Activism is gruelling, slogging, hard work… and it is seemingly unending. It can be hard to step back and take a break and find space to be renewed (even a little) when you are committed to making change and there is so far to go… so much work to be done.
I get that it is hard to not be busy, because, I know for me at least, it feels like taking action is empowering. And, collectively, I believe we are going to make things better for people. Things will change.
I think too, it can be difficult to take a break or step back because that can feel like a lack of committment – and the dedicated activists I know are unendingly generous with what they offer of themselves.
I know I find that my busyness is a way of me being sorta okay in a world full of things with which I am absolutely not okay. It is a way to keep going and to resist…
But this is a long haul thing… and I noticing that I am not taking care of myself. And I think this is in part because when things are tough my tendency is to respond with “that means there is work to be done’ and then work alongside others to try to make a difference. However, lately, it feels like everything has intensified, because I seems cannot look away from the things I find horrific, and I absolutely do not want to be quiet or complicit, or to respond (or not respond) in ways that normalize the denial of human rights for other people.
I am struggling with this… and working to understand how to find a balance so that I am not neglecting myself and so I can sustain pushing back against injustice over time. I am not quite there – but I think I might be moving in a good direction in reminding myself that self-care, too, is resistance!
Okay… I gotta go write a poem and do some art and daydream about unicorns now!!!
Please note: The wonderful Neurodivergent Narwhal art and images in this post were provided by the ever-talented and creative Lei Wiley-Mydske and have been used with permission. I appreciate Lei and the amazing work she does with the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library, and with AWN (Autism Women’s Network), Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance, and her blog, Autistic Times Two.
Lei also has a wonderful Red Bubble Store where you can get t-shirts and mugs and stickers and tonnes of other good things with narwhals and other cool art on them!! Eeeeeee!
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2017)