I’m thrilled to have a new personal essay published today at Black Lipstick. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed writing longform essays until I wrote this piece. In ‘More Rest for the Wicked’, I examine what tiredness means in my life. I write about burnout among editors in the publishing industry, surviving psychosis and suicide attempts, being overdramatic on social media, striking a healthy work-life balance, and leaving my sleepless twenties behind to embrace more rest in my thirties.
Here’s an excerpt:
On a cigarette break, I type in the group chat, my nail extensions tapping the cracked screen with millennial speed: Oh my god, I am SO fucking tired, lads. I swear I have never known tiredness like this *pain face emoji* *crying emoji* but my thumb hovers over ‘Send.’ I am doubting the veracity of this statement. Someone once said that I have a tendency towards exaggeration, that I rely too heavily on hyperbole to express myself. “Not everything is the end of the fucking world,” he said (of course it was a man). I live in perpetual fear of being perceived as annoying and that one comment from one arsehole ten years ago still haunts me. I’m also trying to be more “mindful.” Mindfulness is a concept I’ve always loathed and scoffed at. The thing is, I have a personality disorder that loves to veer into full-blown psychosis with nary a warning, plus untreated C-PTSD and generalised anxiety disorder. I do not want to be any more aware of my gigantic, overwhelming feelings than I already am. But I’m trying to make a conscious effort to think more before I speak these days—mainly to save myself from future embarrassment, but also because as a poet, as a writer, as an editor, I feel that every word must matter, so my everyday expressions should be delivered with at least some level of intention. So, have I genuinely never met this level of exhaustion before?
And here’s the link if you fancy reading the full essay: blacklipstick.substack.com/p/more-rest-for-the-wicked/
While you’re there, do consider subscribing to Black Lipstick’s Substack – ‘a magazine devoted to off-center beauty, literature and culture’, they’re new on the scene, and publishing some really interesting work that captures today’s zeitgeist. It’s an honour to be published there, and Mila Jaroniec is a fabulous editor, so maybe think about pitching your own essay to Black Lipstick too?