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nixipixi

If you have the courage

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 I have become a shadow of myself. All I do is fret, obsess and rethink every word on my applications. GAH, I hate myself this way.

My dear husband sent me a message earlier I'd like to share:

"If you have the courage to make it through a lonely night with nothing but your self destructive thoughts to keep you company, 

darling, you have the courage to make it through anything"

 

Hope everyone is doing better than me at this point.

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Love the sentiment!

The only thing any of us here can really do is to make sure you know you're not alone in your anxiety. About six months ago, when i'd finalized my list of prospective schools, I was feeling exhilarated and invincible. I was ready to knock out the applications and sit back and reap the rewards of a decade of hard work. Somewhere along the way--whether it was the GRE, or the essays, or the application fees, or the intensely competitive nature of this very opaque process--I lost that indomitable spirit. I know some people have it worse, as I don't think I'm to the point where I'm obsessing or rethinking everything like you are, but it's really all I can think about. I think my wife's going to strangle me if I bring up one more "what if" hypothetical.

Here's what helps me: Understand that everything is now 100% out of your hands. Life is full of mistakes, and if you made some, so be it. You've done what you needed to do; you completed your end of the deal, trudging through the arduous process of submitting the applications. The entirety of the outcome is out of your hands. Relax and try to move on. You'll get the notifications one way or another, positive or negative, and you'll be just fine win or lose. If you get into one of your schools, fantastic! If you don't, you'll have learned valuable lessons and gained experience that you could not have found anywhere else; you can use that experience to make sure you get in somewhere next cycle.

All the best to you--just try to get back to life until you get some feedback!

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@nixipixiI was going to comfort you at the first sentence and then I read the words "my dear husband". Okay, besides having been single for more than three years and having no clue when I'll finish my expertise, I really have nothing to worry about. I was fretting like you, whining about the anxiety and depression until two days ago when I checked the application website and found an admission. It's not the dream school but it's satisfying enough. So, now I only have to process my own destructive feelings of being single for so long, and frankly speaking, I don't think I have the courage to make it through this problem for another three years. Hope this helps.

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@GeorgeC07, I'm not sure I understand. Are you intimating that people with partners don't experience persistent harrowing thoughts? I certainly apologize if I've misread your post, but if not, that's concerning for at least two reasons. One, it seems you're implying that we don't deserve understanding and care.  Two, finding a partner does not cute depression, anxiety, or any other problem, and it sounds like you might be expecting it to do so.

I was single through big chunks of the loneliest and most isolated years of my life.  I suffered chronic depression and anxiety since childhood.  I experienced suicidal ideations and intent from the age of 10.  Now I'm happily married to my partner of four years. And I still go through all of the above.  It's hard work dealing with them, but if I hadn't started learning how, with professional help, several years before this relationship, getting here and realizing I still felt all these awful things might have killed me.  

Your destructive thoughts are not about being single, and they will not go away when you find someone.  You're worth the investment in self-care, single or otherwise. Regardless, I wish you the best.

Edited by wet gremlin

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I like Kimmy Schmidt's quote for this:  “I learned a long time ago that a person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds. All you’ve got to do is take it 10 seconds at a time.” Thinking about just making it through admissions, then your PhD, then your jobs, then your life... all that anxiety will crush you if you try to solve it all at once.

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1 hour ago, wet gremlin said:

@GeorgeC07, I'm not sure I understand. Are you intimating that people with partners don't experience persistent harrowing thoughts? I certainly apologize if I've misread your post, but if not, that's concerning for at least two reasons. One, it seems you're implying that we don't deserve understanding and care.  Two, finding a partner does not cute depression, anxiety, or any other problem, and it sounds like you might be expecting it to do so.

I was single through big chunks of the loneliest and most isolated years of my life.  I suffered chronic depression and anxiety since childhood.  I experienced suicidal ideations and intent from the age of 10.  Now I'm happily married to my partner of four years. And I still go through all of the above.  It's hard work dealing with them, but if I hadn't started learning how, with professional help, several years before this relationship, getting here and realizing I still felt all these awful things might have killed me.  

Your destructive thoughts are not about being single, and they will not go away when you find someone.  You're worth the investment in self-care, single or otherwise. Regardless, I wish you the best.

Gee I was expecting a serious response like this. I mean I was kind of joking about my own becomings. I've always been optimistic about life, pessimistic about possible outcomes, and that's why I always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I don't think being single bothers me, but I do wonder when my parents are gonna start to bug me because of it. I was rather lonely when I graduated from college. No friends at the new institute and no hope in finishing what the professor had planned for me. But eventually I got through it, and I guess confiding to a close friend really helps. And in recent months I discovered a new way to unload the anxiety--nothing can't be solved by some delicious foods(I try to simplify my life now).

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@GeorgeC07 Well, I'm glad to hear I misunderstood you. The first line distorted my reading of the rest. I'm lucky that my parents never nagged me about singledom.  How long have you been at your current school?  It took me a couple semesters to make friends at my final undergrad institution, but I was also an old bag.

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1 hour ago, .letmeinplz// said:

I like Kimmy Schmidt's quote for this:  “I learned a long time ago that a person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds. All you’ve got to do is take it 10 seconds at a time.” Thinking about just making it through admissions, then your PhD, then your jobs, then your life... all that anxiety will crush you if you try to solve it all at once.

This was the advice I needed to hear right now.  The waiting is really starting to get to me, and remembering that I just need to take it bit by bit is helpful.  I made it through yesterday with no news, and I can make it through the next few weeks if that's what happens.  (But, fuuuu, I hope I hear something soon. :)

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It's really good to see that I am not alone with my "destructive thoughts". Thanks everyone for your kind words, sympathy and good advice (.letmeinplz//).

