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Apr 19, 2022Liked by Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.

I really love how you organized your podcast with email subscription and all the links. It's super accessible

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Jesse and Ayesha, thank you so very much for this! I found this through Ayesha's instagram and I am so very grateful for you both and for having invited Marta (whom I have emailed - thank you for the connection)! This episode spoke so clearly to me (as I'm sure it did for so many others):

I was extremely high achieving in high school and undergrad where I did 72 thousand activities at once and truly felt like I was thriving. During my MA when things got much more specialized and I was expected to be far more independent I struggled but made it through by forming a tight-knit cohort and working daily with the others in my program (accountability buddies, body doubling, etc). Now during my PhD when I am expected to just "work" on my dissertation and report to my advisor every now and then, I am feeling all of the shame, avoidance strategies, and isolation just land on me so hard. I received an ADHD diagnosis last year and a low dose of stimulants does indeed help, but I am nowhere near as happy or as "normal" feeling as I was when I was surrounded by people and doing lots of different activities on a daily basis! I have tried to create writing groups / working groups in my department and they just do not succeed - other students just don't show up to them. I've tried to do yoga, meditate, go for walks, call friends, do other things that make me happy and feel fulfilled, but they are just so hard to do on a regular basis without someone else doing them with you, and when I explain to someone that "today I journaled, did some yoga, baked a banana bread loaf, and went to a choir rehearsal" that does not sound like "today I progressed on my dissertation" though you and I both know that actually enjoying your life is absolutely a part of the working process - the inability to share the need for these other activities with others (especially my advisor) leads to even more shame and avoidance of the actual work itself. I'm not looking for a response or advice or anything, just saying that this episode was so reassuring and helpful - perhaps it isn't my brain that has always been "broken" but that now I am in an environment that is isolating and stifling by forcing me to do just one thing 24/7, and it is completely normal to be struggling! Thank you so very much for this episode (and for the last one) and good luck for the next one - y'all are doing great things!

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