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Without sounding negative, I knew it was inevitable. Something would happen that would disrupt my research, and hit me hard.  I knew what it was, and thought I had prepared myself for it, and kept hoping it would hit at a time when there were no deadlines or important milestones, so I could have a window to deal with it and get over it.  But it didn’t happen that way.

I had to have my beloved dog put to sleep recently. It was the right decision, but a hard one to deal with emotionally and it has been difficult to write since then.  It has come at a time when my annual review is due, which entails a 6000 word report and a ten minute presentation on my research and what I have accomplished during my first year.  Fortunately, I had composed an outline and submitted it to my supervision team before my crisis occurred. Since then, I have had email feedback, with the criticisms and suggestions, which were all constructive and helpful, without having a personal meeting when I am not at my best.

I am passionate about my research project and being a PhD student, I love learning and being in academia and have had many serendipitous opportunities to consolidate prior experience which will bode well for future employment. In short, its all good, in fact great, but at the moment, I feel like I am wading through treacle.

It is taking me ages to edit my report, I can’t seem to follow a train of thought and the words aren’t flowing as they were a few weeks ago, and I feel frustrated. My plan was to try and achieve something positive, i.e. produce a great report to set the stage for a positive annual review,  to prove to myself that I can get through this.

However, there is this little cloud hanging over me that I am desperate to brush away so I can move on.  How do I chase this cloud away?

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