I would like to share my personal experience of the journey to recovery from addiction. I am hoping it can serve to help me, and anyone else who may resonate with this experience. I will begin by sharing one of my journal notes in edited form:
Thursday, 22 August 2019, 04:09 PM
"Today, like many days since I completed my undergraduate studies, has been a quiet, drowsy and unproductive day. I did very little of what I had intended to do: to go through the research papers that my potential supervisor gave me some two weeks ago to help me decide on a research project proposal for my MPhil research.
I am glad that I’ve decided to quit PMO and gay dating apps, phew! Today I’m on day 1 and I seriously mean to reach my 50 day goal. I also wish to cut down on entertainment which distracts me from working on my MPhil project. Without a school schedule to guide me, I solely rely on my self-discipline, which I know is crippled. I know the decision to quit PMO and entertainment is very a crucial determining factor for the quality of the results I will get at the end of my MPhil work, which I need to excel in. That gives me all the more reason to leave these bad habits behind. The man I choose to become now, is the man I am going to be the rest of my life. I certainly don’t wish to be a procrastinator anymore. I have lost so much time already.
There are two main things I know I must do that will change my life significantly; so, I must focus on those. These will open up for me or increase my chances of getting greater opportunities in my future. These are: working on my MPhil research project and applying to as many scholarship programs and A-Level teaching positions as I can.
My sister is helping me quite a lot with my applications in South Africa, where she is and has made a lot of financial sacrifices to help me get certification at SAQA, a requirement for applying in SA universities. I should remember what she has done and do my best to get a scholarship. Then, I would be able to repay her for her sacrifice. The SAQA certification will probably increase my chances of finding work in SA.
The National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP) which I have been dreaming of participating in seems like a dead end road now. I communicated with one of the professors involved in the program and he was kind enough to give his honest opinion, that as a non-South African it will be “almost impossible” for me to get into the program. With this information I can now make a far more informed decision without regrets, phew!
So, I am going to shift my focus on other, more promising bursaries which are directed towards graduates from my home country, like the Beit Trust Scholarship or the Center for Space Research bursary in NWU (which I need to double-check on updates). I should also think about applying for the Gates Scholarship.
The other limb of my self-improvement is my MPhil project… I now remember as I write this that I need to come up with a timeline/structure that I will follow that will ensure I do my work on time.
I’m hoping that I also get a well paying TA job or A-Level Physics job (although I am told the latter will be a load of work). I need the job because I need the money to support myself. I can’t keep on depending on my parents… That is why I attempted to apply to high schools in my city to get a job as a teacher. One teacher who is my mother’s church friend last month suggested I apply to private schools. Financial constraints hindered me from sending my applications before schools closed. I want to send my applications as soon as the school offices open in September. I need to have some seriousness with this and so I will research on when the school offices open so that I can send in my application for teaching positions. I don’t have very high hopes for it, but it would be very lovely if I get in one private school. That would give me hope of being able to improve my life and my family’s life. At least my mother is still working outside of the country and supporting my younger brothers. Getting a job would be lifting a load from both my parents and that is why I am desperate to get work immediately.
I should be proud of myself for some steps I have taken for self improvement, like completing my research paper draft. That reminds me: I need to check with my undergrad supervisor on how far he has gone with reviewing it. Last week when I had an unexpected meet with him where he said he would be done with it this Monday, and would be sharing with me possible journals in which to get it published. Wow! This journaling does help to put my mind in order. I should do it regularly, like weekly!!
I’m also glad that I sent my application for tutoring assistantship at my former university last week. Now I hope an opportunity opens up… But, I’m not so keen on going to teach in the public school where there are poor learning and teaching conditions and the pay is hardly encouraging. There is a lower limit to how low I can go and I think that kind of job would be below that limit. I need to focus on the best possible level I can get to, that’s why I need to be serious about my MPhil, scholarship applications and bidding farewell to my addiction to PMO." - M.A.N