Panic in Detroit — My Latest for Splice Today

Panic and healing dominated my time at the Creating Change conference in Detroit last week. The panic began before arriving in Detroit. Not only was it my first time flying, but thanks to an ice storm in Detroit the night before, my 9:50 a.m. flight was pushed back for four  hours. While waiting I listened to Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports” on repeat hoping it would ease the anxiety. Instead, it made me feel like the “This is fine” dog.

It didn’t help that prior to my trip, INTO magazine shut down, my 12-year-old corgi mix was diagnosed with bone cancer, my friend Deborah from the Beyond the Trailer Park podcast died, and I was going through another existentialist crisis of trying to find my unique writing voice. The luggage wasn’t just in my suitcase.

The checked luggage and I made it safely to Detroit. No more panic, right? That’s what I thought before having a panic attack trying to find my Lyft driver. The details get fuzzy here. I remember running around outside the airport trying to find the driver, sweating, trying to breathe while hauling around heavy luggage, and screaming in a parking garage.

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I’m Not Ready to Reach Across the Aisle — My Latest for Splice Today

Former Twitter rivals Eve Peyser of Vice and center-right New York Times columnist Bari Weiss have officially ended their feud, and they recently wrote an op-ed to tell the story. The two writers met at a conference, Peyser asked Weiss if she wanted to hang out, and the two quickly bonded over the things they had in common. They report that they’re open to befriending people with different political views (with the exception of neo-Nazis, of course), and hope others can do the same to escape toxic social media culture.

I’m still hesitant about reaching across the aisle. I know I’m supposed to step out of my echo chamber of fellow SJWs and break bread with the classical liberal/center-right pundits of the Intellectual Dark Web in order to make American civil again, but all my past attempts have failed miserably.

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I Miss Being Drunk — My Latest for Splice Today

No new Bi Any Means Podcast episode today, but I have this:

I’ve been sober for seven months now, but not in a row. The first lapse was in January, a month into recovery. I was still new to sobriety, so brushed it off and decided to try again. My second lapse in April almost cost me my life. Fed up with the world, I went into my parents’ liquor cabinet, opened up a brand new bottle of Jack, drank half of it, and then wrote, “I want to kill myself so bad right now” on Facebook. I don’t even remember writing it. The rest of the day was a blur: I recall getting a call from a friend to see if I was okay, me calling 911, getting interviewed by the paramedics when they arrived, and ending up in bed with my mom by my side. The next day I decided to take recovery more seriously, and tackle the underlying issues that fed into my addiction.

It’s almost four months since that incident, and I’ve made some progress. I got more serious about deconstructing the irrational beliefs that influenced my drinking using SMART Recovery, started attending a second weekly recovery group, and became more honest with my therapist. But I still miss being drunk. I miss feeling my muscles loosen up with that first sip, reality melting away, seeing the colors of the world blur like a Monet painting, and feeling more comfortably numb than Pink Floyd. There’s no need to slow down and rationalize things; I just fill up that 12 oz. tumbler with bourbon, and then it’s all aboard the Inebriation Express.

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How Queerness Influences My Alcohol Addiction — My Latest for Ravishly

CN: Suicidal behavior, alcoholism

Alcohol was the antidepressant I felt I always wanted. There was no need to step back, breathe, count to ten, or do any of the other self-soothing techniques I picked up from 17 years worth of therapy. All I had to do was fill up my 12 oz. tumbler to the brim with bourbon, and I was set.

All the pain, anguish, fear, anxiety, anger, shame, and sensory overload just disappeared in a fog of inebriation. I didn’t care about any possible permanent liver damage or adverse reactions to my psychiatric medication; all I cared about was getting drunk every night. My therapist kept bringing up my drinking during our sessions together, but I didn’t want to talk about it. I finally found something that was working for me. Why screw up a good thing, right?

Unfortunately alcohol was starting to affect my life negatively.

I recorded episodes of my podcast drunk. I had trouble sleeping. I even switched from binge drinking just at night to binge drinking all day.

