Just checking in!
So… it’s been a while.
Two whole years since I started this blog during Covid lockdown, full of ideas and a lot of down time. I was working night shifts and stayed home a lot on my days off so that I could avoid catching anything. That meant that I was full of plans for themed shoots, many outfits and plenty of time to execute projects. Fast forward to now… a lot has changed!
Almost a year ago to the day, I moved out of my flat. My landlords decided to sell, right in the middle of a housing crisis. I looked for somewhere to live every day for six months, and couldn’t even get a viewing. Thankfully, my best friend (sister, guardian angel if you will) and her husband took me in and let me rent two rooms off of them. The second room is meant to be a craft room, but it hasn’t seen much action – apart from one project in the summer! Mostly it’s being used to store the rest of my things from my flat, and my bedroom is mostly full of clothing!
Another reason I’ve been so quiet here is the fact that I’m now pursuing an
ADHD diagnosis with the NHS. There is also a high probability that I have Autism, and once my ADHD diagnosis is complete, I’ll be pursuing a diagnosis for that as well.
Like a lot of people during lockdown, I suddenly found myself unmasking, something I had no idea I was doing in the first place. I know a lot of people have stumbled across content on Tik Tok and Facebook, realising that the creators have ADHD and finding the content highly relatable. This is initially what happened to me, but I didn’t really entertain the idea until I came across an article about ADHD in women, and realised that I could’ve written every symptom/trait myself.
I put myself in therapy for the second time, as I was feeling a lot of background stress from Covid lockdowns and all the measures put in place to try and control rising numbers of sick people. My anxiety was through the roof – and I felt suddenly both lost and found, I had found a ‘reason’ for the way I am, for the way I think, process things, the way I behave every day. But I was lost on what to do about it or how to start unpacking everything. My therapist agreed with me about me being ADHD, and so did my doctor at the time. Unfortunately I had no idea how to go about getting an official diagnosis, or whether I needed one. I started by trying to manage my symptoms and traits, while figuring out who I really was when I wasn’t trying to fit in or be accepted by society.
I’ve always been a bit of an oddball – ‘quirky’, ‘crafty’, ‘creative’- obviously not my only clues. But I’ve always managed to bumble through, though some things became incredibly clear once I started to understand my brain. I feel like I’ve always muddled through, like I’m always struggling with something or another – and it’s hard. Life is hard when you don’t know how to help yourself. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression, though my depression is mostly gone now. I’ve always been poorly with various things that I’ve since learned could be co-morbidities to my ADHD, and I’ve since found that women with ADHD can often have issues with PCOS/Endometriosis – I’ve suffered from PCOS since my early teens.
In the middle of all the self-discovery, I had to move house. Seems annoying, but necessary, not a big deal, right? But viewed through my newly applied ADHD gaze, I found that I was becoming exhausted just managing myself and my emotions. I hate change, unless I have instigated it myself and therefore planned the change. Packing was a nightmare, I made hardly any progress by myself, needing friends to come and body double for me to feel motivation to pack anything away. I swung between selling every item I owned, and wanting to keep every little thing. Of course, nothing big happens when you’re moving house until the day you move out officially, and I found that the most stressful day. My bestie and her husband came through for me, I honestly wouldn’t have managed without them – and I am still so grateful to them for accommodating me the way they have! I finished moving out Halloween morning, 2021, had four hours sleep and then went to work a 12 hour night shift.
Obviously, the night shift thing wasn’t working for me either. That was when my anxiety was the highest, and I started getting migraines at work, having regular PCOS flare – ups, and generally feeling rubbish. During the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, I had been so stressed out that I had weird physical symptoms (breaking out in stress hives, I even lost a chunk of hair that thankfully grew back!) but unless they were a close friend, no one would have known. I used this blog as an escape, I dolled up and made my own fun – and I’m really missing that!
Moving was healing. We are a very neuro-divergent household, and I’ve only lived with family or on my own, so living with friends has been a very new experience for me. It works pretty well, we all respect each other’s space but genuinely enjoy spending time together, so I never have to hide the way I did as a teenager in my family home.
It’s been a busy year. I moved, worked three night shifts and then went to visit friends in Scotland, maybe not letting myself process the move – but I also needed to get away. I got my first tattoo. I spent a happy Christmas with friends and we made gingerbread houses, we played games on New Year’s and I drank a little too much and laughed a little too loudly. I moved jobs to go onto a day shift pattern and trained up in a new role. I turned 29 and visited Scotland again, falling in love with it even more. In June I created a whole set of costumes for a personal project, finally having motivation again. Friends had babies, announced pregnancies, and I helped arrange a baby shower. My best friend and her husband brought home a beautiful labradoodle puppy, who is a fun handful. I’ve made new friends and left some people in the past where they need to be.
But, I am also unwell, still. Anxiety surrounding my old job made me leave, lack of sleep, etc. Now I am having more migraines and my quality of life has lowered somewhat, I am worried about being in pain so often and there seems to be no real answer as to why they are happening. Delayed stress, maybe? Either way, I am hoping a medication change will help and I can go back to planning for Christmas and new year. I want to find that motivation again, I hope to be able to create and I have so many outfits that I have collected over the past year! In the aftermath of the past two years I seem to have lost parts of who I am, but I’ve also found out things about myself that I never knew existed.
I will most likely write a few posts about my ADHD journey, hopefully I’ll clear some space for the odd photoshoot, and although I’m not dating at the moment, I still have some ‘Chubby Chick Goes Dating’ blogs up my sleeve! I want to feel better and start creating more, and the next sewing project on the books is a small-but-easy one – a sparkly silver petticoat for a Christmas outfit!