Let’s Talk It Out: From the Top

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, part of what triggered my most recent weeks-long depressive episode was the realization that I had been lying to myself about experiencing another sexual assault. I am going to talk about some of the fallout from that, in terms of my mental health and how that actually ties into my politics and my identification as a feminist. Which in turn, ties into the process of how I came to identify as a woman. Funny how component parts of our identities are still so interrelated. Almost as if we are complete and complex beings.

Obviously, for those of you who feel you need a content warning for in-depth discussions and analysis of emotional and mental trauma as a result of sexual abuse in various forms, this is it.

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Let’s Talk It Out

Sorry for the lack of posts for the past few weeks, dear Readers. I have actually heard from some of you telling me how much they have been missed, which is pretty appreciated. Because I am not a blogger who has a super-specific theme to my posts and because I believe the adage that “the personal is political”, I am going to talk about why I haven’t managed to post.

Let’s talk about mental illness.

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I Am This: Addict

On Monday, I celebrated six years of recovery. The 12 step fellowship I attend defines “being clean” as abstinence from all mind or mood altering substances, so when I talk about being clean it means from street drugs, alcohol, abuse of OTC/prescription drugs, etc. Six years may sound like a short amount of time to someone who has never dealt with addiction, but when I decided that drugs were destroying my life I was in very different circumstances than currently. While this post can (and will) go hand in hand with a post about mental illness, I also felt the need to express that this is a particular part of my identity which I consider slightly different from other mental illness.

As is tradition around a milestone like this, I am going to share the bit of my story that I tell when speaking at detoxes and treatment centers.

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Fulfillment > Happiness

The unalienable rights described in the United States Constitution are famous around the world: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Some scholars believe this phrase to be inspired by the philosophies of John Locke regarding government’s purpose to be to protect property. Variations on this phrase can be found in constitutions and organizations in countries around the world. In a political context, since language and the meaning of words can change over time, what this meant when the US Constitution was written is likely not the way most people understand the phrase today. Conversations about the role of government, property rights, and civil liberties aside (don’t worry, it’s not forever), let’s talk about “the pursuit of Happiness” as most people today understand it.

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Priorities, Goals, and Living Deliberately

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a busy person. I design my life that way. While I might occasionally get overwhelmed if a bunch of things come up all at once and I have a bit of a crunch week, I prefer to be busy over bored. I don’t know if you’ve heard the cliché “only the boring are bored” but I find truth in it.

The thing about being a busy person is it encourages me to live my life deliberately. I began thinking more about living deliberately after a conversation with my friend Katie and reading her blog post about her tiny apartment. Everything I do takes time, which is my most precious commodity. What (and who) I spend my time on needs to reflect my priorities, which means I need to know what they are. Continue reading “Priorities, Goals, and Living Deliberately”

I Am This: The Importance of Labels to Identity

This post originally appeared on my Tumblr in 2014. It has been updated and edited for clarity.

For most of my life I have been trying to fit some label or another, and after a while I simply gave up labels altogether and refused to call myself anything but “me”. While I am still “me”, I’ve done some reflection on the labels that I have been slowly claiming over the past few years, and their importance.
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