During June I went quiet. My artist social media was barely touched and my studio space empty. My work is centred around the relationship we share with mental health and unfortunately mine got the better of me. A combination of things led to this hiatus and none of it was planned or could be escaped.
I am no stranger to stress and anxiety. If anything I have a special skill in creating problems that don’t really need to exist, and being on the autistic spectrum can mean I struggle dealing with stress, particularly large amounts of it. I am setting up a business to sell my artwork; MessyMiscreation is something I have put a lot of time into and I rarely give myself a break from working. My mind doesn’t switch off of in the evening and I power on through to the next day.This mentality of constant work and pushing ended up being combined with the stress of helping others with their own mental health, which also got very hectic quickly and built up alongside the workload I had given myself.
My recent diagnosis of being on the autistic spectrum is something I’m still trying to come to terms with, and so it still puts a lot of pressure on me. Since I’m learning how to deal with a variety of things along the way, I ended up pushing myself too hard to the point where I was experiencing physical pain from my anxiety and stress. Bruxism (the medical term for tooth grinding and jaw clenching) put great strain on my teeth as well as my jaw. I was ridden with fatigue and needed to concentrate on my health so it didn’t get any worse.
The reason I’m explaining all this is because it links into the post I wrote for Mental Health Week. The only reason my problems got better is because I received medical help and I am now on medication to control my anxiety and have bought a guard for my teeth so I don’t damage them further. The best way to work on your mental health is through getting help for it. Going to your GP and talking about whats going on can be the first step to helping yourself and I personally think its important to do so.
My mental state is getting better and I am now building myself back into the groove of working on MessyMiscreation, creating new ideas for the future. This time round I need to be kinder to myself and learn its okay not to be constantly on the go. I need to give myself breaks to recharge so I can make the most of my time. In time I can work on this and attempt to get a steady balance of work and play.
There has been plenty of support on social media towards helping me and getting me back up again. I am incredibly grateful for this and maybe now I can move forward.