Category Archives: ADHD

Eleven Days After Qutting Smoking and how I tricked my brain to stay smoke free

Artist Jessica Doyle goes crazy while quitting smoking

Somewhere in between determination, heart palpitations, lethargy and giddiness I stopped smoking cigarettes eleven days ago. Oddly enough I feel more level headed than I’ve felt in a long time, albeit a sleepy time.

I slept 16 hours per day during the first three days of the quit and sporadically puffed on a Nicorette Inhaler and on a nicotine-free electronic cigarette. I also thought about bookmarking a national directory of treatment centers on my browser in case I needed further help quitting.

The constant dizziness from quitting didn’t subside until day four and it’s still lingering today. And I can’t beleive the manufacturers of the Nicorette inhaler want you to use 12 cartridges per day! I’ve been using one per day since my quit and puffing on an electronic cigarette five to six times per day. And now, eleven days in, I’m weaning off both the Nicorette and the e-cig.

I’m not really sure what prompted me to stop smoking on November 19th, and can’t really say why I feel good or how come I haven’t gone crazy or regressed back into smoking again. I guess when the time is right you just do it and say frack off to everyone and everything else that gets in your way of completing the task at hand.

There are numerous reasons this quit is sticking…

Continue reading

I wish this paper held more meaning or why income tax should be abolished

self employed canadian income tax preparation

Last night I began the task of sorting all my papers from 2010 into piles.

There are shipping cost piles, art supply piles, utility bill piles, packaging supply piles, energy pile, gas pile, two insurance piles, an oil pile, cleaning supply pile, mortgage pile, car cost pile, an office supply pile, printing supply pile, sale piles, room rental receipts, local sales piles, an advertising pile, a personal pile and these piles don’t include the copious amounts of online presence, fees, hosting costs, contracts or sales on the web piles.

Needless to say, I’m overwhelmed with the paperwork from operating two businesses and at a point where I feel like writing to the Government of Canada OMG wait… it’s now the damn Harper Government and demanding that poor people shouldn’t have to provide proof of income in fact no one living in Canada should have to provide proof of income. If they want to know how much money someone earned then they can come and do all the paperwork for me as I can barely afford to buy food right now let alone take time away from working to prepare my tax return.

Have you ever seen that New Brunswick social services commercial where the lady has to choose between eating a can of food or paying her rent? I’m in that situation and it has nothing to do with overspending, not budgeting enough for this or that, not working hard enough or making bad decisions with my money. It has everything to do with getting sick at an inopportune time, renting to an idiot last fall and not qualifying for health insurance, one bad art sale where I earned one third of what I earned the year’s previous sale, being single with no children in Canada combined with dramatic increases in the cost of food, home insurance and high rises in the general cost of living over the last two years.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. I earn barely enough to survive. And right now, I’ve gone through all my pennies. I need to laugh. Haha! It’s not all doom and gloom.

People who are employed and receive a T4 from an employer and who complain about taxes have it easy at income tax time. I’m not saying paying taxes are easy… all I’m saying is that you do not have the tremendous amount of paper work that someone who is self employed has. Please don’t ever complain about having to prepare your simple income tax forms. I know the difference as I used to work for somebody else too.

Self employed people in Canada have it the roughest. Self employed poor people have it even rougher. I have the same amount of income tax paperwork to do as someone who runs a large company.

And I’m not angry at anyone. I made these life and career choices. Really, I’m trying to find the positive in this. I’m trying to find the courage to overcome this. I even thought about getting a job, any job, and seriously looked for one in January and February but it’s not enough money to even make a difference so I worked very hard and got one room rented to a nice man and have another room rented for next month to someone who lived here last year. and each of those men will be here through to the Fall of the year. Those two room rentals pay me what I’d earn working at a part-time job. And room rental is a part-time job. I can’t count how many people say I’m lucky having the rental income… where is the luck in this? I work at it and clean those rooms and give up my privacy in exchange for money.

On the other hand, I get to have wonderful people to share my home with which is socialization that I so desperately need. It keeps me happy and keeps me going and in a weekly cleaning routine. I’m generally happier with people living in my home. And that in turn allows me to think more clearly and do the (tax) things that under Canadian law I must do.

I also know the bad times don’t last forever and that there is always a silver lining or upside to the downside. I have never asked for nor applied for a government handout, I’ve never applied to help pay for my health-care costs or housing. Maybe I’m too proud or maybe I’m just stubborn. I miss having the safety net of Employment Insurance and even though they’ve opened up to allow self employed people into the EI program… it won’t work for me as the income I earn from room rental will cancel out any benefit that I’d receive when underemployed, sick or pregnant. My life is a catch 22.

I do beleive things are changing though as my health improves ever so slowly. I hadn’t realized how bad I actually was until five or six weeks into taking Synthoid did my body and mind go “This is what I’m supposed to feel like and how did I even manage before?”.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get the latest round of blood test results. Sadly, I’m feeling as low as I did in early January, meaning I’ve likely plateaued on the Synthroid and need the dose increased.

Anyhow, this is what I’ve been up against over the last five months. And everyday I’m grateful for family and friends both on and offline who provide the positive energy I need to keep going and finally rise above and overcome this mess. Thank you, all, for that.

And keep in mind that income tax was only created as a temporary measure to pay for the wars and now that war continues against the disappearing middle classes and poorer classes in Canada.

