I had so many interesting situations while away that continue to make me question the path I am on as a doctoral student with chronic health issues. The continuous feelings of my bodily inadequacies seem to circle around me. Let me first mention, that often this is a result of a few ignorant people (Why do they dominate my mind?).
While away, I made wonderful friends and couldn't have asked for a better support network with the relationships that were created. I have never been comfortable to be as open with my health needs but my classmates accepted me with open arms. It was truly uplifting. I know I made life long friends this summer!
I did have moments, were I was reminded of the gruelling path of completing a doctorate and how that is what a doctorate is supposed to be. Which leaves me with the question, why is it acceptable for my health to be at risk in pursuit of a doctorate? Is it because I have a chronic illness and I am expected to learn to live with it, and constantly endure the hardships? Well, that doesn't quite work for me. In the past, I would have thought that this is how the world works and this is what I need to do. Now I think that is absolute nonsense. My body is sometimes (or maybe a lot of the time) on a different wavelength than my mind and spirit and I need to take the time to get it back on track. But the thing is my body doesn't work on my time or your time, it has its own lovely way of returning to me when it wants to. So for those who find chronic illness to be inconvenient, unpredictable, and frustrating, you are correct. But trust me, no one finds it more frustrating than I do.
So the path for me is never the path that is usually taken, it is always an alternative path. But I will get there. I have no doubt my journey as a doctoral student will be another new unique adventure. But from my time back in school this summer, I know with the friends I have made, the unique faculty support that has come forward, this PhD journey will continue.
Your Woman with DIGITS