I’ve lost my hunger. Literally.
It’s a weird sensation and not one I’m very familiar with. I’m not nauseous as such; I simply have no appetite and no interest in eating. Admittedly I have always had a complicated relationship with food. However, the issue has always been trying to contain and curb my hunger into submission, rather than dealing with its absence.
At first part of me was thinking ‘This is GREAT! – I don’t have to cook or buy food. I’ll save money! No dishes to clean! Plus I might even lose a little weight’. Of course, the rational part of me realises it’s not a healthy or sustainable situation.
Maybe it’s my body re-calibrating after the excesses of the Christmas period. Probably more immediate physical causes are having a migraine and my period. The fact that I was was feeling bewilderingly overwhelmed last week may well have also contributed, not to mention I have a (self-imposed!) mid-year review with my supervisors next week.
As someone who has been in therapy a long time, I can’t help but wonder if my loss of appetite is symbolic of something more profound. At the risk of going all Louise Hay on you, is my lack of appetite representative of in my various dissatisfactions and disempowerment at work/study/personal life – to what extent are these caused by external constraints; i.e. locus of control (this is probably a thesis paper in itself)? And if so, how can I enact real change if I don’t have clear goals – change that I haven’t been able to fully realise previously?
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday reading through the Thesis Whisperer’s Valley of Shit blog post and comments; It was reassuring to read how just common loss of perspective and confidence is for PhD students. It certainly prompted me to reassess my own current experience, reflect on my motivation to continue to do my PhD. Am I haunted by self-doubt and inexperience? Yes? Am I still excited and interested by the topic? Yes, yes I am!
Thankfully I’m feeling a bit better; I’m able to eat at least one or two small meals a day. And overall, I’m actually feel more energised and hopeful.