A life update – 2021

Hello, friends. I hope everyone had an okay holiday. Mine was alright. My mother-in-law was here and we rearranged our living room and Clementine’s bedroom. I’ve managed to maintain my house for the past few months. I’ve found that I’ve slipped more and more into a housewife role as I spend more time being a mother. I don’t hate it. I thought I would, but I don’t. I have taught myself to cook, to tidy, to clean, and to watch my child for 13 hour days. It gives me more satisfaction than I thought possible. It’s a new kind of satisfaction – slower, steadier, simpler, but deeper than any I’ve felt before.

I think I am finally finding stability.

Stability looks like routine, lots of sleep, eating regular meals, playing with my kid, going for walks with my neighbor, cuddling with my partner, taking my dogs outside, making dinner, doing dishes, watching my favorite shows, reading books, kissing my kid. Stability is wonderful. Sometimes I still sink into depression but I know I’ll always climb back up. I won’t always stay in bed. That’s the good thing about having a mood disorder – the moods never last. They always change. Nothing is forever, just like in life.

I’ve been reading voraciously lately. I’m currently reading the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. I can’t put the books down. I relate deeply to Lisbeth and always have, so it’s fun to read about her rather just watching her come to life on a screen. Reading fulfills me. I find it meditative and dissociative at the same time. It’s an escape unlike watching TV in that it consumes me fully, whereas with TV I’m not fully engaged – half of me is elsewhere. I can fully disappear into a book, mind/body/soul. And lately, I love that. It’s helped me climb out of the massive depression I experienced in December. I’ve read nine books in about three weeks.

I am still struggling with my feelings of inadequacy, which is partly why I’m writing. I feel like I am obligated to create and to write and to do something with my time even though my heart knows that motherhood is enough. I struggle with feeling like a failure because I’ve applied for disability and if it’s approved, that means I acknowledge that I am incapable of working and living the life that’s expected of most Americans. I know it’s for the best and it would be a huge weight off my shoulders but it still hurts and feels awkward.

I think my obsessions with fame and success come from a variety of places – my family, capitalism, white supremacy, ego, self-hate. We’re born into a world that stresses the importance of wealth and achievement. I don’t think it’s like this everywhere, but it’s like this here and because I am disabled, I am automatically less than. At least that’s how it feels. I know that in the grand scheme, my survival is what matters and I have done a good job at being alive. That should count for something, especially when your mind works against you. But here, in this place, it barely does. You’re supposed to want more, bigger, better. You’re supposed to be an individual and you’re supposed to conquer and achieve and make more and more money. I don’t want that, but it’s ingrained in me that I’m supposed to want that and search and strive for it.

Anyway, I’m still working this out in myself. I don’t know where to go with it other than to try to fight it. So to fight it, I’m going to stop writing now and go back to hanging out with my kid.

xo,

Leif

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