I’ve been writing less online as I’ve been writing more on paper. When I got into the blog as a form of expression at 16, the internet in general was a completely different entity. Fewer echo chambers and isolated silos of political ideology, no megacoporations pushing products or agendas. It felt safe to be expressive to an unknown audience, and they would respond in kind. Comment sections were once a much better place.
Recently—for the better part of the past year—my life has been in one stage of turmoil or another. I learned the hard way that getting sober doesn’t mean you stop losing what is important in life. Being in recovery doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve already hit bottom. When you must work to fundamentally change who you are and how you think and act, people don’t always know how to handle that. I wasn’t prepared for that part—I guess there’s a reason they say, Quitting drinking is the easy part.
To cope with this, I couldn’t turn to the internet in any way. I couldn’t see or be seen on any kind of outward-facing medium. This site went dark, as did my lone social media account on Instagram. I couldn’t deal with an abstract world while my brain was re-wiring itself. There were weeks on end that I couldn’t get out of bed, as I was suddenly dealing with mental health issues I’d previously just shut down with alcohol. So I began writing.
Since I hit a crisis point last fall, I’ve written nearly every day. I still do—part of the reason I’m posting less here is because the journals take priority. At this point, even though I’m not claiming sanity, I do at least know that if—or, perhaps, when—things get overwhelming again, I have a reliable outlet to lean on. For so many years, that outlet was this site (or some iteration of a personal blog). When my life fell apart alongside not having any way to express it, things got real dark real quick.
It’s strange how I have this entire creative history that is now just that. All the ways I used to work are now being re-examined. Painting and music-making, they’re back to being incredibly difficult practices instead of natural motions. It feels in many ways like I’m suddenly left-handed, or only fluent in a language a fraction of people speak. It’s daunting, terrifying, and brutally exhausting.
So I had to start with the basics. A pen and a page, a routine. I don’t know if I’ll ever even go back to re-read these, as I am sure the writing is madness through and through. But it’s something, and hopefully it leads to more around here. It would one day be nice to feel like I’m walking on two feet again, that I’m not just treading water.