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Breaking.

what’s broken now. what’s breaking.
is the silence.

what breaks are the edges
of my fingers as i bite
and tear at cuticles.

i worry my body endlessly
when i cannot see beyond
the soft grey haze of this.

first cuticles, then diet,
then the mobility that brings
my limbs to life
that moves my heart
to frantic motion
pushes me out
toward the sun.

after my body
comes my drive.
it takes me four days
to make an edit
that should take moments.
my blog lays silent
still
as any grave
entries scattered
like headstones
bare
and beckoning.

i hang
suspended
in the grey.

i spend a Saturday
still and quiet
on my couch
pouring my eyes
into screens.

a voice in my head
that my therapist
always condemns
calls me lazy
a waste
tells me
sweet lies
to confirm
it’s diagnosis
of my indolence

i know that voice is broken
but it breaks me


Photo credit for header image goes here.


sad28

New Blog Entry: Depression Edition

The past two months have been super rough on me. It took me until about two weeks ago to admit to myself and, eventually, my circle of humans, that I have been depressed.

Depression is a weird animal. It creeps up on you like a fog. The world gets hazier and hazier until you realize you can’t see the landscape around you anymore. Everything happens through a thick mask of atmosphere and it’s hard to tell whether you’re coming or going.

When I started being unable to do basic things like laundry and couldn’t articulate my needs at all when anyone asked me about anything, that’s when I knew I was deep in the depression fog. Well, that and when I found myself crying in the bathroom when I was brushing my teeth. And all the napping. Let’s face it, there were lots of signs. But still, the realization was slow.

Crawling out has been hard. It’s still hard. The monologue going on inside my head is gross and abusive when I’m depressed. Think Hyperbole and a Half. Every time I have to do something, I wind up not doing it because I don’t have the energy. But every time I don’t do something, my inner voice gets more and more aggressively negative and hateful.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html
Accurate.

Going to therapy helps. My therapist has made this bout of depression my quickest turn around that I can remember. I’m so grateful that I’m in a place in my life where I have insurance and can afford to take the time for myself to treat my mental health with the care that it deserves.

I’m still not 100% there. I feel run down and not super excited about what’s going on. But the hateful voice in my head is a lot quieter. And I have enough energy to contemplate getting back to doing crafty things that make me happy, which will go a long way to helping me feel myself again.

As it is, opening up this blog again is a good sign and makes me feel good about where things are going. You will hear more from me in the coming weeks and months, now that the fog is lifting.

 

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Seasonal Exhaustion

The holiday is pretty much directly upon me. This weekend I have Christmas with my family. We are going up tomorrow night.

But I don’t feel super merry. In the words of Bilbo Baggins: “I feel thin. Like butter spread over too much bread.”

It has been a long and tumultuous year. The world has continued to terrify me with its ability to be random and cruel while simultaneously delighting me with the warmth and full hearts and adorable cat photos that I have found within it.

Normally at this point in the season I am wearing a festive hat and bouncing around the house to Christmas music like there’s no tomorrow. But I’m not doing either of those things. And what’s weird is that I don’t really care to.

I think the weight of everything that has happened this year has just hit me all at once. The deaths of black women, the burning of black churches, the police brutality, the trans lives that have been lost, rape culture, the everyday harassment that comes along with being femme on the internet or on a street or wherever. Shit, some asshole even killed a lion.

I’ve talked before about the exhaustion that comes from dealing with social justice stuff all the time. The compassion fatigue that we all can feel merely from having access to the internet on a daily basis.

It wears. It takes a toll.

I’m not in a place right this second where I can talk about how to cope with that toll. I’m in it. I’m just looking forward to going home tonight, slapping on some Christmas music and faking it as if I’m going to be making it while I mix up some holiday cookies.

We cope. That’s all we can do sometimes. And I’m just learning now that it’s OK to just cope. To breathe into whatever we’re going through and to be not 100% for a while.

That’s actually a pretty good Christmas gift for me to give myself, now that I think about it.

 

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Being a “Real” Anything

Today I had a mini-kerfluffle on the internet. The topic doesn’t matter, really. But in that kerfluffle I was accused of not being a “real” fan because I hadn’t watched all of a particular show. I found myself bristling at the accusation even as I acknowledged that the opinion of some person on the internet as to the realness of my appreciation for a certain thing was a non-issue.

The contrast between the feeling of having to defend one’s fandom and the knowledge that it shouldn’t matter is something that I see myself and other fans struggle with all the time. Recently I even had a friend tell me that she was nervous to start watching the Star Wars franchise movies for the first time because she worried that she “wouldn’t like them right.”

I was aghast.

What is the “right” way to like something?

Listen, I know that there are a lot of people who froth about this thing or that thing not being canon and not really wanting to deal with certain aspects of a fandom. I have been guilty of doing that. I hated the treatment of the second trilogy of Star Wars films, for example.

But even I acknowledge that things change. And that people who did not grow up with the Star Wars films of my childhood are not going to bond with them in the same way that I do. That’s just the nature of the beast. It’s the nature of time and childhood and loving things differently than other people do.

And here’s the thing that I have learned over the last couple of years: It’s really awesome when other people love things in a different way than you do. Because I would never think of publishing a cook book based on a fandom that I love. I would never think to make little plushies or dress in costume or do any of a number of other awesome things that other fans do. And the fact that they do those things makes me endlessly happy.

Even more than that, when I introduce someone to a new thing that I love, I’m guaranteed to find out something I never knew about the person I’m introducing. I’m also guaranteed to be introduced to a new way of looking at something that I love. And that’s a GOOD thing.

The pressure around being “real” extends beyond just fandoms and nerd culture and what have you. Take it from someone who took forever to figure out her sexuality. For a really long time, I wasn’t sure if I was a “real” queer person. Even now there’s a whole lot of baggage that I’m sorting out around being a “real” lesbian. It’s hard. And it only gets harder when other people call your identity into question.

So here’s what I’m going to say.

You’re real. You are whatever you feel like you are. And don’t let anyone tell you any different.


P.S. Being creative this week has been super hard. So thanks for reading. Struggling with the whole “real” writer thing over here. Sigh.