Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.


Times have been crazy. They have been so crazy that I have avoided writing about them.

In the old days, pre-Lumix, I would struggle fitfully with myself, desiring a creative outlet for my frustrations but finding myself too wound up to knit. The writing avoidance thing is okay now, because I have my new Lumix FZ20 to take out my creativity on when I can't get it together enough to write properly about real things happening in the present.

I do hope you like photographs.

I am trying these days, and very sincerely at that, to get it together: to sleep at least four consecutive hours in a row, to remember to wash my hair at least once every three days, and to eat more than a piece of toast for supper, but I have been having difficulties with these seemingly simple things.

Sometimes when I can't sleep these days, it is because I am simply far too awake to do anything but stare at the ceiling through the murky dark, wondering how much longer I have before the cat sticks his cold runny nose into my eye socket again.

Sometimes, I can't sleep because I am hungry, but I can't fix my hunger with food because I am too nauseous to eat it. Occasionally I can't eat because the thought of spending that much energy to sustain my life every few hours seems like a sisyphean task, except without the forever part, because thankfully, I will die one day.

(But don't worry! I don't feel that way today! Really! At this very moment, I am eating a peanut butter sandwich that has been sweating inside cellophane, which I love, because it reminds me of how peanut butter sandwiches smelled and tasted twenty-five years ago when I took them out of my orange lunchbox at school. That was a blissful moment in my eight-year-old day which was made to seem all the more beautiful by its contrast to the tin foil some kid would make me chew a few moments later. See? Today I am both eating and having pleasant memories).

And sometimes, I can't sleep because I am rapidly flipping through my stack of mental index cards containing every single possible personal failure and external threat that could mean my demise. How could I possibly sleep when I have so many failings to alphabetize and put into discrete categories?

Also, I have to go over horrible things that have never happened and feel every emotion about them that I forecast I would have if they were ever real: the Fiery One's bloody death beneath the wheels of one of Cityville's psychotic drivers, or Oskar-the-cat eating and then succumbing slowly and painfully to something like a sewing needle that I have left out due to my being a loathesome excuse for a blight on existence, or my burning down our whole apartment building and leaving us destitute because I burned incense just like my mother always told me not to.

Gosh, all I've talked about is sleeping, and I haven't even moved on to my difficulties with personal hygiene and eating. Now that I look at it from this end, though, I think the hygiene and food thing is all part and parcel of my anxiety-induced insomnia. How can I eat with so many non-things to worry about? How could I even think of taking an extra minute to wash my hair?

And I haven't even gotten into the paranoia I feel that others are watching me with suspicion. Surely they can hear my speedy blood roaring through my veins! Have I been darting my eyes around again? Damned eyeballs! Can they tell I don't know what I'm doing? No, I know what I'm doing, goddammit! Do I know what I'm doing?

Last night, though, I took a hot bath, drank warm milk, and swallowed a herbal sleep aid before going to bed, and I slept through the night. It's amazing what that kind of thing can do for a person. Today, I feel alert, more postitive, less paranoid, and my blood has quieted down. My nausea is gone, too. I also washed my hair.

Would you like to hear about the gas that often accompanies my anxiety?

I bet you're wishing that I'd just stuck with taking photographs.