I Do Exist (sort of)

Well, look at that -- it's April. 

This is probably the hardest year I've had in a long time. I have been just submerged in school and related stuff. Like, I make it to the end of the week, and then suffer a migraine for most of the weekend, just in time to start again. 

I feel spent. I feel like a husk. I feel like I am giving and giving and leaving nothing for myself. 

Some of it is my own doing -- I signed up for the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) New Leader's Week of my own volition. I am just starting Week 8 of 10, which is crazy. It's a lot of work online, and then a 2 hour Zoom call on Sundays. Well, Sundays except Easter and Mother's Day. 

It is amazing work. It is exhausting work. It's work that I thoroughly enjoy, although due to my depleted state this past week it was particularly difficult. Well, it was difficult for a few reasons: 

1) The week was on "Doing Gender," a deeper dive into gender roles, binary/nonbinary, gender messages throughout our lives, and then intersectionality with how our identities can be racialized. (So, um, real light stuff.) 

2) It brought up all kinds of things for me for my experience with puberty, with my childbearing years being anything but, with not achieving the role so important to our society (bonus: I got to talk about pronatalism! Woop woop!). About my body in general. About surviving an abusive marriage. About self-worth. About celebrating who I am today, but also going down a winding whirlpool of sadness about all I endured to get here. There may have been some crying involved. 

3) NOT TO MENTION I realized that last week was the five year anniversary of my culminating mental health crisis. Of the emergency room visit where Prednisone mimicked a heart attack and then I basically lost my ability to wear my mask of "I'm okay, everything's okay" and had to be driven home and then I couldn't get anxiety meds and lived in a horrific state of fight-or-flight response for 4 straight days. Amazing how the body remembers these things before my mind does. I felt weepy, and especially exhausted, and had increased anxiety (oh hello, flutters) all week. Still feeling a little of that. 

So, um, I am wading through the serious muck, determined to get to Friday and the first full day of break. Good gracious it is so sorely needed. I hit a breaking point in the past couple days and was like, "What's going to happen is going to happen during school hours. I am going to take care of myself at home right now." Hard to do when I'm in the midst of IEP meetings, but I did it. I have a challenging (but not tooooo challenging) puzzle going, I'm reading a twisty book. That's another way I know I'm overwhelmed...I have been wayyyy slowed down in my reading. I have not been giving myself the care I give others. So I am slowing down a bit. And trying not to feel guilty about it.

I've missed this space. I am slowly catching up on reading and commenting. I've missed you! I hope that this spring is kind to you. The world is in a very dark and twisty place right now, and that also adds to the feeing of being underwater...but at the very least something I can do is give myself kindness. And spread it around as much as possible. 

Want to read some #Microblog Mondays that might not be a rambling stream of consciousness backed up from weeks and weeks of time away from blogging? Go here and enjoy! 


  1. Jess!! Hello! I've missed you! :)

    We all get out of balance. I'm glad you've got a good puzzle going and a good book started and, most importantly, a BREAK coming up!

    It is an extremely difficult time. Trauma on top of trauma on top of trauma. Do what you can and practice accepting that not everything will get done. You are always in my thoughts, my friend. <3

  2. I've missed you too! :) I am glad to hear you have a break coming up; you deserve it! (And I would have LOVED to be a fly on the wall of that Zoom call to hear you enlighten the rest of your group about pronatalism! :) ) I know you've enjoyed this course, but I'm glad to hear you're almost at the end of it! -- hopefully that will help lighten your load a little too! (((hugs)))

  3. Jess, me three! I've missed you too, and I'm hoping that you'll enjoy your break, and manage to get through the last two weeks of your course. It sounds amazing, but it sounds like really hard emotional work too. (I'm also thrilled you got to talk about pronatalism! Woop woop indeed).
    In the meantime, take care of yourself. Sending some warm hugs across the oceans and continents between us.

  4. I end most of my correspondence with, take very gentle care.


    Cheers to a break.

  5. Five years? On one hand, I'm asking how is that possible. And on the other, I know how much grieving and healing you have done in that time, sharing with us how you have done so.

    Happy break -- you made it! (I'm here late.)