"Anything to get me through the day"
Eventually, I developed carpal tunnel, tendinitis and such extreme anxiety that Xanax became necessary to sleep. I'd often retreat to the company bathroom to try meditation, "tapping," soothing mantras - anything to get me through the day without bursting into tears and rage-fits.
True to my type-A, Midwestern work ethic, I tried coping with my ailments by doing more: more physical therapy, more yoga, more meditation, more ergonomic objects at my workstation. Nothing worked; I felt awful, inside and out. Somehow, I finished my thesis and completed my MFA, shifting to a new marketing job soon after. My degree didn't feel triumphant; I limped over the finish line, in pain and miserable.
But once I finished, I knew we were finally ready to adopt a dog.