In case it was not obvious by the amount of inventory I have in my shop, I work on my business all of the time! I love it. I think that soon I will need to start setting myself some days off, but right now my brain does not let me stop working and thinking about my business any time that I do stop to take some time off. And now that I am moving into my new home here at Simplyraevyn.com, this fact is even more so. But instead of making new inventory, I work work work on getting my current inventory listed instead of making new inventory. Believe it or not I still have a great deal more to list.
My husband has been excellent and patient enough to allow me to build this business at home and use our money to purchase supplies and whatever else is needed. I can’t work and instead of wasting away on disability, this is where all of my effort goes. The reason I can’t work is for both physical and mental reasons. I have serious problems with my knees and my back. But I think what really disables me are my mental disorders, Bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have also been diagnosed with PTSD. The “fun” things that come along with these to diagnoses such as my times of depressesion and the anxiety problems do not, of course, make my pain any better. In fact they exacerbate the pain. But my mental problems are disabling in themselves. For example over the years I have become more and more agoraphobic to the point where these days I rarely leave the house more than once a month. I had a doctor’s appointment today, and I freaked out about it all week. The day after tomorrow we have to go to Amarillo for another appointment, and honestly I am trying not to think about that at all! I hate these feelings that I get. I was very independent as a teenager. My best friend and I were basically never at home. Now I live in a completely different place in the Country, and I am unable to get out there and do all of the things there are to be done here. However, in the past few years I have found a very good psychiatrist. I am finally on (and taking regularly) a medicine cocktail that should help me. I am finally sleeping at night, which is a really big deal. I am really hoping that soon I will be getting out more. This craft season I have hardly done any shows. I have a few scheduled, but they don’t start until the end of August. My goal is that starting next spring, I will make craft fairs and shows a full time part of my business. I make a lot of sales at them, I think there is a big difference between seeing my work online and holding it in your hands. So this winter, after I have some surgery I will be working on behavioral therapy. Going to stores and making myself go in, if only just for a minute, and other activities around Lubbock. I actually do feel safer at shows than I do at stores. I think it is because talking to customers about my jewelry gives me a barrier, a safe zone. Do any other agoraphobics out there have any similar experiences?
I was diagnosed with having OCD and PTSD at the age of 21. I had no idea that having OCD could refer to intrusive as well as ritualistic thoughts. I thought that since I was so cluttered, I could not have OCD. I literally told the psychiatrist, “But I never clean!”. After laughing, he realized I was serious and explained to me what OCD really was. I can say that now that I know what it is and how it has affected me, the cute explanation that everyone has adopted on the internet downright pisses me off. The memes that allude to someone having OCD because they do the dishes are infuriating! OCD is a disease and I am sure that there are a lot out there suffering because they do not know what it really is. It can be disabling. I actually found an amazing book that really helped me learn about OCD. It is called Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder . It was very eye opening.
I will confess…when I was first diagnosed as bipolar I walked out of my Psychiatrist smiling! That’s right, a big ole smile on my face. I was 27 and all my life I was afraid I was just - well excuse my language – an asshole! My teen years seemed rockier than those around me. I had a temper that quickly turned to rage and I was totally unable to control it. And by rage I mean going as far as to punch brick walls to the point that I actually needed surgery on my hand because of the damage I had done to it. I also sabotaged my relationships and had turned from being mommy’s best friend to someone that didn’t come home anymore and only spoke to her mother only in the bitterest of tones. I know some of this sounds like normal teenage behavior…but just imagine it amplified! Looking back now being an unmedicated bipolar makes so much sense. An incident also occurred when I was 19 that I do not have clear memory of now that I realize I probably should have been hospitalized at that time. Sadly it is an incident that has shaped a lot of my older life. But I can’t go back, and now with the proper meds and support, I can go forward!
I hope this entry does not come as a “poor me” or “look at me” type of reading. I far from pity myself, and I never encourage people to look at me ;) Since I have learned about my “issues”, I have tried to talk about them to people. I had no idea I was “sick”. I felt alone and angry, even though I had a fantastic family and a best friend that would move the world for me. So now I try to reach out to people by being extremely opened about my mental diseases. If you have stories, please feel free to share them in the comments J