The End of This Road

When I left on hiatus a few weeks ago, I had every intention of coming back after an extended break. I thought there might be a possibility the break would need to extend longer than I had anticipated, but I expected it would end at some point. That I would feel better and be able to get back to the work I love.

But it's become clear during my time away that I have reached the end of this road, and I don't want to delay having to tell you the inevitable. After nearly 15 years, exactly one-third of my life, I am moving on from Shakesville.

The thing is, I am feeling somewhat better. I have days without cluster headaches now. The incidents of vertigo have diminished a bit. My hair has stopped falling out in clumps. My infamous garbage gut is noticeably less garbagey. I'm not constantly on the verge of a panic attack. These are all great things! I am so happy about them! But I am also painfully aware that these improvements have only happened because I stepped away from this work.

That's a message I can't ignore. And although I'm not one for signs, my laptop died yesterday as I sat down to open the blog dashboard for the first time in weeks. Welp.

I love this community. I love writing for you. I love the research and the silly photoshops and crafting nerdy political jokes. I love talking about our individual lived experiences and learning from you. I love helping people find and access resources, or figure out a tough problem, in private communications. I love seeing pictures of your faces, your kids, your pets. I love making you laugh, and I love how often you make me laugh.

I don't love the nature of the content about which I've been writing, especially these last couple of years. But even that would be tolerable, if it weren't for everything else that I am obliged to navigate as part of being a fat feminist woman writing in public. I don't need to recount it. You've seen enough to know that it is a steep cost, and it turns out that even I have limits. I have reached them.

The truth is that I reached them a long time ago, and I stayed far longer than I should have, and now I'm paying the price with both my psychological and physical health.

So I'm going to go take care of myself. I don't know what's next after that. I'm frankly pretty scared, because I've been doing this for a long time and it's a huge part of who I am. It is very difficult to let go.

I am endlessly grateful to all the people who have been kind and generous to me over the years. I have made so many amazing friends. I can't put into words how much the moderators and contributors mean to me. There aren't words big enough. They are extraordinary people, and I am lucky to know them.

I am abundantly thankful for Iain, who encouraged me to start this blog and is now encouraging me to take the time I need to get well. He has been my champion and has had my back. He has taken every risk with me. This community owes him a lot. I owe him a lot. I love him like whoa.

I feel like there is so much more to say, and that I could never say everything I want to.

This is so hard.

So I will just get to the practical stuff.

I disabled my Twitter account when I went on leave, and I'm not going to reactivate it. It's not a healthy place for me, and I feel much better for not looking at it.

I will be disabling my Patreon — which, yes, I just started, lolsob; I really wasn't planning on quitting! You will need to cancel your PayPal subscriptions. (I can't cancel them for you.) If anyone who made a donation since July 16 while I've been on break would like a refund, please email me and I will make sure to return your donation promptly.

Also email me if you just want to keep in touch!

Naturally, please feel welcome to organize in comments if someone wants to set up a new community space.

Shakesville will stand as an archive. And because I don't want this sad post to sit at the top of the page forever, I will, in a week or so, republish one of my favorite all-time posts, which will greet you anytime you stop by for a visit in future.

(I'll leave as a surprise which one it is.)

I don't know how to end this post. Y'all mean so much to me. I hope this place and I have meant something to you. I did my best.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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