Personal development is a tricky thing.

I’ve recently learned that my income is being cut by 40%. Trust me when I say that there’s nothing I can do. I’m still planning to take a year off after grad school, but I’m going to have virtually no emergency money between now and December of 2017. I’ll have about a hundred dollars a month more than my bills– and sometimes not even that.

We don’t spend much as it is, but there’s a big difference between not spending money because you don’t want to and not spending money because you can’t. The latter is much more frightening.

There’s no need to get into specifics, but suffice it to say that I’ve been in an exceptionally dark headspace this week. We have no friends in the area, I’ve gained twelve pounds in six weeks, we have no money, and there are moments when it feels like the world is falling down around our ears.

At the same time, our bills are paid, I’m officially halfway through grad school with a 4.0, and although we’ll be dead broke for the next two years, the upside is that it’s a choice. I’m making the choice to be broke for two years so that I can take a year off and work on my mental health. Granted, I’m not sure how good it is for my mental health that we’ll be so poor, but, hey– it’s better than tying a rope around my neck because I’m too stressed out.

And this week’s had positives, too. A friend spent time with me to help me sort out some of my sensory issues. I passed all of my finals so far. I read a new Star Wars book. And I’m getting a better handle on my health goals.

I need to move more. Not being physically active equates to a wicked downward spiral in my mental health. I don’t know how to make it a routine, but at this point, I want to exercise for the sake of exercising, not for any kind of fat-loss crap. Screw fat loss. It’ll be nice, but it’s way less important than my overall wellbeing.

What I don’t know is how to make it a habit. I’ve been so close, but I’m still so far away. I do great for about ten days and then I totally fall apart. I don’t overeat, I just never move. When I do even mild exercise, I shed fat, feel great, and have tons of energy. But then something comes up, I stop exercising, I actually feel my metabolism slowing down, I get depressed, and then I don’t prioritize myself at all.

Self-care. Not my strongsuit.

Even less-so when my income is drastically slashed and I make the possibly selfish choice to wait two years to do anything about it.

Wow, how those two years are weighing on me. They seem like an eternity.

Now I know what kind of body I want. I know what to do to get there. But there’s still something missing. And the dark cloud isn’t helping too much. The monks’ answer is, “Sit with it,” but sitting with depression doesn’t necessarily make you function any better. It just makes you acutely aware of why you’re depressed in the first place. Excellent, if you can do something about it. But what if you can’t? In theory, you get up and do what you need to do regardless of how you feel. Realize that sometimes you’ll have motivation, and sometimes you won’t, and too bad– do it anyway.

Ugh. I’m tied up in so many knots.

I know it’ll all be okay. I’m a wizard with money– I can and will make this all work out. But I’m scared that if one thing goes wrong, we’re screwed. And on top of everything else I have to deal with, I still want to prioritize my health and sanity.

I need clarity.