Self-Care amidst Looming Deadline
More reflections in the face of looming deadline (15 Aug, and actually I can plead 1 week extension or not submit the 'best', will get to that later on) + fast BPM and tense shoulders, locked left jaw signaling anxiety. I feel sorry to my body- "Thank you for sticking in it through in there"- I hope my body receives this. Feels a bit like bad time management to be writing this in the face of work- but I know it works, and I lean into the part of me that sees that my 'success' thus far has been to do what might seem counter-intuitive.
On top of the emotional turbulence from the conflict and consequent perception of relationship fall-out that I am trying to calm (not too badly), yesterday I had to meet with a young child in emotional distress. Asking God why lol, does He really think I have the capacity to deal with all these? I will have the eventual victory; He is sovereign through it all- waiting on this.
He was crying so hard, the fight for connection I felt was so heart-wrenching, and at the same time, personal. It may have flashed me back to me as a child- except I didn't cry, I suppressed. Acknowledging my parents' journey and struggles does help- young parents with 2 young kids, managing house loan and wham, the devastating news of big C at a time when medicine was not as advanced. I can reach and connect empathetically mum's current anxiety response better (faster) now- even when it comes to me as negative, controlling energy when I am unwell (like this period).
Okay, then the PhD- it occurred to me, after my dear friend reflected my pain/heartache and empathised- that yeah, I have not really validated my own feelings too. I always felt singularly that I had it good/easy in this PhD with my supervisor's flexibility, how I excelled academically, and that I being from SG can go back home easily. So both comparing myself with peers in SG and HK, I had this thought like: I do have it easier. And so consequently I downplayed my feelings or shelved them away.. There may be some truth in this narrative, but its not the only narrative.
不堪回首: the phrase I may use trying to open the can of worms about the terrible two years of PhD with COVID, and LDR. My body suffered, my mental health suffered, I think my relationships with friends in SG suffered as well. I can readily say how Boyfriend has had it tough, because it was my choice after all. But again, it doesn't mean I didn't have it tough too- the weight of expectations, environmental constraints in forming friendships at the start in HK and reconnecting with friends in SG when I was back, trying to work out a very new important relationship- all these combined with my own personality of wanting to do things well and right.
The meta-questions on this story: Am I coping well with stress? Am I a good person (to others)? Am I dealing with the issues correctly? --> Point again to that part of wanting to do things well. Again I wonder, how do people cope without God/religion? God is really my crutch- actually more than that- He is a secure base to see things in the light of eternity and someone who takes my blame/shame.
Am I a good person? Obviously not all the time. I then look to God's grace, His wings to cover me in the wrongs and self-condemnation. He will work things out for good.
Thank you self for giving time to write this :) I celebrate your writing and reflexive skills, your persistence in holding onto hope, your seeking to be a good testimony to others :")