Oh, hi.

Been awhile, huh? I barely know how to write anymore. I did the YouTube thing for a few years but it doesn’t bring me the same satisfaction that writing does. I’m starting a new blog called Grim River. I’ll post a link when it’s ready. Until then, here’s a little update:

I … have a one year old little girl. Her name is Clementine and she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. That’s my biggest update.

I finally cut ties with my family. They’re abusive. Wasn’t hard to see that from miles away, was it?

I got into photography.

I live in the Driftless Area of Minnesota.

I still haven’t published my memoir but I want to… badly. Having a kid takes up most of my time (as it should.)

Oh, and I found out I have Bipolar Disorder, just this summer actually. Bipolar I to be exact. I’m sure no one is surprised.

My new blog will be about mental health, tragedy on the Mississippi River, and my photography. The Mississippi River will be the focal point, but I’ll also be discussing my mental state.

That’s all for now. I’ll have a link for you soon.

PTSD is ruining my life

Hi, my name is Leif E. Greenz and I’ve changed platforms! My new YouTube channel focuses on the same subjects as this blog, but the video format gives me the opportunity to be more vulnerable than ever before. I’ll be using Big Mouth to post regular updates about my channel. If time allows, I’ll try to post the occasional blog, too!

Are there any subjects you’d like me to write about? Let me know in a comment or email me at leif.e.greenz@gmail.com ❤

Subscribe to my channel: https://youtube.com/user/leifegreenz

This video is meant to provide an overview of where I’m at and what you can expect from my channel. I talk about being a “stay-at-home crazy person,” chronic unemployment among the mentally ill, and suicide rates in those with C-PTSD. This video the first in what I hope will be a longer series about living with debilitating mental illness.

Check out my other YouTube channel where I post old Y Lime? videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr50Wr9uNiivBtaLBfQc8YQ

Let me write something for you: http://thewritingleif.com

Check out my new YouTube channel

As part of my undying quest to find the appropriate outlet to express myself, I’ve started adding content to my YouTube channel and plan to do so until I run out of steam. That could literally be next week, who knows. The point is that I made a video and I’m inviting you to watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4RDgHuWMrE&t=3s

Myths of Men

* This essay was originally published on Lunch Ticket, Antioch University Los Angeles’ student-run literary journal. Check out our website for handpicked fiction, poetry, translation, memoir, and more.

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Myths of Men

I am a myth-maker; I make myths of men. My journals and essays and mental spaces are filled with names like Jared, Jeter, and Jefferson, all of them monsters I tried to tame with a pen. My version of myth-making is a form of self-deception. I don’t do this on purpose. It’s a defective coping mechanism—a way to withstand unbearable situations, like drinking to warm yourself on a cold night. You may fool your brain into thinking your body is warm, but it doesn’t stop your body from developing frostbite. These myths may pacify my terror around abusers, but they don’t stop the abuse.

This is where the perennial truth versus fact debate in creative nonfiction gets even more complicated. What happens when I feel like I’m telling the truth, but it turns out to be a lie? What if the facts are correct, I just left some out? What if I feel just as duped as the reader when the truth reveals itself? Continue reading

Reader Question: Is Sex Work Empowering or Degrading?

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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.

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One Year Sober! An Extremely Unofficial Guide to My (Anti-)Program

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2012: alcoholism at its worst.

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.

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If You’re Crazy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

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.

Ouch.

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Looking For Love in All the Dark Places: Self-Harm, Romance, and Sheep Centaurs

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I want to tell you about a very stupid and embarrassing thing I did this morning. (If my shame list was still being written, this would be on it.) When I got home from Milwaukee last night, I squeezed ketchup and mustard all over my face and took some pictures of the aftermath in one of many personal attempts to challenge aesthetic conventions. And then – big mistake – I posted it on social media. It went mostly “unliked” and, feeling humiliated, I deleted it. I do this quite often. I post a photo, wait to see if it’s worth any social capital, and, if it’s not, I virtually incinerate it. I then spend a few hours fighting the urge to put a Jewel-Osco bag over my head.

How’s that for an unflattering truth? I’m mortified to confess that I’ve enlisted myself in this battle for online attention, but I’m doing it because you’ve probably enlisted yourself, too.

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Runaway Bride Confessions and First Year Anniversary Reflections

Holy shiz, yesterday was Big Mouth’s first year anniversary. Time continues to mystify me.

I started this blog shortly after my wedding was called off and I returned home from Europe. The first post was both an apology and a goodbye letter — an apology because I felt like I fucked a lot of people over in my runaway bridehood and a goodbye letter because I would soon sprint back to Europe under the guise of needing to “find myself” — the empty claim of every 20-something runaway ever.

I wasn’t as candid then as I am now and there’s finally enough distance for me to be honest about what happened.

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