Good morning and happy Sunday to all.
June has been a pretty random blogging month for me, as it probably has for a lot of folx out there. Lots of things happened this month so far that really put life on hold for more dire circumstances and occurrences. Even though I’m finding my way back to this platform, I would be lying through my chai-stained teeth if I said it didn’t feel strange and even a bit surreal to get my life back.
Today, I just wanted to touch base with everyone and explain why I went silent for the most part and what the near-future for BiblioNyan looks like thanks to some new health-related events coming up. A couple of weeks ago I did share a Blog Announcements gig where I had tentative blogging plans for Pride month and some other shtick planned out. Suffice to say that I shall need to change some of that up somewhat.
This one is pretty simple actually. Four cops participated in lynching a Black man on the streets for merely being present and the world rose up to seek justice for him. I joined the protests to the best of my abilities as a disabled person and did whatever I could to raise awareness for the movement that was sparked in the wake of this devastating catastrophe. Got my family members involved in raising funds and doing their part as well. There was even a post made on BiblioNyan with a list of resources and ways for people to help. Between staying busy with helping my mates and out of respect for the fact that this was far more important than some random ass prattling about nerd shit, I took a step back.
The Black Lives Matter movement is still going strong and it shouldn’t be silenced or shoved away like some outdated fad or phase. It is a human rights movement and innocent Black folx are still being brutalised and slaughtered in the streets. I won’t ever stop fighting for this movement and doing whatever I can until there is equality for all and the systemic racism that plagues our nation starts getting uprooted and removed. But that is a long battle and while I continue that fight, I do need to get back to my life as much as I can for my own mental health, which brings me to the health updates.
I have mentioned this numerous times on BiblioNyan, mostly via my Self-Care Sunday posts, but I began blogging as a method for coping with and treating my mental health disorders, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and PTSD. Over the years, I went from being an inconsistent and random blogger to a dedicated one who posts articles on a semi-daily basis. The biggest reason for that is to avoid taking anti-depressants because I don’t like the side effects and how little they make me feel. So, I found ways to treating and maintaining my depressive episodes through the sheer act of creating content and using my imaginative and creative muscles, so to speak. When I’m not able to write or blog, it actually has a humongously negative impact on my mental health capacities.
I don’t ever talk about this on BiblioNyan, but I am an Indigenous Fijian person. The Black Lives Matter movement is actually extremely personal to me as someone who is an Indigenous Black human being. But because I don’t physically look the part (I look far more South Asian than anything else), I get a lot of brutal fucking shit for owning that [Indigenous] part of my identity. As such, I just keep it to myself. It’s mentally and emotionally healthier for me, especially in America. But the racism and hatred that sparked this movement were incredibly triggering for me. My depression and anxiety and all-around fucking paranoia has been through the roof. Not having a way to expel these terribly fucked-up triggers and episodes has made my life at home extremely difficult.
For the last two to three weeks, I have been holed up in my bedroom unable to leave the space unless I absolutely had to (e.g.: taking Madame Gabs to work or going to medical appointments). I can’t live like this. I need to start getting a small bit of normalcy back into my day-to-day or my mental health will completely break into a thousand irreparable pieces. I have been afraid to do this because I don’t want people to think that I care any less for the movement or that I will stop being active in my support and protesting, because, as I mentioned above, I won’t ever do that. As a Black person, I simply cannot stop fighting for equality and my right to exist peacefully. I understand and acknowledge that there is a level of privilege that permits me to be able to return to whatever realm of normal I can with my life. Yet, the fact of the matter is that I must do this for myself so I can keep moving forward and keep fighting. I can’t do anything for anyone else, let alone myself, if I’m insane or worse, which brings me to my last health update.
A few weeks ago, I had briefly chatted about how the COVID-19 pandemic had caused my heart surgery to be postponed. I was fucking ecstatic by that news, to be perfectly blunt. Heart surgery (transplant) killed my brother and I’m not keen on having to undergo it. But it has been rescheduled for the first week of July and it’s pretty much turned my life upside down in a whole new fashion, COVID and BLM notwithstanding.
