Hello there again! It goes without saying that it’s been some time since I’ve been active at all on the internet, and those of you who’ve been following me for some years now probably aren’t surprised by this I’m in a position now where I can freely talk to you all about that troubling pattern, starting with this latest disappearing act I pulled:
The most immediate issue that I had was with my computer, which is a custom-built PC with parts that I picked from a pre-made list on pcpartpicker.com. As someone who had never really had much interaction with anything hardware related that ventured past memory or basic harddrives, this was intimidating but exciting, and my brother helped me put the rig together through Skype when the parts came in.
Everything ran smoothly until about March of this year, when I started experiencing random reboots. There was no warning or bluescreen; it would just act as though the power would fail and then work again immediately, which was supported by the bluescreen reports I looked for. It was frustrating and hard to diagnose since they were sporadic and difficult to recreate. My computer would work fine for weeks, then suddenly reboot on me, and from then it would reboot with increasing frequency until I couldn’t even leave POST without losing power. Then I would leave the computer alone for about a week, return to it, and everything would run smoothly for another few weeks before the cycle would start again. Taking out hardware didn’t help, and after getting my PSU checked (it worked fine) I ended up having my MOBO sent in for repairs, which didn’t fix the problem. I ended up getting a newer PSU anyway with a higher wattage, and that seems to be doing the trick for now (it’s been almost two months since then and I haven't had a reboot, so I’m crossing my fingers!) I lost at least two .PSD files during this time, both of them commissioned works and both of them becoming corrupted when the system rebooted during a save, so there was a good few months where I was extremely hesitant to work on commissioned work in fear of losing all my progress.
This whole computer fiasco fed into another issue I’ve been unknowingly dealing with for years, which also caused my frequent hiatuses: this year I’ve been becoming more aware of a growing problem with anxiety and depression. I’d never really considered it thus, especially when I was younger, but in hindsight my behavior makes sense as being symptomatic of anxiety especially when my situation back then is considered (i.e. that period of homelessness some years back). It came to a head during the last 10 months or so, when I started having legit panic attacks and heart palpitations over trivial issues (or frequently no issue at all, which is super frustrating to sit there and panic when analytically you’re positive there’s absolutely nothing wrong). Having a computer that I put together inexplicably fail on me so frequently served to put me into an anxious, self depreciating state once more, probably a lot more powerfully than before, which prompted me to go seek some professional help.
It’s always been a struggle knowing how often I let my clients down when it comes to a pastime I literally can’t live without. I’ve been drawing since I had the motor-skills necessary to hold a pen, and my childhood was filled with doodles and drawings because I couldn’t stand any moment I wasn’t actually drawing. To grow up and suddenly turn into an adult who went actual months without something was I still itching to do, yet couldn’t bring myself to actually engage in, was confusing and endlessly frustrating. I always considered myself lazy and unmotivated even though I had (and still have) so many passionate ideas and goals that I couldn’t get myself to even start. They would just sit there in my head untouched, or in my files unfinished. There would be no way I could make this into a career with this kind of work ethic. It left me feeling like a failure, especially when I considered the unfinished work that I owed all of my clients.
It never occurred to me before that this would be a symptom of manic-depression, or that it could’ve been anything other than laziness on my part. It wasn’t until I started having physical manifestations of anxiety that I started thinking about doing something different--something that wasn’t endlessly berating myself for being lazy, or throwing myself into dozens of projects that never fully panned out. I’ve seen some of my immediate family go through truly troubling episodes of anxiety and depression, and it was hard for me to admit that I could have anything resembling that--but I reasoned with myself that I should seek some professional advice before it got that bad in the first place.
That’s currently where I am now. For the past few months or so I’ve been engaging in counselling services and we’ve started discussing the possibility of medication. I won’t go into the gritty details, but it’s already proven to be an immeasurable help to have a third-party perspective on my life, behaviors, and interactions. Having some kind of scope to my life other than endless self-abuse leaves me hopeful that I can turn my habits around into something much more enjoyable and much more productive.
This seems like a lot of TMI and an excuse for my disappearances, but I feel as though all of you deserve an explanation at the very least. And, as always, a huge resounding THANK YOU to everyone who watches me and continues to watch me to this day. I really do appreciate your support on every front, and I hope I can grow into someone who fully deserves it! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH