Of Lice and Licenses and the Big Bad Week

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my stressed kitty doodle

What this blog post should really be called is how a good week went bad, then good again, and then back to bad because this was one heck of a roller coaster of a week.

Sometimes it feels like my anxiety just pulls me in all sorts of directions, especially into the overzealous we-have-to-fix-this-right-now-or-life-itself-will-end mode. That’s just the life of living with PTSD I guess, the instant and unavoidable panic that everything is falling apart. If you also have PTSD, you know just how annoying it is for this to happen. I mean, yes, it’s terrifying and everything feels like death, but once it’s over… I tell myself “oh great, now we have to pick up the pieces from this too.”

I was so excited to start this week. I officially got my business license, I was working on some admin type stuff that I had been putting off for the business, got that done. Worked on a few paintings. Things were going so good, and then they suddenly were not.

It really all started at one of those walk-in hair cut places. Simple enough: kid has a half day at school, use the extra time to take care of child’s needs. And then you end up with a hairdresser telling you to get out right now because your kid has lice. That’s about when the oh, here we go again kicks in. The frantic calls to my mom and husband, the putting every cloth item into garbage bags, the deep cleaning of everything, the big to-do list of how to solve yet another scary problem. Everything chaos and disorder, as if the prospect of a child having lice isn’t enough.

The doctor confirmed, after first refusing to see her for fear of contamination, that she did not, in fact, have lice. It was dandruff and old hair spray, and all of our stuff was in garbage bags.

Despite all of this, I have my business. My child is healthy. My home is slowly returning to normal.

But more importantly, I advocated for myself and my daughter (eventually) in insisting that she did not have lice. I refused to put my child through treatment she did not need, at least not until we had an official diagnosis. I persisted even though her pediatrician’s office didn’t want her to come in to have her checked. I stood up for my family, which I think last year I would have never done. I would have rolled over and cried, upset that no one was listening to me, and cried for fear that I couldn’t even trust my own experience to be true.

I’m glad to see more and more how quickly the pieces fit back together; I’ve gotten really good at picking myself back up again.

New Year, New Brain

new studio photo

I always find myself way in over my head and with a to-do list that’s longer than a CVS receipt. It has been 3 years since I’ve attempted at starting my own business, even longer if you count the Etsy shop I briefly opened up in college. Overzealous, fickle, and impatient would be the words I’d use to describe myself throughout this process. There are two things, however, that have remained consistent through my journey starting a business. One is that I am dedicated to writing. The other is my art, which started out as a fun hobby and turned into illustration and painting.

I’m not very good at staying on track of things. I get caught up in a daily hurricane of thoughts and ideas, and usually my inspiration shifts as quickly as it started. I’m a woman of many muses who all demand my attention.

So you can’t imagine how happy I was that my parents offered their spare bedroom for me to use as a studio space. This room… I can come in here and not think about dishes or laundry or the end of the world or whatever random thought has pulled me away from my focus for hours. My brain is always swirling, and here I have a somewhat empty room. Somewhere where I can place my mind-garbage outside the door and work. Knowing myself, this could or could not last very long, this motivation, so I’ll use it while I can.

I think you know what I’m getting at here. I’ve talked a lot about mental illness, on here, Instagram, or just if you happen to talk to me (which is rare because I don’t talk to many people). I’ve talked about PTSD and panic attacks and nightmares. I’ve talked about depression and misdiagnosis. I’ve talked about my sleep, or inability to.

Just like my to-do list, I come with a litany of ailments that seems to always grow longer, shifting as my mind does back and forth. Sometimes the diagnoses only fit partially, others are pretty accurate. So, when I went to therapy recently, it was a little out of nowhere but yet unsurprising to hear that my therapist diagnosed me with ADHD. A former therapist once suggested that as well, but I forgot about it, as usual. My mother recently joked that I got all the loose change of the family DNA, all the leftovers; I think she might be right.

So, I’m happy to have more answers, to have more of a “normal” life with some future adjustments, and I’m happy to have a space that lets me clear this busy head. At least for now.