Monday, January 30, 2017

The Last 599 Days

I haven't updated my blog in 1 year, 7 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days. So much has happened—in the world and in my world—since then.

When you haven't spoken to a friend in a while, it makes it more difficult to call them. It's a strange paradox that you have more to say to someone you talk to all the time, but it's true. The difference is context: someone you talk to every day knows what is going on in your life. They ask questions about the book you are reading and how your kid's piano recital went, and vice versa.

Last year I had a number of personal and health problems. I only posted three times last year, so let's play catch-up real quick. Here's a list of things that have happened since my last post:

  • I lost several large freelance writing & teaching contracts.
  • I suffered from severe depression and anxiety including a suicidal period last January & February.
  • I finished a skills class in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
  • I finished a partial hospitalization program (PHP) last March.
  • I finished an intensive outpatient program (IOP) last April & May.
  • It took 8 months of trying, but I got pregnant last April. 
  • I worked my ass off over the summer to get mentally and physically healthier. 
  • I got gestational diabetes in October 2016. 
  • I gave birth to a son in December 2016. His online name is Jello. 
  • Jello was born with fluid in his lungs, which meant he had to stay in the NICU for 4 days including Christmas Day. He is fine now.
  • Sal and I have been holed up for all of January 2017 keeping Jello alive and learning how to be parents.

Looking back at this list it's no wonder I only updated this blog three times. 2016 has been a fucking hard year. The political climate toward the end of 2016 also took a toll on my mental health, but thankfully the pregnancy forced me to take better care of myself than I would have otherwise.

So basically I've spent the better part of the last year learning and practicing life skills and coping skills to manage my anxiety. I'm on new medication that keeps me from going off the deep end and enables me to actually use the skills rather than just be stuck in bed all day.

We don't like to talk about mental health in this country. However, with the election of Donald Trump to office, many people have begun to feel the kind of intense anxiety that I have dealt with on a daily basis most of my life. It occurred to me last night that I have skills that might help people deal with their anxiety. That's why I'm back.

I'm also back because writing is what saves me.

I have a lot of ideas on how to use this space for #TheResistance as well. I hope to start an interview series on the intersection of art and activism. I might feature guest posts by other writers, artists, and activists who are helping us #resist the current administration. I will write like a motherfucker for you. That is my goal.

My son has been sleeping for two hours. I have a few thank you notes to send. There is a bowl of cottage cheese and pineapple on my coffee table waiting for me to eat it. Life calls. More soon.