Dissertation Woes (Originally written December 2013)

**** This was originally written while I was completing my Dissertation in 2013.  I have since successfully defended my doctoral research and was awarded my Doctoral Degree in Counseling Psychology. It is my hope that this blog inspires others who are currently working on their dissertation to stay the course and enjoy the process. ****

It’s been 10 long months…… Seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get all that I would like to get done, DONE!!!!!! From being a mother to a Drug Treatment Specialist, at times a Correctional Officer, a Doctoral Student who is in the process of completing her dissertation, a daughter, and a friend, I am exhausted by the end of the day. Is there ever anytime for me? Sure doesn’t seem like it. There was a time I was able to handle all of my task and not feel overwhelm, yet these last few months, as I nearing the end of my doctoral research, I have found myself stressed out, experiencing migraines, and very lethargic. Some days I am not for sure if I am even going to make it. Just last month, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel drawing nearer, only for the light to become dim. At least that is how I was feeling.

Here I am, 10 months into my doctoral research and I am way ahead of schedule to be told that my former committee member has resigned from her position and that I was being assigned a new committee member. Trust, it got worst from there. After completing several pages of data analysis and interpretation and writing almost 50 pages worth of results, I am informed by my Dissertation Chair that my committee member has some changes that she feels are needed so that my results aren’t confounded and my research is more valid. Are you serious? What gives this individual that right to come in and make changes? Has she not realized I have been working on this for quite sometime and now that I am at the end, I don’t want her changing anything? Truth be told, I was upset because my committee member was actually confirming what I was already feeling. As the old adage goes, “Truth Hurts” and that did. Better yet, it stung.

Since beginning the dissertation phase of my doctoral studies, I have felt confident about the work I have been producing, but after obtaining all of my data I felt stuck. I began to doubt myself and my ability to understand, explain, and defend my results. Hired me a statistician, who I felt would be able to assist me, and to an extent he did, however, the entire time I experienced a lot of guilt because I talked myself out of analyzing my own data. Needless to say, the second time around after being told of the revisions that needed to be done, I analyzed my own data and have since written up my results, feeling more confident in my work. Since that time, I’ve obtained approval for Chapter Four amd submitted Chapter Five for review. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it was meant for me to develop confidence in my ability to not only believe in myself, but to also complete those task that I feel are to hard for me.

As I sit and think about about all that I have experienced these past 9 months as I have been researching and writing, I realize that my doctoral research is just like my children to me, precious cargo. As I am raising my children, I am instilling in them the values and morals that vital to their overall growth and development. The same is true when it comes to my doctoral research. Now that I come to embrace this fact, I find the process more fulfilling and enjoying every moment.