Saturday, February 25, 2023

ADHD and Art - a personal experience

 I wanted to share just a little about having ADHD and doing art. Not only do I have ADHD, but I was diagnosed with RSD - rejection sensitive dysphoria a few years ago and recently, ED - emotional dysregulation. 

I had a really severe meltdown at work in early January, like in the bathroom crying and terrified I'd lose my job. Everything worked out, but it was an scary experience for me. 

Then comes the end of January and the beginning of February. I had a string of bad luck incidents that just kept piling up on me and and I actually had a full emotional shut down around January 30. Nothing, no good feelings or bad feelings, just void is the best way to describe it. I didn't want to talk to anyone (though I did talk to my mom every day) and I would go to work, come home and sleep or at least just lay in bed for hours on end staring at the ceiling. 

This was a scary experience, because it was like all the browser tabs in my brain closed and there was nothing. I could laugh and show emotions, but there was nothing behind them. I was sure everyone could see the thought bubble above my head that was blaring that I was off, but not knowing why or how. 

A shift started happening today (Feb 8) and I managed to break out of it a little bit by totally rearranging my house. I live in a small one bedroom cabin, but I totally moved stuff around. It was like a frantic squirrel to get it done. Once it was done, there was an opening in my mind and I seemed to get myself back just a little. 

I did not work on art during this time. Any time I looked at the models sitting on my table for what was NaMoPaiMo and for the Model monthly art challenge group, I kept thinking why finish. No one cares. No one wants to see me succeed, etc.

I have felt that way several times over my years of painting model horses and doing crafts. I have had countless people tell me I should give my stuff away for free because it's not worth anything. I remember going to live model horse shows and showing fantasy work and no one knowing how to judge it, yet now, it's everywhere and I see people fighting over ideas that I did years ago and it feels like how did I get on the outside of something that I and very few others were doing before it was popular in the hobby. 

It doesn't help that ADHD gives you this feeling of never quite being right - when you add RSD and ED, I have always felt on the outside of the hobby that I love and never felt approved of. When this emotional shut down happened, I actually considered taking everything I owned and just putting it in one big pile and burning it all and walking away to the point I had cardboard boxes packed of models and things. 

Then last night (Feb 7) I picked up a cross stitch I was working on in January and started making sunflowers. I was born in Kansas and the one thing I always loved was when the sunflowers would bloom. I rearranged my house today (Feb 8) and tonight I felt that I needed to write this and share with others. Writing is it's own form of art and perhaps it will help others understand that they are not alone in your feelings. For some, who will never know what it's like, maybe you will look at your responses to people differently.  

With this blog entry I am planning on following my steps to complete the NaMoPaiMo and Monthly art challenges and see where my brain takes me. 

As of Feb 9 and the morning of the 10th there has been no movement of art or craft.

The night of February 10th, I managed to actually get a lot of work done as well as some movement on the 11th and 12th. And the 13th through the 17th have brought a lot of positive forward movement on my art - not so much my monthly challenge dog, but my NaMoPaiMo horse. 

I don't know that I will complete my projecs on time by February 28, but we will see how far I get. 

Today (February 25) I was able to make huge progress and complete my model. I am very excited for this. 

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