I don’t have any breastmilk in the freezer. I did, until this afternoon, when my wife took out the last pouch to give to our daughter tonight. It’s an unexpectedly emotional feeling, even though we’ve just been hanging onto that last portion, waiting for the clock to run down until it was time to either feed it to her or throw it away. I used to have a whole shelf; portioned, labelled, boxed up by date. First in, first out obviously – I remember my food handling course. But now, none at all.Continue reading “Milestones.”
I’m sitting with coffee and my laptop in the garden, trying to write. Writing things out is good for me, it helps clear my head and give me space. It’s something I *should* do, like getting up in the morning or eating properly – something that will make me feel better. And I need things to feel better because frankly, I don’t feel good at all.Continue reading “Patching things up”
This post was originally published here as part of the Abortion Rights Campaign’s “why I’m marching” series relating to the 2020 (virtual) March for Choice.
Alright I confess – I won’t actually be marching anywhere this year for International Safe Abortion Day. Perhaps I’ll do a couple of laps of the garden with my toddler, and get my wife to follow us yelling “our bodies, our lives, our right to survive!” Perhaps I’ll even rope the neighbours in to lean over the wall and call us babykillers, just for the feel of the thing. Perhaps not.Continue reading “Why I’m (still) marching”
I write. It’s something I do. I am not arrogant enough to call myself a writer – I respect the work of far too many wordsmiths of fact and fiction to count myself among their number. But I enjoy writing. I write publicly, privately, academically, activistly (not a word, but I’m not a writer, see?). I write letters, journals, dissertations, this blog. Even though I update here infrequently, I write bits and pieces all the time. Or rather, I should say wrote. Because I haven’t really written in a long time. And I’m writing tonight not because I have something to say, but because I think I need to be writing again.Continue reading “Writing about (not) writing.”
Today was not a good day for me and my brain. I don’t really have a bad brain days anymore, not the way that I used to. But a global pandemic and an anxious mind just aren’t a great mix. I didn’t want to do anything today. But I had to. So I did.
It is not easy keeping it together through all of this. We aren’t meant to be alone. I want to write more about it all, about how privileged I feel to have a back garden, about the impact this is going to have on a generation of kids, about how my heart aches for everyone going through the wonderful and terrible milestones of life with this as their unwanted backdrop. About how fearful I am for the vulnerable people I know and love, and for those who must stay in a home that isn’t safe for them, or who have no home at all. About how we’re not meant to raise children like this, in little pockets with screens between them and the rest of the world. About how hopefully this will all make us realise how fucking terribly society treats so many essential workers, and how completely fucking immoral billionaires are. About how I almost wish I wasn’t a parent right now, so I could sleep in and play video games all day. About how I can’t get this songout of my head. And about how even when I have days like today when I don’t want to do anything, my daughter gives me such joy that I can’t imagine being without her. And how grateful I am for the sound of her laughter and her squashy little hugs.
But I can’t right now. Those few sentences are pretty much all my brain can string together. So I hope you’re okay. And I hope you and I and everyone can keep holding it together, for just a little while longer. Until we can be together again.
This has been the strangest St Patricks Day. I know you don’t need me to tell you why. My anxiety wouldn’t let me type it out anyway (although it has supplied me with some great pitches for post apocalyptic fiction).
Today is also my daughter’s first St Patricks Day. And I’m thinking about what this all means for her – not the impact of the virus, but the impact of my mental health.
Me and my brain are not always the best of friends. I am so much better at balancing my mental health than I used to be. But it’s not great. And this whole thing isn’t helping.
I am so fucking tired of being angry.
It is draining being this fucking angry all the time. It’s always there, bubbling in my chest or just behind my eyeballs. But there is so much that I see everyday that makes me angry. And I can’t keep quiet. I just can’t. Even though I just want a shower and to watch Christmas movies and eat ice cream and be oblivious. Instead I’m sitting here writing in anger and tiredness, needing to get it onto the page so it doesn’t all stay in my head.
No prizes for guessing why I’m angry today.
I wrote this piece for the “Why I’m Marching” series on the Abortion Rights Campaign‘s website (Original post here). I’ve written a few times here about abortion and the campaign, if you’re really desperate to know what else I think.
This year’s March for Choice is on 28th September. There is still work to be done in Ireland and around the world in realising reproductive justice. I hope you can join us.