I've been meaning to write an update post since May, sharing where I'm at. But the universe said 'hey, how about we don't do that because I'm not actually done yet..'.
I'm still not 100% sure if it's done, either way though I wanted to sit down and at least attempt to draw a line under the first half of the year.
As I mentioned over on Instagram, I've always tried to be transparent with my mental health struggles on all my social media platforms for MyGreenCow. For me personally, (and I'm sure many of you reading this) creativity, motivation, and inspiration, all rely a lot on my mood and ultimately, my mental health being in a good place.
Transparency doesn't mean sharing every single detail of everything that happens in my life. It simply means being honest with what happens, especially with things that may effect how I run my business or ability do provide the content/products/services.
Alongside that, there are topics surrounding mental health that I've personally always felt are important to highlight and talk about. The more they are talked about, the less taboo they become, and the less stigma there is surrounding them. No-one needs to be going through a tough time and have the added weight of shame to carry.
I want to pop a trigger warning in here for the rest of the blogpost. I don't go into massive details on things, but I do mention experiences surrounding depression, anxiety & ADHD.
(One of the many beautiful walks I've had with Bonnie)
So far 2022 has involved a lot of changes. April was when things really amped up, both in my day to day life, my surroundings, and in my personal journey.
My brother moved out, so the dynamic in the house changed a lot.
I started on the highest dose of meds for ADHD, which worked amazingly but then caused some scary side effects.
My parents went away on holiday for a couple of weeks, and I was suddenly in charge of three dogs (and their individual routines), on top of my usual jobs, and house work.
I was juggling work through all of this and not doing the best job of it. I just got more and more overwhelmed.
Since April it's felt like I've been in survival mode. The medication has had me up and down like crazy, fluctuating between 'i've got this!' all the way to, 'I can't cope'. It would sometimes be happening daily.
The high dose made my pulse abnormally high, and resulted in weeks of anxiety. Dealing with that floaty butterfly feeling in my chest and being on edge all the time, until the meds wore off in the evening (I was of course in touch with the psychiatrist every few weeks, and we were monitoring things).
If anyone reading this has been on Elvanse for ADHD in the past, or is currently on it. Please reach out and let me know how you got on with it? Or how long it took you before you found the right dose?
(Left to right, Bonnie being the best support, one of the many days where I was feeling anxious and on edge alllll day, starting the new medication, reaching the 'done' point)
When June rolled around, I tried so hard to still enjoy things, and find small joys in each day. I did have a few moments I loved in June, and made some wonderful memories. But I simply couldn't keep the momentum up.
I was behind with work. I had stopped regularly walking Bonnie. I had to let down a really close friend. I stopped replying to messages on social media (still not back on track with that yet).
I wasn't sleeping great, which lead to taking medication late, or missing it because I woke up too late.
In general I felt as though I was disappointing so many people close to me.
I noticed that these were all warning signs, and I'd even voiced to people close to me that I felt like I was reaching my threshold of coping. But I just didn't know how to manage everything in a way that could prevent me hitting that threshold.
I needed to stop, but was so behind with things. I didn't have the time to simply ignore everything that was overwhelming, and just reboot.
My office was also sooo messy, because in the months prior I had simply given up trying to keep anything super tidy. As a result, the motivation to do any work in there became non existent.
Rather than listening to those signs, or figuring out how to let myself down gently. I powered on through. I decided to spend a 'couple of days' completely tidying and sorting my office...
This was my tipping point.
Ultimately my brain was not stable, I was an overwhelmed mess, and I ended up having a break down.
3 weeks and two breakdowns later though, I did it! I had basically built myself a whole new office and got rid of so much stuff.
I went through everything. It was an emotional rollercoaster, especially with everything I found that I'd forgotten about, but I'm so glad it's all done now.
(Left to right, office mess before tidying, bonnie 'helping' me, how chaotic my office looked for many days, my new calmer evening space, mid chaos tidying, the finished office in the daytime)
Considering it took me way longer than I thought, and trying to keep in mind that I'd broken down multiple times during the month. I decided to pause my Patreon for July.
I really don't like pausing it, especially when I have the artwork theme already planned. But I'm happy that I did for this month.
