Hey y’all. I thought I was going to be more active on here, but then things took an insane turn and I’ve wound up living and working in Phoenix, Arizona after escaping the worst/most abusive relationship of my life. I will write about that when I’m able to, but it’s still raw and I’m trying to soak in this Arizona sun before it starts literally burning my flesh. So for now, just know that everything is good — great, even!
Again, if anyone has ideas for blog posts, I am all ears.
I’m very grateful to announce that my second published piece of memoir is now up on Entropy. “La Petite Mort” is an essay about sex, love, drug addiction, and a dear friend of mine.
Read it here!
Check out the new menu items and let me know what you think!
Here is my polished list of publishing credits.
Check it out, dudes.
I’ll be back with much more in the next few days.
Last night, I invited y’all to suggest topics or questions for blog posts via my contact page. The first question landed in my inbox this morning. It’s a complicated one.
Rebecca H. writes:
“My question to you and one I’ve struggled with in the past is the line between feeling gorgeous and sexually empowered and the feelings of being a vessel men use and abuse for their own gain . . . In the U.K., stripping is one of those ever growing things and more and more clubs and bars are opening. It’s one of those topics that most women cannot agree on. Is this degrading or are we showing how strong and beautiful we are by getting naked for paying men?”
This is a difficult question to answer because it’s one that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. There’s no single opinion about sex work among sex workers. Our stories and experiences are too varied. Some people are forced into sex work. Many enter the industry by choice. Others do so out of desperation. And these factors are just the tip of the iceberg. Sex work comes in a multitude of forms — stripping, fetish work, camming, prostitution, the list goes on — which makes it impossible to pin down.
Does anyone still read this thing?
It’s been so long since I’ve posted. My sober date felt like a natural resting place for the blog and I’ve gotten lazy about updating. Also, it’s winter and I’m reclusive, so there’s not much to share.
My current situation is this: I live in somewhere in the Midwest. It’s cold and it sucks. I’m moving soon, hopefully south. My days are spent writing, reading, and wandering around dog parks, wishing all the dogs were mine. I see people very rarely, mostly because introversion keeps me safer than manic extroversion.
In lieu of writing for Big Mouth, I’ve been working on a number of projects for school and elsewhere. Here’s what’s up:
- My xoJane piece is being adapted into a short film.
- I’ll have an essay in Entropy this month.
- My first blog post for Lunch Ticket will be published later this week.
- My Narratively essay made this list.
- I’m working on a radical self-help booklet for sufferers of PTSD, BPD, etc.
- I’m halfway through the first draft of my memoir.
Not sure what the future holds for this thing, but I’ll write when I can (if only because endings scare me).
If y’all have post ideas or topics you would like me to address, feel free to drop me a line via my contact page or a comment.
Thank you all for your continued support. I’ll be back soon, I hope.
2012: Leif on heroin
2016: Leif in lurve
My sober date is September 23rd, which, coincidentally, is also my middle brother’s birthday. Zach has always been my harshest critic.
On Christmas Day, 2012, Zach staged an informal intervention in our Chicago living room after a particularly brutal Christmas Eve, during which I drank a bottle of champagne and told Luke’s Japanese teacher my life story in explicit detail over holiday dinner. The next morning, Zach said that if I didn’t change, he would remove me from his life. He said I was an embarrassment. A disaster. He couldn’t handle it.
My plan was to move back to Minneapolis from Chicago (where I’d gone to treatment and subsequently relapsed) on January 1, 2013. First, though, I would wreck myself on New Year’s Eve in Milwaukee with booze, speed, and hallucinogens. On New Year’s Day, I sat through breakfast with my friends, brainstorming ways to kill myself. I was sober for the next 20 months.
I will never again read a book about mental illness by someone who doesn’t suffer from it. Yesterday morning, I found my mother’s copy of a book on borderline personality disorder that I’ve long resisted reading because of its name: I Hate You — Don’t Leave Me. I decided to peruse a few chapters, hoping they might shed some light on the increased rage I’ve been experiencing. This was a mistake.
A few paragraphs in, the shame was dripping like sweat down my body. The borderline’s outbursts of rage are as unpredictable as they are frightening… Most therapists will, whenever possible, try to limit the number of borderline patients they treat.