This is a newsletter about disability and deviance by Jesse Meadows.

Sluggish is a pejorative: sluggish markets, sluggish progress. Historically it’s been used to refer to sloth and laziness, deadly sins of Puritanism. Recently it’s been applied clinically, with the not-yet-official diagnosis of “sluggish cognitive tempo” — symptoms of which include day-dreaming and mind-wandering.

As a disabled person, slowing down and honoring my body’s rhythms meant I literally had to become more sluggish, and it’s been a crucial part of accepting all the queer things about myself that the world would have me hate. So I’ve decided to reclaim this word.

Sluggish is about embracing the slow, the weird, and the squished underfoot.

I write about the politics of mental illness, the narratives that shape our dis-order, and the culture that makes our brains. I also love to go off on tangents about nature, history, and sense-making through art. (It’s all connected, though, I promise.)

The tempo is weekly but the days of the week vary, I try to keep half of what I write free for everyone to read, but this is my job now so if you love what I do and you want to support it, paid subscribers get extra deep dives, audio + video experiments, and access to the SlugChat discord.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s a brief guide to slug town.

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Re-politicizing mental illness and embracing the weird


Writer + artist