The past week or so has still had ups and downs, I am feeling a little more grounded with each day though. I've started new meds - which, typing that has just reminded me that I need to go and take the second one... My alarm went off about an hour ago.. 🙃 and I'm really really hoping they curb things a little. Especially the constant ups and downs.
When the meds have worked in the past, it's truly unbelievable. I've just not hit the nail on the head for consistency, and working around hormones throughout the month is a whole other ball game.
It's not all been bad though, I've made some brilliant memories. I've tried so hard to pause in these moments to fully appreciate them.
(Left to right, Cornwall mini break polaroids, Bonnie & Nellie being absolute best buddies, seeing family in Cornwall, the pokémon card obsession has really taken off, my best friend & her boyfriend flew from Canada to the UK to visit, lots of woodland walks & photography with the best company, pokémonnnnn)
At the end of last year I decided to start up the dating apps, and February ended up meeting a lovely guy. Since then we've managed to have some beautiful walks, and he has been very patient with my mental health journey throughout 2022. Navigating starting medication that's very unpredictable, alongside starting a new relationship, has been a lot.. especially as I'm still learning about myself with this medication.
In May we went to Cornwall for a short break. It felt so good to be out of the house and in one of my favourite places, making some wonderful memories. I also got to see some family I'd not seen in ages.
My best friend flew to the UK with her boyfriend for a little trip, and it was one of the best days. We hadn't seen each other for about 7 years! We met on Tumblr back in 2009/10(?), and she has been in my life ever since. Distance is honestly one of the worst things, but it makes these moments and memories, even more valuable.
Pokémon cards have been one of the main things that have kept me going through all of this. I've fallen headfirst back into the hobby, and in 2022 it really amped. I have been on many informative deep dives on the new set, and my brain has eaten up any information it can find. Before this I only really knew about the old cards from the 90s.
I've always enjoyed collecting things and completing sets. But these cards also have the artwork aspect too, which is something I will always appreciate and enjoy.
So that is where I'm at. It's been a looooot, but I'm okay. I'm taking July to get alllllll the stuff I removed from my office, photographed and sold. I've also been working on trying to plan my work load out a bit better. I really want to have a routine of sorts, or maybe a couple that I can jump between when I get bored of the first one.
I had a big box of ephemera arrive at the end of June, so once I've got those photographed I will be listing them on the shop. I'm also hoping to have a few new sticker sheets coming too! ... But we will see how I go.
My main priority is getting ahead of myself with the Patreon collections. It's my one majorly time sensitive job each month, and causes me the most stress when I don't have to ready with enough time to spare. I just know that if I can get ahead with them, I will enjoy the whole process a lot more.
A big thank you to anyone who has purchased things from the shop since I've been a tad MIA. I can't wait to be back on the ball and creating new products more consistently again, especially in my new office set up!
If you are going through any similar situation to my recent months, whether that be mental health struggles, or more specific ADHD related hurdles. I hope you know that you're not alone.
Since sharing that I'm on journey with my ADHD, I've received multiple messages from people who are also just starting their journey with it. It's comforting to know there are people in the same boat.
There is still a lot of misunderstanding around it, and I often see the generalised mindset of 'but everyone is a little bit ADHD' floating around. Which after learning about it, I'm not disagreeing at all and definitely think It's true.
But similarly to anxiety/depression, where everyone can experience symptoms of them at some point in their life, or have circumstances where they're more likely to be triggered into experiencing them.
With ADHD, it again comes down to consistency and daily impact on someone's life, which is simply incomparable to just being a bit forgetful/hyper/distracted/impulsive, sometimes.
Just being aware of that and how you approach talking about it, (or any mental illness for that matter) makes a massive difference.
Sending some sunshine to anyone who needs it! (though it's currently disgustingly hot here in the UK, so maybe someone can send me a bit of rain back? Ta!)
*Ps, disclaimer, I'm not a writer, I'm an arty farty person who doesn't enjoy writing as much. So apologies for any grammar/spelling mistakes! This was a LOT of writing for me, and in true ADHD style, I took houuuuurs to write it and double triple checked things to avoid too many mistakes.