April Update

I have been trying to blog all month. I know I need to publish more content on the blog and launch my new one under the name Art Stardust. There are many things I need to do. The number of them is the least of my problems, though. The main thing is that I’m disabled, so everything is much more difficult to accomplish.

My partner has less capacity than I do, and that means I must do everything that requires standing for more than a couple of minutes or lifting. That includes cooking, dishes, trash, cat litter boxes, and cleaning. I rarely get to sweeping the floors, I’ve worked out that I can take out the trash twice a week or so, and the vacuum only gets used when absolutely necessary. I do dishes every other day, or at least I try to – it’s more like twice a week if we’re being honest. My partner helps with whatever they can, like feeding the cats but I wish I could get more help around the house. However, I can’t afford to pay someone to do it.

I sleep a lot. I sleep for 12 or more hours a night, and it’s not very restful or invigorating. I sometimes take long naps, too. This isn’t because I’m lazy. It’s because I’m dealing with the results of chronic pain and multiple mental illnesses including PTSD.  I’m working with my care team to deal with that, but we haven’t found a solution yet.

I started my second quarter of school, and things are getting serious. I need to spend even more time studying subjects and completing assignments. I haven’t posted much all year because most of my brain capacity is going toward schoolwork. Thankfully, I’m able to log my Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Yoga exercises for PE credit. I am also creating a portfolio of my own artwork for my Art credit.

Writing is still a priority. Twice a week, I meet with friends and we mostly ignore each other for a dedicated hour while we write. Every time I sit down to write, I make some progress. I just don’t often finish a sitting with something worth publishing. I’m refining my process, which means I am examining how I spent the last ten years writing. I used to just say what was on my mind and hit publish. Now I’m learning about what it takes to write properly. I need to write clear introductions, flowing paragraphs, and conclusions that aren’t too abrupt. I know it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s hard to keep the content coming while unlearning a lot of bad habits.

For instance, I have often tried to write on subjects that matter to me, but that I don’t have any authority to speak about. To stay in my lane, I can only write about myself, because that’s all I really know. I am not educated enough to answer complex questions that take years of study to thoroughly analyze. I am passionate, but I don’t often have the knowledge to apply that passion, so it manifests as misdirected anger and incomplete thoughts.

I have approached my writing as if I’m the only writer out there, and nobody else is investigating the questions I’m asking. That’s simply not true. Not only that, I don’t have the skills needed to access the research that is being done on these subjects. I’ve written at length about inequality, injustice, and the urgency of climate change. I feel very strongly about them. But feelings are not solutions.

I am doing my best with what I have, and that means this year is about learning. I don’t know a lot about the world, so how can I know how to improve it, or what my role is? I am just discovering that I have so much still to learn. Recovery is a slow journey. At least I finally feel that I’m moving in the right direction instead of remaining stagnant, repeating what I knew for so long. I’m making progress.