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Hiatus

Hiatus

You may have noticed that I really haven’t been able to do much of anything for several weeks at this point. My brain checked out two weeks ago thanks to burnout and I’m only slowly getting it back. It’s really frustrating because the world is still going to shit, I just am powerless to do anything about it because all my spoons got eaten. So, to try to recover my brain and restore my energy I’m taking a solid two weeks off activism and anything work-like.

I spent the last few therapy sessions talking about burnout and resting and how hard it is to do. Resting starts a constant internal battle where the physiological need to rest is actually a traumatic minefield because of how often I would be punished and put to work if I was caught resting when it wasn’t the designated time. I wished once that I would get sick, just so I could rest, because that was how exhausted I was and how much I was not allowed to sit down as a kid. So resting is actually a fuck ton of work. Resting is more work than activism and working, but I run myself ragged and then go splat when I forget to rest or don’t feel like fighting that day.

But at this point, for the last two and a half weeks, my body and my brain have just been screaming at me that they need to rest and recover. I need to reset. My therapist told me that working – in activism or otherwise – is an exchange of energy, and you need to be able to balance it, because if you give more than you’re taking in, it’s not healthy. Taking a break is important to restore all of the energy I’ve been spending and not replacing, and this will enable me to then have energy for things again.

Obviously, I guess. But it helped to hear it out loud and that sort of calmed the part of my brain that is still a teenager who’s freaked out about taking a break if they aren’t actively vomiting because someone will come yell at them for being lazy and unproductive and they should ignore, y’know, anything less than death-bed levels of damage and keep going.

So, I’m taking a break. I am going camping for three days after I take my shot on Sunday and I think the being in the middle of the woods with no internet to remind me the world is falling apart will be really really helpful. Beyond that, my plans for the two weeks are to: go through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain again, play through some video games, and maybe bike a bit.

Hopefully I’ll be able to come back in full swing, because there’s shit to do, I just can’t do it right now.

The Importance of Mourning

The Importance of Mourning

Something I’ve noticed in activist circles is an emphasis on pushing on past feelings to organize and do shit. Which I agree with to some extent – we can’t get stuck in sadness and let it stop us from doing things – however, it’s important to mourn and grieve and let ourselves feel and process the losses. If we don’t, we stuff it away and internalize it, and it becomes fuel for burnout later. If we don’t let ourselves have a moment to be sad and acknowledge the pain and the loss, it will build until we can no longer press on.

I didn’t mourn the deaths of my stillborn siblings until over 10 years had passed. It was harder to bear and process later than it would have been if I’d been allowed to mourn when I needed to, allowed to process when I needed to, instead of ignoring it and moving on because there was no time.

We shouldn’t lose ourselves in sadness, but we should give ourselves time to grieve.

Expecto Patronum

Expecto Patronum

I was talking to my therapist last night about the election and activism and something she poked at really struck me.

It is important for activism to come from a place that isn’t fear. Fear and panic spreads like wildfire and runs everyone down. The longevity of the fight depends on us being able to approach our activism from a place of okayness inside ourselves.

I woke up in a good mood this morning. My partner made coffee that we sipped quietly while working on our respective projects. I’m working on and lining up freelance projects to stay afloat and figuring out what of my personal projects I want to start on next.

I know everything is shit in the world but right now I feel okay. And I almost felt guilty about it, but here’s the thing.

It’s important – vitally important – that we make and keep and foster moments of happiness, that we take care of ourselves, that we love ourselves and each other, that we take our actions against facism from a place where we are emotionally okay and stable and not terrified.

Selfcare in the face of fascism is resistance. Finding ways to not live in a permanent state of anxiety while still fighting is revolutionary. Being happy and hopeful are not bad things in light of everything that’s going on, they are important, and they are the things we need to cling to, because those will keep us going.

Like I’ve been telling myself since election night, little things matter, they matter a lot. Find the little things that bring you peace and hold on to them. We have a long road ahead of us, and running on adrenaline isn’t sustainable.

You are allowed to be happy and feel okay and have good days. Fighting doesn’t mean you have to be afraid all the time, please don’t. Find the little things that matter, let them fill you up – like a patronus charm. We can resist best when we’re not letting fear rule our every waking moment.

 

It’s okay 

It’s okay 

 

Having tried is still worth something. Don’t let the lack of immediate success get you down. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Having done, having tried, having made…is valuable in itself. Don’t judge it harshly, you’re still growing and progress only comes with time and effort. 

You are a magical creature of wonder and more power than you know. You are good and perfect, love yourself a little. 


Because sometimes I need to remind myself of things, and as loud as the mean voices are, when I write down my own truths in my own voice, I feel stronger. 

tangent

tangent

I didn’t do any WordPress videos on Tuesday, because a work project came up which meant I got to play with MySQL databases and mess around on the server side, so learning was still a thing. Had this huge problem that was created by my browser deciding to insert my email address in the whitelist space…so, just a day in the life.

Monday was the one year anniversary of Kiery’s Fairy Porn and I drew a fairy, obviously.

While averting minor crises today I also managed to get out a full E.R.A. comic. I moved my Wacom tablet to my laptop, which means the way I usually export and upload is different so the compression is weird but all the tools worked while drawing, so. It’s weird how much an OS change can really fuck you over if one of your incredibly commonly used pieces of hardware didn’t make a driver for it. 😛

Anyway. I had a lot of really great thoughts while I was taking a shower, but now they’re rescinding.

It really feels like autumn here. The weather is lovely and finally starting to be the drizzly Seattle I was promised. Night is heavy and dark and magical. We have a planter with a grow light which helps – it’s basically a sun light, but it’s currently over three pods of basil. I love how the colors outside are more vibrant when it’s overcast. Happy to be somewhere it can be chilly and grey but not monochromatic and snow covered.

I’m helping a friend out by testing a product for her (called It Works) that’s basically a vitamin complex to make your hair/skin/nails grow and be all nice and stuff. “But Kiery, you just cut your hair! Why do you want to grow it again?” Because I can cut it again, my dear! Also my hair could use some nourishment after being mostly bleached and colored for the last couple years, so it can’t hurt, right?

I also grabbed some scalp happiness/damage repair shampoo because my hair has been angry with me; right now my hair is super soft.

This is something I know all of you wanted to know, YOU’RE WELCOME. (The shampoo/conditioner I got is Clear, from Target, if yeah, anyway). I just want my head to be less itchy and dandruff-y 😛

I’m having feelings and thoughts about lip hairs, so maybe there’ll be a comic on that on Friday.

Self Care

Self Care

I feel like the last few weeks have been crazy – last week had so many stresses in it – and then they were gone, but the feeling stayed. Self Care requires a lot more listening to myself than I’m good at…doing. Today was a movies + drawing + getting dressed at 6:30 for coffee day, and it helps.

photo 7