Monday, March 2, 2009


Lately, I've been having inklings of feeling just really down. There is so much convergence of upheaval and change in my life that I almost don't know how to handle it. I worry about this, I worry about that....little things can make me think about something over and over and over, and it just gives me a sour feeling in my whole body.

I feel like shit. Everything feels pointless and I want to quit. I don't know what I want to quit exactly, but I just feel like quitting. Can I just curl up on my couch forever and watch TV? How loser-y does that sound? But that's what I want to do. Sigh.


Eugenie said...

I know what you mean- you sound like me..especially today.


PhizzleDizzle said...

:-/ indeed....

Dr. J said...

hang in there PhizzleDizzle! It doesn't sound loser-y at all, just fatigued with it all...and nearly all of us go through this.

I know what you mean too and have been there. When I was finishing my PhD and even throughout my post-doc I've had the periodic feeling of wanted to throw my things down, resign and stomp off. I think there is something appealing about the thought of making a positive act to change things and telling the system to eff off. I hope just the thought of it is therapeutic enough for me!

Mrs. CH said...

Oh man I hear ya - I just feel defeated a lot of the time. I feel like quitting too, but I know exactly what I want to quit (but I can't of course :P).

Maybe go rent a movie that requires no brain power (Bring it On is one of my faves!) - it's okay to turn your brain off once in a while.

Hang it there.

Mrs. CH said...

LOLOL And I meant hang IN there of course :P

PhizzleDizzle said...

Thanks Dr. J - a lot of crappiness is alleviated by knowing this is a normal transitional pain and that it's to be expected, roundly dealt with, and will be over eventually.

MCH - I LOVE Bring it On!!! Seriously, I love that movie. "She put the 'itch' in 'bitch'!!!" hahahahaha. hilarious. Other awesome brainless movies include 10 Things I Hate About You and Drumline.

Professor in Training said...

Sounds like you and I are in the same boat right now :(

ScienceGirl said...

Yay burnout. Perhaps a short couch curl-up would help a little?

Frozone said...

I was feeling like that yesterday (only it wasn't from academia, it was from being the mommy of a six-month-old who has slept through the night exactly 3 times in her entire life).

It must have been a gift from the heavens: my baby slept for a whole 45 minutes at the same time as I got this wave of energy, so I was able to accomplish a big item from my To Do list that had been dangling over my head. It felt so good. And then, the baby woke up. But as I picked her up, I realized I felt great, like I was "me" again!

Anyway, I had a little epiphany about the value of "time away". I'd heard it before, but it never struck me until yesterday about how much better you can feel -mentally and spiritually - with just 45 minutes engaged in your #2 priority in life, instead of letting the #1 consume you.

Two cents from Frozo... :) Hope the blahs go away soon!

Ambivalent Academic said...

Hang in there Phizz...I've been there too and I expect to find myself there again before this thesis thing is all over.

It may sound counter-intuitive but I find that declaring a few days to a week of "vacation" in which I DO NOT work on lab stuff or think about lab stuff or feel guilty about not doing lab stuff makes a world of difference. I usually do about a day of couch-curling, clean the house, make sure i get sufficient exercise every day, maybe go to a free museum, and after a few days I feel so much better that things don't look so bad that I feel like quitting.

A week is usually about perfect. By the end of that period I'm bored without my lab stuff so I actually want to go back. if that sounds too long, try 3-4 days. One day isn't usually enough to shake the burnout. Be good to yourself and things will get better.

JLK said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean, because I feel EXACTLY the same way. If you hang in there, so will I.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Boooooo for the blahs. I had a bad case around this time last year where nothing was any good and I just wanted to hide under a blankie.

Hang in there, we are all sending good thoughts and virtual hugs your way. Be good to yourself and remember that all things must pass...

Juniper Shoemaker said...

Hang in there, Phizzle!

You don't sound like a loser. You sound like you've been through some very trying events, lately. Who the hell wouldn't be burnt out?

Last week, I felt like shit, and I spent an inordinate amount of time hiding in bed. At least you only thought about forever curling up on the couch. :)

(What sort of Verification Word is "storbra"? Geez. I barely need one.)

Eppendork said...

Ok repeat after me:

My, My, at Waterloo Napolean did surrender
Oh yeah - and i have met my destiny in quite a similar waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!

Then stand up and wiggle hips and have glass of wine in hand and sing at the top of your lungs

There is nothing ABBA cannot cure - and singing makes me happy - luv doing it in the car - and now I have no car I do it walking to the lab - completely had a Muriels Wedding moment this morning - watch that movie it will cheer you up.

Listen chick - from the queen of OMG Im a big hairy looser and any minute they are going to find out - shake it out and refocus yourself even if its just a little something - today I wrote a paragraph - and i walked home smiling my arse off listening to ABBA and Britney baby.

hugs chick - one day on the couch isnt going to kill you either if you need one have one.


Eppendork said...

PS I left something on my blog for you too!

The lab pixie said...

I hear you. Last week I had a mini tantrum-type thing which involved me saying, I just don't want to to write the damn thing. It's that feeling that everything is "too hard" and you just can't be bothered. It'll pass. Ambivilant academic's advice of giving yourself a little bit of me-time is great. Although it can feel counter-intuitve when there's a big to-do list, it can really help you refocus.

I've had many a "I do not want to move from this couch this PhD can feck off" moments. They do pass. But they suck while they're hanging around.

Hope you're feeling more spritely soon!

ScientistMother said...

Oh I totally get how you feel. You are burnt out and need some time out. Curl up on the couch with some movies, you'll feel better after a weekend of brain off.

Toaster Sunshine said...

This is what I like to do:

1) Find metal trash barrel devoid of trash.

2) Fill metal trash barrel 1/2 way with frustrating items, like itchy sweaters and conservative newsletters.

3) Douse liberally with gasoline and/or butane.

4) Light.

5) Laugh.

6) Make S'mores and/or drink whiskey.

7) Dance around barrel laughing.

8) Check behind you to make sure no one was looking.

NOTE: Toaster does not endorse arson and nor may he be held liable for any property damage or injury that may result from his advice.

JLK said...


I would totally bail Toaster out of jail for that! You too, Phizzle! (and if you decide to do it, you need to call me so I can come and watch)

PhizzleDizzle said...

thanks everyone :). i've got shaolin soccer right now from Netflix - perchance I'll just pop that in the DVD player tonight...and not feel guilty about it. :)

or maybe i'll just take TS's advice ;).