I am developing a (hopefully) temporary schizophrenia: 

Me:"My applications is not good enough, everyone is better than me"

Me:" No, wait, I have a lot of achievements. I can get in, They'd be lucky to have me"

Me: "But my GPA is too low...they probably have tons of applicants far better..."

and so on and so forth...

 

If these thoughts don't go away by the time I get some acceptances/rejects I'll go see a shrink.

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3 hours ago, nixipixi said:

I am developing a (hopefully) temporary schizophrenia: 

Me:"My applications is not good enough, everyone is better than me"

Me:" No, wait, I have a lot of achievements. I can get in, They'd be lucky to have me"

Me: "But my GPA is too low...they probably have tons of applicants far better..."

and so on and so forth...

 

If these thoughts don't go away by the time I get some acceptances/rejects I'll go see a shrink.

It's normal! Worrying about it only adds to the stress, perpetuating the cycle.

I'm actually doing the exact same thing. One day I'll feel like there's no way I can get rejected, the very next morning I feel like I'm an idiot for even trying or wasting the money on applications. Based on what I've seen and heard from others (during undergrad, in the workplace, and here on these forums) countless others feel the same way. Our shared experiences seem a bit too similar to be coincidence; I'm assuming this kind of cyclical self-doubt is probably a psychological byproduct of laying your entire life's achievement out in the open for groups of strangers to judge. It's an incredibly humbling (potentially devastating) thing to pour your being out for somebody to rubber-stamp "accept" or "reject." It's rough. Just take to heart that you're not alone, you're not nuts, you're not losing it; we're all going through it to varying degrees, and if you weren't feeling a bit volatile I'd be more worried. 

p.s. Seeing a shrink is never a bad thing if you can somehow afford it. There's a stigma associated with therapy that I'll never understand; in my experience there are few things more valuable than a good critical listener who's trained to help you understand misaligned thought processes. I wish I had the time and resources to sit down and talk to somebody once in a while!

Edited by Kilos

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16 hours ago, wet gremlin said:

@GeorgeC07 Well, I'm glad to hear I misunderstood you. The first line distorted my reading of the rest. I'm lucky that my parents never nagged me about singledom.  How long have you been at your current school?  It took me a couple semesters to make friends at my final undergrad institution, but I was also an old bag.

I've been at my current institute for two years and a half. We spent the first year at another university for classes, and then returned to the institute for research. I do have a few classmates with whom I can whine about the mess at the lab over dinner, but I don't think we are close enough to share my thoughts on private matters. We probably won't stay in touch for long after we graduate this coming June.

I do have a few close friends going way back to high school and we've been helping each other with this and that over the years. One of them told me that he hopes we could meet in New York next Christmas, and we both are applying this season. I think having a friend on the same path really helps with my anxiety. 

Hey you know what, I've been fat since I was like 12, but that didn't stop me from making friends with those amazing guys and girls. I did wonder why my ex agreed to date me in the first place coz I was no where near looking cute or handsome, and I didn't ask her in the three years together. I guess finding someone like her would be harder than losing weight, and CHECK that's what I'm gonna do this spring.

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I'm glad to hear others are sharing similar experiences.  I feel as though the anxiety of having my life hanging in the balance is taking over.  I keep telling myself that I won't obsess over it, and all the usual mantras of: whatever happens, happens; it's out of your control; if it's meant to be, it'll be; and so on and so forth.  However, none of this helping.  I do have days where I feel confident, and others where I'm positive that I will be accepted by no one.  I think only those that have been in this situation before can understand.

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I was fine (sort of) until I started checking Grad Café on a regular basis. I used to think that I have only applied to moderate and safe universities, and thus have a pretty good chance of getting multiple admits. But then I made the formidable mistake of checking the GRE scores and GPA of people who got through my "safe" universities. I do not have work experience like most of these people over here, neither do I have any publications or presentations. And as a cherry on this cake of self-incrimination, my first rejection letter just arrived. Maybe I should just get stoned or, get a tub of chocolate ice-cream and cry or, Google "painless suicide" :P

I am having my semester exams right now and yet, here I am, whining about my terrible condition, instead of studying. That explains how miserable I am right now.

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On 1/11/2017 at 9:57 AM, nixipixi said:

 I have become a shadow of myself. All I do is fret, obsess and rethink every word on my applications. GAH, I hate myself this way.

My dear husband sent me a message earlier I'd like to share:

"If you have the courage to make it through a lonely night with nothing but your self destructive thoughts to keep you company, 

darling, you have the courage to make it through anything"

 

Hope everyone is doing better than me at this point.

My DH made me a song during a gradschool meltdown - maybe you'd like it.  It gave me hope

 

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49 minutes ago, IndianGirl said:

I was fine (sort of) until I started checking Grad Café on a regular basis. 

Hah, same. I've found invaluable information here, but at what cost to my peace of mind? I just try to imagine that I'd be as anxious not knowing what I didn't know, and try to relax.

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19 hours ago, wet gremlin said:

Hah, same. I've found invaluable information here, but at what cost to my peace of mind? I just try to imagine that I'd be as anxious not knowing what I didn't know, and try to relax.

That is no longer an option for me. If only ignorance could actually be bliss...

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21 hours ago, wet gremlin said:

Hah, same. I've found invaluable information here, but at what cost to my peace of mind? I just try to imagine that I'd be as anxious not knowing what I didn't know, and try to relax.

I'm in the same boat. Discovering the results search was possibly the worst thing for my sanity. Now my whole thought process is "Wait. Someone's been accepted to this school I applied to. Why haven't I heard yet? Must mean I'm not getting in." On the one hand, it's kind of nice to have some idea of what's going on. On the other, I'd have a much easier time distracting myself and not obsessing if I had no information.

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