“I’m not writing, but I’m still going to keep up with my blogging,” I said in my last update. And here we are *cough* four week later…
So what happened?
Part of my block may be chemical: three and a half weeks ago I started reducing Effexor, the anxiety medication I’m on, so that I can have a second go at medicating for ADHD (Effexor and stimulant medications do not play well).
The last time I tried this, the comedown off Effexor was so bad I had to give up. This time I have a new psych and a new plan, which starts with stepping down much slower than last time; the effects so far have been barely noticeable, but I can’t discount that it may be affecting my desire/ability to sit down and write.
Still, for the most part the last four weeks have gone well for me – especially when it comes to creativity.
I haven’t written a word of fiction; in its place, I’ve finally restarted the Nobilis roleplaying game I was co-running with my beloved before we moved to NZ; I’ve started exploring running a second game which would cast the players as superheroes in a Metropolis-equivalent in the middle of Black Lives Matters protests, with all the moral and societal questions that come with; I’ve been knitting and sewing up a storm; and I’ve taken a hard left-turn and started teaching myself to make pixel art.
The pressure is off; I’m feeling a freedom to create that I can’t even remember feeling before. It’s all reinforcing my confidence in my decision to set writing aside.
But I’m less sure about how I want to approach this blog now.
I think the biggest part of it is that this website is still my author website.
I originally created it to give my writing self a public face, somewhere for people to find me if they’d read one of my stories. This blog started out as a way for people to get to know me, and a way to keep people coming back even though my stories were slow to appear.
Two years later, this blog stands as a record of far more than my writing efforts. It’s recorded two years of my growth not just as a writer, but as a human being trying to understand why I struggle so badly with writing. It’s recorded my transition from generic brain weasel wrangler to diagnosed anxious person to OMG ADHD!, and even more importantly it’s given me somewhere to express all the epiphanies and “so that’s why I do that!!” moments that are the milestones on my journey to better understanding my grey matter.
I want to keep recording that journey and those milestones. But this website as it stands now, and the FB and Twitter accounts that go with it – they’re too tied up in my identity as writer, both in how they present to the world and how I feel about them in my gut.
That’s why, without any conscious intention, I’ve been avoiding them.
So, where to from here?
I want to consciously continue the transformation that began by accident, from fiction writer who blogs about brain stuff to ADHD/mental health blogger who maybe occasionally writes.
I know my mental health journey is far from done. Fortunately, that journey fascinates and excites me, and I want to keep recording and sharing it. And there’s still plenty I want to talk about when it comes to my experiences of asexuality and gender, too.*
Staying focused (haha) on those topics also gives me a way to continue advocating for marginalised identities, something I was previously trying to do with my fiction writing; that feels important to me, and I’m glad to have another way to continue it.**
I’m still ruminating on what the end point of this particular transformation might look like. At the very least, expect to see some significant changes to this website and my Twitter & FB presence in the near future (assuming I don’t get sidetracked). At most… there’s this idea I keep coming back to about making a podcast…
Meanwhile, I still have a commitment to the rest of the lovely We Are ADHD folks to post another ADHD post at least once a month, and I’m keen to keep up with that. Beyond that, my update schedule is likely to stay patchy while I’m figuring out this metamorphosis. But now I’ve committed to actually figuring it out instead of just avoiding it, I’m keen to step up and make things happen. Stay tuned!
Featured image by Wes Carpani on Unsplash
*Trans women are women, trans men are men, and agender/non-binary folk are awesome, fuck you JK Rowling (return)
**One of the reasons this has taken so long to write is that it feels horribly self-centred and wrong to be reinventing myself right now, in the middle of COVD-19 and Black Lives Matter protests as people are out in the world fighting and dying to try to keep themselves and others safe from disease and police brutality.
Something that’s helped me comes to terms with it was a brief moment in a recent episode of the Gender Reveal podcast (starting 37:37 if you’re interested), which discusses how living through an “everything is going to shit” moment in history can make personal changes suddenly feel far less momentous and scary by comparison (“the world is on actual fire, who cares if I change my pronouns?”), and even give you an escape from the bigger shit. On reflection, I would add that it feels pretty damn empowering to take control of something in my own life at a time when the world in general is making me feel particularly helpless and overwhelmed.
That said, it’s important not to get so focused on personal change that we lose sight of the bigger issues. Wash your hands, wear your mask, and defund the police (return)