After I graduate from my Master's program, I want to move out of my family home and have a place of my own. I want a kitchen full of things I like and use; I want a comfortable place to read and study; I want a place to plant my favorite flowers and tend to them; most of all, I want to feel comfortable in that place no matter where I am, because it is mine and I will be welcome in all of it. Now I hide in my third-story room, feeling like an intruder anywhere else. I hate this. I can't do what I want with my own belongings, and my seclusion is a reminder to me of the dysfunctionality of my family life. If and when I have a family, I want so many things to be different for them. I just worry that I won't know how to have a close, loving relationship with these people who don't even exist yet.

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