Last night I woke at midnight with the feeling of panic swelling in my brow. And this wasn’t the usual ADHD Insomniac anxiety, as in the usual over thinking, idea generation, same bar of a song over and over in home-made techno. This was a heart pounding mind throbbing, breathless Red hot panic. But i do need to point out, I DIDN’T think I was having a heart attack this time, and could talk myself out of it this time, So it’s not all bad.
To break it down for you, I quit my job about a month ago to start my illustration career. which was Seriously the best thing i have ever done. No regrets!
Renewing licences really wasn’t my thing, and now I’m living my best life with beautiful people surrounding and supporting me, The most amazing feelings of accomplishment each day, learning about me, and who I am, its honestly so healing!
So why the panic?
Trust me for the past few weeks I have been strutting around the house, dressing in my most gorgeous creative outfits (okay not all the time), doing my makeup every morning (most weekdays), feeling like a BOSS (which I totally am… technically) Believing in myself, having WAY TOO MUCH FUN when it comes to posting orders to my clients. I have been learning how to create my own fonts, drawing all the dang time learning how to to entrepreneur the heck out of myself. Then last night it all dawned on me in one super-sledge WOMP, upside the side of the face! A month has gone by and I have made a total of $65, I had a whopping big winter bill reefed out of my bank account, the kids (and me, if I’m honest) never stop eating! And I already had to dip into my back up fund.
I knew I would have to, but the reality hit me hard.
Not only that but after begging for an extension on my course, and the TAFE granting it, I haven’t been very successful in actually completing my two assignments that I promised myself I would complete within the month.
instead I have been swanning around the internet revelling in the fact that while I certainly couldn’t call myself a FULL-TIME illustrator. I am an illustrator… who is making an average of $65 a month. Hence the panic.
So, I guess the fist step is to remember the ever-helpful words of Douglas Adams and remember “DON’T PANIC” in big friendly letters.
Yeah that always helps doesn’t it.
Me- “Don’t panic Ainsley.
Also, Me- “OH silly me! I hadn’t thought of not panicking, that is such a simple solution to my problem! Except that it’s not.”
Okay but seriously, “Don’t panic” Can work. its at least a distraction. I can focus on the words and by the time I have figured them out , remembered my favourite moments in Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy, and then thought about what a lovely voice Stephen Fry has, I have distracted myself from that heart pounding, stress attack.
The next thing I did was get a rather fancy notebook, which was free in an issue of FLOW mag, (SCORE!) and I wrote it all down. All of it! Every single worry that woke me in an utter panic. All. Two. Tasks.
I managed to embellish the list a bit into bullet points to make it look worth the debilitating fear of failure I had experienced a minute earlier. I didn’t pull it off.
After that, I lay there in the dark watching the remnants of light from my lamp dance across my retinas and planned to get up first thing and complete the damn assignments.
Of course, when I looked at the assessments, it wasn’t that hard at all and I had mostly finished it anyway. What the flip was my problem? What am I afraid of? Who bloody knows? Is my answer.
As someone who has only really known about my ADHD for less a year it’s been amazingly helpful in so many ways, to understand more about my past and present, how to gain my best future, and also to be okay with medication and all the great things it has helped me to achieve In 6 months. But I still have so much to learn about ADHD and how to find the best way of managing it.
I have learned however that the incapacitating procrastination is a part of it, and I might not have a valid reason to dawdle when I have a task, but I am beginning to see the blockages, and how best to deal with them when they occur.
So, after all of that, I guess I should welcome you to the Blog of an illustrator and student who happens to be learning about her ADHD and how to turn it into her super power. Welcome to the ride.