If you read my most recent post, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling with how to balance activism and staying informed about the current state of events in our country with my own mental health.
I struggle with whether or not I’m just using it as a crutch or an excuse. I struggle with guilt in not participating in ways others are.
As the Women’s March approached, I wrestled in my mind with it. While I now live less than 100 miles from Washington D.C., I am nowhere near my amazing, strong feminist friends. And I have pretty crippling anxiety regarding crowds and loud places. So the idea of going to one of these events, let alone by myself, seemed impossible. There were some smaller events locally, but even the idea of going to one of those stressed me out.
And so I stayed home, glued to social media. I was inspired and energized and filled with love and hope, witnessing literally HUNDREDS of my friends attending these events all over the country and even world.
The crippling depression and anxiety that followed a divorce and move across the country to a place where I knew absolutely no one
Becoming more active and trying to eat better
Between May 2014 and March 2015, I had lost (at my most) 50 pounds.
And, although my rapid weight loss has stabilized, I’ve managed to solidly stay down 40 pounds over the past year.
According to the BMI, which many people hold as a whole lot of bullshit because it alone can’t tell me how healthy I am, I should still lose 30 pounds to put me squarely into the “ideal weight” category. When I was that weight while I was in grad school, my professors, coworkers and classmates were concerned about my health, if that says anything.
I was a little disappointed that my medication didn’t keep easily shedding those pounds for me, but I think my body has kind of reached the point of stasis. Ideally, I would like to lose 10-20 more pounds, but I’m pretty proud of my progress and the fact that I have kept it off.
So. Now that my body has decided that I need to do some work to keep it this weight, what have I done?
I’ve seen dozens of think pieces, of Facebook posts from friends and strangers, telling me how I should feel about myself and my outlook on this year. I should feel lucky, I should take a good hard look at myself and realize that it’s all my damn fault that I’m not happy (forget about the fact that we have no control over some very serious shit that can happen like death and poverty and mental illness and abuse and it’s a very victim-blaming way to think about it to tell us we can just snap out of it.)
Personally, I’ll admit that 2015 was the bigger dumpster fire for me. That was when my depression had gotten its worst ever, and shit hit the fan with my marriage. 2016 has been a year of growth and rebuilding my life.
But for this country, 2016 has thrust me into a huge amount of worry. But that’s out of my control in many ways.
So what are my take-aways for 2016? What have I learned? How have I changed?
*NOTE: This piece was written entirely in December 2015 with no edits since that time. This is extremely important to note, as there are some small parallels to current events in my life and if they are read into too much it will make me look like a SUPER CRAZY PERSON.*
In early April 2015, I had one of the most fascinating, puzzling, vivid and unsettling dreams I’ve ever had. I had been married to my then wife, now ex-wife for less than 8 months, and so the themes in my dream, as you will learn, were quite troubling to me. I recorded my retelling of the dream on my way to work one rainy morning, and I set it aside. It was a strangely beautiful story, complete in its own right. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at writing again, and I just remembered that I had tucked away this idea. What follows is a rough draft of this oddly timely, slightly prophetic, poetic dream, written December 2015.
If you glimpsed something so perfect, would you give up your life for the promise of holding it once more?
DISCLAIMER: This post is about my own experiences researching and getting an IUD. I am definitely not a medical professional and this isn’t medical advice. But hopefully this can help you decide if IUDs are a worthwhile birth control method to speak with your doctor about, and what to expect if you choose to get one.
Due to the outcome of this U.S. presidential election, people with uteruses are asking a lot of unanswerable questions about what may happen to their bodies over the next four years.
Many of my friends have birth control through “Obamacare”/the Affordable Care Act and, the way our President Elect has been talking, he intends to do away with this.
Unfortunately, that leaves countless people with uteruses (I say it this way because some transmen have uteruses as well) wondering if they will still have easy and affordable access to birth control options within the next year.
The IUD or “Intrauterine Device” has been the buzz amongst my friends this past week.
Based upon which type you get, once installed, it is good for 3-10 years! This means that, for many people, they could have worry-free birth control that could last them until this hopefully blows over.
I had an IUD installed this spring, the copper Paragard version, and I have been planning to write about my experience and my choice for a while. But now it is more pertinent than ever. I have been talking with several friends individually about it, so I thought it was now the time for me to write this thing!
CW: Trans murder rate, murders of POC, this damn election
I don’t even know where to start. It’s not hyperbolic when I tell you that I am deeply grieving for My America right now. The America that was just beginning to acknowledge people like me as worthy of rights like marriage, adoption, protection from being fired because of my identity, and other things that so many people take for granted.
I could fill this page with empassioned wailings about how concerned I am for the safety of myself as a queer woman and my other LGBQ friends, my trans friends, my friends who are people of color, Muslim, immigrants, disabled, lower income, single mothers, people with uteruses, women…
Yes, these concerns exist and are so visceral I feel it seething out of my body, feel myself getting hives, unable to eat, bawling all day at work, and feeling like a tightly coiled spring.