I knew I had to stop, so I started going to a weekly local SMART Recovery support group in December. Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques instead of a list of 12 steps and does not require belief in a higher power. At first, everything was going well; they were teaching me how to confront the negative thoughts and irrational beliefs that led me to drink. A few weeks ago, however, I got tired of staying sober and tried to drink myself to death.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #46: Scientific Racism and Atheist Movement Drama

On today’s episode, we’re going to first talk about the recent debate between Sam Harris and Vox writer Ezra Klein about Harris’ interview with Charles Murray, co-author of the infamous book The Bell Curve. We’ll talk about what both Harris and Murray got wrong, and go a little bit into the science behind intelligence and genetics. For the second half of the show, we’ll talk about how stress from all the atheist movement drama led me to a suicidal episode last week, and whether or not being part of the movement is worth it.

Listen to “The Biskeptical Podcast #46: Scientific Racism and Atheist Movement Drama” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #145: My Suicidal Episode

As you may remember from the intro to last week’s episode, I recently had an emergency where I almost drank myself to death. I’m doing much better now, thankfully, but I’ve been focused so much on recovery that I didn’t feel like booking a guest for this week, so instead I’m going to tell you what happened and how I’m re-evaluating my life.

Needless to say, this episode has all the trigger warnings, so if you’re not in a good place right now, you can skip this and come back if and when you’re in a much better space.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do this episode or not because I’m sure I’ll write about it in future articles and mention it on other podcasts. But since most of you all know me best through this podcast, I figured this would be the best place to share my story right now.

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We Need To Talk About How Non-Binary Invisibility Affects Mental Health — My Latest for Ravishly

It’s no secret that many LGBTQ people struggle with mental health issues, but some struggle more than others.

For example, a 2011 study shows that out of 33% of LGBT students surveyed that reported suicidal ideation during the previous year, 44% of them were bisexual. Other studies have similar results, and they all suggest bisexual invisibility is the underlying cause. Indeed in my own experience as a bisexual, being caught in the middle of the binary of straight and gay often made me feel like I wasn’t queer enough for the LGBTQ community and not straight enough for the heterosexual world, leaving me feel lost in space in the end.

Recent studies reveal being in the middle of the gender binary isn’t any better. A 2017 study, for example, surveyed over 900 trans youth (ages 14 to 25) and found that non-binary participants reported struggling with mental illness more than binary trans participants. As the study authors speculate, “This group [non-binary youth] is likely to be less understood and acknowledged than transgender youth whose gender identity fits into the man/woman binary, and this may mean nonbinary youth are less likely to have social support.” Another study from last year, conducted by Transgender Europe, found similar results; specifically, that twice as many non-binary people reported struggling with mental health problems as binary trans people.

I asked my non-binary Facebook friends about their experiences with non-binary invisibility. Some, like Ingrid, said their transition would have been a lot easier if they had more support.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #139: Psychiatric Abuse with Caleb Orion

My guest for today is Caleb Orion. A few weeks ago they messaged me on Facebook wanting to share the story of their traumatic experience with psychiatric abuse, so I’ve got them on the show today to talk about it.

CN: Suicide attempts, abuse

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How Dogmatic Perfectionism Nearly Killed Me — My Latest for Ravishly

When I was a Christian, one of my favorite books was The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. He was a former Franciscan priest who struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. Through his struggles he came to believe that God’s grace was big enough for a ragamuffin like him, and that he didn’t have to do anything to earn God’s love. Because of this amazing grace, he was finally able to be okay with his own imperfection.

“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story,” he wrote, “the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.”

While I am no longer a Christian — mostly because I read all the parts of the Bible Manning didn’t mention — I still love the idea of embracing my inner ragamuffin. Like Manning, I’m a walking paradox. I love and I hate. I’m peaceful and I’m violent. I’m honest and I’m hypocritical. I fight for liberation and I perpetuate systems of oppression. It’s just now, at 34 years old, that I’m beginning to be okay with it. As the old song goes, “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.”

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