In my Announcements post (linked above) I mentioned that July was going to be my Writer’s Retreat month, to some extent. Unfortunately, that has now been pushed back to August as July will be “Recover From Surgery” month. I will be on strict bedrest for the first one to two weeks after the procedure as my body heals from the incisions and all that shtick. Afterwards, it will be a slow two to four weeks of physical therapy and trying to get my heart acclimated to living a normal healthy(ish) life.
The good news is that once my surgery is complete, assuming that things go swell and I don’t fucking die, I will be the healthiest that I have been in years, and I will be able to live a somewhat long life before my heart begins to act up again. The bad news is that I am absolutely atrocious as being on bedrest and I’ll more than likely be a colossal pain in the arse for Gabs and my parentals (oops, sorry in advance). With my ADHD, I just can’t stay still in bed for extended periods of time. So… it’ll be entertaining at the very least. And exhausting. The other bad news is that the risks are high for this procedure and I can die, which have given me many thoughts and feels, but that is a post for another day.
Impact on Blogging
So, what does all of this shit that I just talked about mean for BiblioNyan?
For the rest of June, I shall slowly be blogging here and there as a way to treat and get my mental health maintenance back on track. This means that even though I’ll be talking about and reviewing the usual stuff, some of it will be moderately toned down so I can focus on relaxing before the heart shindig in July. Things that will specifically change are video game and anime reviews.
All video game reviews (after my Batman: Arkham Asylum review) will be postponed until after I have completely recovered from surgery. So, I won’t be sharing video game content until August or September at the latest. I just won’t have the energy to play games, or the mental fortitude to put out quality content in that regard.
Anime reviews will be truncated, meaning that full on discussion-type reviews that’s my typical review style shall not occur. I will merely be sharing mini-reviews for anime and providing the basic gist of what I liked and didn’t like, whether I recommend it or not. If there is an anime that I feel has some fantastic elements for discourse (like Shiki), then I will share the mini-review and put out a full in-depth discussion for it once I have recovered. If you read a mini-review for an anime that you’d like a discussion for, just let me know in the comments. I’ll create a running list on my phone.
Book reviews will stay the same as they are relatively easier for me to craft and mostly everything else are things that I can do on bedrest with relative comfort and without too much mental exertion. Keeping an eye on my stress levels will be important post-surgery, so that’s why I’m so focused on the mental and emotional toll of blogging at the moment. Heightened stress can increase my already high chances of heart attack or stroke that is common in post-ops of this calibre.
As for Self-Care Sundays, those will be returning next week (I haven’t shared one in a long ass time, I know and I apologise for that), and most of it will be how to take care of oneself post-surgical procedures and during times of protesting. I do have a new Sunday series that will be bi-weekly (starts next week) and it’ll be a chronicle of my transition from an omnivore diet to a solely vegetarian one. It will include reading recommendations for changing one’s diet as well as recipes and photos of vegetarian meals, along with the pros, cons, and challenges of making a diet change such as this. So, if that interests any of you, keep an eye out for it.
I have gotten some inquiries about the Japanese Journals segment that I started a while back. I know it’s been neglected and catching dust for almost a year and I deeply apologise for that. I became unmotivated last year in October when my heart took a significant turn for the worse (and kicked this whole surgery fiasco into gear), and because of that I haven’t had content to contribute for those segments. However, recently, I picked it back up and should be able to produce monthly Japanese Journals content again, post-operation and recovery. I have not forgotten about it! Just put it on pause due to life getting chaotic as fuck.
That’s basically everything that I felt like chatting about today. If there is something specific that you’ve got questions, concerns, etc. about, please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments, or for a more personal conversation, you can send me a message directly via Inquiries and I’ll reply to you within 24-hours.
Thanks, chums, for being patient and supportive. It honestly means the world to me to have such kind and caring folx following BiblioNyan. Hopefully once this heart crap is over, I can go back to being much more disciplined with my blogging and content creating.