My intent for this little corner of the internet has been for it to hold my art and my word, but – I think thanks to the Creative Sprint I just did – I have felt a lot more confident about my visual art than my literary art lately.
That in mind, and in the interest of pushing myself, I’m going to set a quota of 10 blog posts in the remaining 22 days of June. I’m travelling to Denver for work then vacation this month, so I want to give myself space to experience that and photo journal and create in visual mediums. Hence the not-even-every-other-day writing schedule.
I’m not going to limit myself in terms of content, but I am glad I’m starting this out during Pride month for a couple of reasons: 1. I have been in some deep introspection about my various identities lately, so this is a good opportunity to talk about them and 2. People love to read about shit that seems like it should be secret, so hopefully this will amass some new readers.
BUT, FIRST, a bit about my relationship with identities, as a concept. I hope that sounds more boring than it is, but let’s find out together.
I have obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. They’re not full-on crippling and they are comparatively well-managed with medication at the moment, but the things they do to my brain are still a big part of my lived experiences and a big part of defining my world view. I’ve been in therapy since I was a kid – like 9 or 10? How old are you in second grade? – but for many, many, many years, I was diagnosed as depressed and provided a wide array of SSRIs. They did not work because, plot twist, that was not the chemical imbalance that needed addressing.
When I was around 23 – after a psychiatrist put me on an irresponsibly high dose of xanax to combat my chronic insomnia, I switched to a psych that ran a test called Genomind, which is how it was confirmed that my unaddressed issue was pretty severe anxiety.
Being put into that category felt so much more correct than all of the categories that came before. And – partly because it’s v affirming to finally feel heard, but also because certainty is soothing for folks experiencing my particular diagnosis to label stuff – categories became a helpful shorthand for me.
The list of categories has expanded and contracted with some static and some very fluid, some fraught and some, like, super not fraught. I like to talk and think about them all the same amount, regardless of how hard or easy they are for me to process – partly to be better understood by others and partly to be better understood by myself.
I don’t have a great ending to this post, except perhaps to note that any ending is better than the ending my mind and heart are trying to propel me toward. Which is to just close out with a list of all the identities that are important to me. So, here’s not that: stay tuned.
The quote in the title illustration image is from twitter user @neal_thatguy.