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Bringing Up Old Shit

When I was in my 20's I was diagnosed with ADHD. Like many people diagnosed as an adult, I felt a bit of shame and was very much in denial. As a result, I largely ignored the diagnosis and just kept living my life.

Struggling felt better than admitting that I needed help. Everyone knows the best way to keep afloat is to deny you are drowning in the first place, right?

While the stigma of neurodivergence isn't exactly gone, social media platforms have helped reshape the discussions around mental health. I have a complicated relationship with social media, I think it is both amazing and divisive. Before I took a hiatus from almost all forms of social media, I found myself on the neuro-spicy side of TikTok. Seeing things I’ve struggled with as relatively common allowed me to, overtime, view myself less harshly.

It turns out sometimes the best way to avoid drowning is to reach out for help.

I began taking medication in September of 2023 and I cannot think of a cliche strong enough to indicate how different things have been.

I've always been creative in bursts. I would find something I wanted to do, do the hell out of it, then not do much of anything for months or years. Finally knowing why and that it didn't have to be that way was a bitter pill but one it was my responsibility to take.

I have drawn almost every day since I started taking my medication. I decided to teach myself digital drawing. It only takes up as much space as my iPad and I don't have to clean my studio to make space to work or lug materials into the house. There are no excuses.

I started with low steaks stuff, 2022's Inktober, then starting and finishing 2023's Inktober in October. I drew cursed things to annoy my children and took a master class online. I started adding an online store but realized I washed my thumb drive and lost all of the high-res images I had taken (no amount of medication will keep me from being me). That project has to be curbed until I can get into my studio to retake all of the images.

Right now, I am just redrawing old pictures, things I drew around the time I was diagnosed. I have always had a love for pinup art and have used that as an excuse to get better at realistic figure drawing.

It's been amazing to see the difference not just in my ability but in myself. That may sound self-congratulatory but that’s okay. I'm allowed to be proud of myself. For the first time in years, I feel good about where I’m at. I look forward to whatever is next without the pressure of worrying about it.

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