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Posted on 2022-09-23 @ 9:55 PM
Depression
Hoooo boy have I been dealing with that lately.

I know I haven't posted anything in a hot minute but I'm honestly trying to crawl myself out of a really dark place. Let me begin by telling you that I'm diagnosed with Bipolar 1 amongst a slew of other mental illnesses. Now, as some of you might know, bipolar causes people to have episodes of mania and depression that usually alternate. I'm currently in the depression state and I've stayed there for an amount of time that is unusually long even for my standard.

I haven't been properly eating and sleeping, and I even forego showering for a long time since it's hard to even get out of bed.
But I am safe. And I am fortunate to have a great support system and even get medications.

The thing is, I can't draw. I can't bring myself to pick up the mechanical pencil that I love using so much. I've entered yet another block, and it's scaring me. The last time i experience this, it lasted for two fucking years. I have the desire to draw especially continuing work on the comic. I mean, I need to make this comic. But my brain is having a battle with my body and my brain is winning.
In a fucked up way, I miss my mania state. At least in my mania, I can draw for days on end but the negative side of that is I would lose sleep and eating. My problem is I can't find a balance. The meds are helping to mellow me out, but it doesn't prevent the episodes from occurring.

Because of this experience, I get fearful of continuing to make the comic. I keep wondering, what if this happen again? I'm determined to have an upload schedule that I want to stick by, but I have little control of my episodes. I feel like I have a responsibility as a creator to put out my best work and I don't want to disappoint. I know, it's an unnecessary pressure I put on myself. And I know people will understand and support my decision should i decide to temporarily stop and care for myself.
But to stop for years? Yeah, no. And it's happened with Them Dudes. I wrote that in the late 2000s and it's not until this year that I decided to revisit it again.

The only solace I can find from that very long hiatus is that I've matured as a person and I can put forth a story that has more substance than just two men fucking. After all, the current Them Dudes is loosely based on my life and others in my twenties and having gone through the shit that we went through I have been able to make a story that fit into the past concept that gave birth to the comic.

Ugh... this entry has gone on for forever, hasn't it?

For those who have read this far, thank you. And no, I'm not looking for pity. This is more like a stream of thoughts that I just need to put in writing. Like a journal of some sort. I don't even have a point to this entry. Maybe to let whoever of you who care about my situation.

So, to close this off, I'd like to ask you who have struggled through similar ordeal to share your own experience. How do you manage? What methods or advice you'd like to share that have helped? Any movies, literature or music that are inspirational for you? Do you wanna yell at me?

If you would like to talk privately about your own struggle feel free to DM me. Maybe we could help each other.

For now, I'm gonna play Genshin or something. Gonna relax with my husbandos and waifus until my head clears up haha.

I'll pick up that mechanical pencil eventually.

Peace out.

- Ina
 
 
Past journal entries
2022-09-23 @ 9:55 PM
 
2022-07-03 @ 5:01 PM
 
2022-03-25 @ 7:27 AM
 
2022-01-27 @ 3:34 PM
 
2021-11-30 @ 4:34 AM
 
2021-08-18 @ 1:38 AM
 
2021-07-05 @ 4:51 AM
 

 

Posted comments
I have bipolar 2, and it's really tough to keep doing art consistently especially when you're not doing well. I often don't draw at all when I'm doing really badly. 😅

I think what helps me is that I've started to take art less seriously as I was far too serious about it and it made something that was once fun pretty joyless. I have motivation and burnout issues, and I have found that taking a break when I don't feel like working on something anymore helps. I used to keep pushing myself and it made me not want to draw anymore lol.

Hope you figure out your meds! I'm in the process of figuring it out as well. I really hate trying meds because of the side effects. I recently suffered from akathisia, and luckily it did not last too long. x_x
 
Reply
# Posted on 2022-09-29 @ 12:59 PM
 
Hello friend, I have adhd and bipolar 1.

I'm glad to hear that you have a good support system and are taking medication. Both of those are very important to have. I'm not sure how long you've been taking meds for bipolar 1 but one of the things I've learned is that it takes a lot of experimentation to find what cocktail of meds works best. I've been through a lot of different combinations over the years and I'm finally on a combo that really, really works for me. I feel fairly stable, no full blown mania episodes and while I get sad, I don't feel depressed for weeks on end. It's not perfect but it works. I hope hearing/reading that gives you hope that you will find stability in the future.

I'd like to also share that going to therapy has helped me immensely. I had to go though a lot of therapists to find the right one that works in a style that fits me. The style that works for me is called Narrative therapy. CBT therapy did not work for me for whatever reason.

When it came down to drawing, I too felt like I couldn't at all. What I did instead was color in coloring books. Adult ones were too overwhelming at first, then I worked my way into them as I felt better. I would write very small letters to friends then filled 90% of the card with stickers. I did some scrapbooking for a while. When I first was able to do actual pencil and paper drawings I just did a little bit at a time and I drew easy things like eyeballs, hearts and other shapes. Small doodles and squiggly lines. Just do a little at a time. If you can only draw for a few minutes that's still an accomplishment. You don't need to make finished pieces that take hours and don't fall for the black hole that is perfectionism. Do any kind of creative thing for small periods of time and eventually you'll feel confident again.

I hope what I wrote was helpful. If you'd like to talk more, I'm all ears! You can e-mail me at [email protected] :happy:
 
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Reply
# Posted on 2022-09-25 @ 6:15 PM
 
Hi there.

I'm so happy to know you too have gotten medications. Bipolar can be such a challenge to manage. I have been on meds on and off for years but I've only been on a proper medication management for the past 2 years. I agree that it takes a lot of experimentation to get the right medication combo and I'm still going through regular adjustments. In my case though, it's a little bit more complicated since I am also diagnosed with schizophrenia so there are other factors to consider. But it seems like I'm on the right track since I have responded well to my treatment plan so there's the good news.

I'm so glad you shared your experience with your medications. It's very reassuring to know that you have gotten to a point where you feel stable. It truly gives me hope.
As for therapy, I'm happy to say that I've finally found an awesome therapist that has been a tremendous help. She and I have been working on different plans from anxiety management to art therapy and I'm showing progress. All in all, as far as support, I'm in a good spot.

It's funny you brought up perfectionism since that's exactly what I am, a perfectionist. It can be a curse haha. It's also usually the cause of my blocks because I have this constant need to make everything 'perfect' that, ironically, hampers my creativity. Your suggestion is actually what my therapist is making me do so yes, I'm doing little squiggles and random scribbling (on my phone) so hopefully I can work up to regular drawings.

Another thing that I have been doing that's helping is learning to code. Besides drawing, computer building and programming are another passion of mine but only recently have i taken up coding seriously. The thing with coding is, there are different colors used to indicate different sections of codes so there's a bunch of visual cues. In a way, it's visually stimulating and kinda feels like you're drawing something when compiling codes, but it's with datas and commands instead of shapes and shading. So basically, I have been working that creative part of my brain in different ways I can think of and seems like it's working. That's why I'm very hopeful I can start working on art again soon.

Thank you for commenting and sharing. I still worry about the things I wrote in the entry, but having support like yours and from people in my life is making a huge difference and giving me optimism that might have been difficult to have otherwise.

I will hit you up through email, for sure.
 
Reply
# Posted on 2022-09-26 @ 4:26 AM
 
You do what you need to do for you! we'll be just fine until you feel better. Love and hugs!!!
 
Reply
# Posted on 2022-09-24 @ 4:37 AM
 
Thank you so much. I'm definitely working on it and I really appreciate your support!
 
Reply
# Posted on 2022-09-26 @ 3:08 AM
 
 
 
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