And it makes me laugh because even Missy the cat is shaking her head in disgust sitting on the paperwork. 😉

I don’t know how it happened…

…and I don’t know if I like it…

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where what you knew for over 20 years; two decades folks have rapidly evolved into another routine… one that wakes and puts you to sleep at different hours than that which you were accustomed to both physically and mentally?

Creatively, is it zapping, draining and most nauseating.

Productively, it is good, yet subliminally I feel as though there is something missing.

This is what a change of season feels like to someone with ADHD. It is foreign, intriguing and almost unbearable to a most exciting degree, albeit most familiar and strange yet illuminating.

I mourn the loss of my late night routines. 2010 marked a year of major inner change and that change for me was adjusting to a daytime schedule that I didn’t ask for. It just happened. It. really. did.

I deliberately don’t tell many people that I’m on a day schedule so that I have my mornings, uninterrupted and all to myself.

…so don’t tell anyone…

PS – January, February and March of 2011 are looking to be most sublime by the current forecasts. And to help keep track of the days of week and months of the year in 2011, calendars are listed in my Etsy Shop and soon to be listed on my own domain.

The thoughts in my head are culminating into a divergent rant about ADHD, relationships and e-commerce

lilac tree sunset saint john nb canada

I have not been able to write lately. In actuality, the thoughts in my head are so hurried and are far outpacing my ability to even jot them down in a coherent manner for you to read most days. So, that leaves me with drawing, gardening and working on my top secret e-commerce site.

I’m having trouble following directions, understanding them and thus implementing them.

I’ve got about 25 (maybe 2,500) major projects on the go all at once and until they are done my finances slowly slip and slide and miraculously carry me through. I’m not in debt and refuse to go into debt or even to use credit cards. My bills are all paid. I don’t know how I do it sometimes, but I do.

Family and friends and people I don’t know are coming at me from all directions and truth be told I’m close to screaming. Add to that mix, a third break up since January and I’m really through with dating all together. I just can’t bring myself to continue dating someone when we are not physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually compatible and most importantly in love. And I’m fully aware that not everything will be perfect, but I do believe in love at first site and I do believe in getting my major needs met when in a relationship. And I know that if I’m not happy I’ll go looking elsewhere. And that, is hard to admit. Continue reading

Wild ride and come down

Everyone gets days and sometimes weeks where everything is thrown around and life literally becomes a never ending roller coaster ride… This is one of those times unedited and without links…

The roller-coaster began last week with an Etsy convo that I sent to MaryMary about a video and then a phone call that my boyfriend’s father was in the hospital. I’ve never met his family. We’ve only been together for one month but it feels like four months. Continue reading

Three personal blog reader emails to share with you

Just over four years have passed since I first began blogging on March 6th, 2006. In essence I have a Bachelor of Blogging. And people are writing to me with their stories, gratitude and sometimes just to say hi.

I thought I’d share a few emails with you that I’ve received over the last few weeks from readers of this blog. They have been reproduced with permission and names changed if requested. All moved me in their own way and even brought me to tears… This is why I blog. This is what inspires me. Continue reading

Absinthe 99 or playing with the green fairy that was 2004

In 2004 during an intensive year of college in British Columbia we were asked to illustrate a poster in an older illustrative style with hand drawn letters. Absinthe 99 is the result of that assignment.

That year of college was one of the most brutal and rewarding times of my life. I had applied and was later accepted into an advanced multi media program at Langara College. I took 21 courses in one 12 month period including advanced typography, history of design and colour theory. By the end of that year I was addicted to GHB (sedatives). Add to that, my boyfriend was manic, and suffering through immense panic attacks and depressive episodes and unable to work, let alone feed himself until later that same year… it was all I could do to cope with the situation I found myself in. If anything, the strict regimen of college that year heightened and brought to the surface my inward disorder with the world around me. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and a few underlying learning disabilities.

I believe all those people who succumb to addiction have their reasons and people it really does not happen overnight. It begins innocently enough when one can’t get out of a predicament and that predicament then folds in on itself evolving into a monster! And truth be told I’ve never drank absinthe… someday maybe… I also hold the belief that once an addict you are not always going to be an addict. I do believe to get better you must live a more holistic lifestyle. And for some, that does mean remaining sober indefinitely. Addiction is simply a way of showing us there is a problem that needs to be dealt with or you will die.

Maybe, it’s the reading of 2012 by Daniel Pinchbeck that is reawakening those memories and you know what? I’m glad because now they seem fresh and perhaps today I can make sense of them as my mind is clear, and life is good. For too long I discounted those experiences as trivial and felt bad that I had traveled into the depths of my soul using substances (other than sedatives) to enlighten and open up channels that did exist in reality when I was a child. And I sometimes think, that Attention Deficit Disorder is a result of those perceptions being systematically taught out of us by society.

This year, as I settle into my home I’m finding memories are surfacing of those years; many good and some pretty awful ones to. I’m simply accepting them for what they are and digging out the artwork that was created during that time, for in it holds the key to moving on, letting go and growing once more.

I created 11 by 14 inch prints of this illustration and they are available on HangsaLittleLeft… my darker art shop… muahahahahaha!

The Physical Withdrawal VS the Mental Withdrawal

There are no words to describe how I’m feeling these last few days. The physical withdrawal from nicotine was easy. The mental withdrawal is not so easy.

I’m feeling drawn to use substitutes and am not eating enough. Oddly when most people quit smoking they begin eating more. I’m the opposite. I try to control something, e.v.e.r.y.thing…

The first few days I had this low grade anxiety which was tolerable. It’s turned into a massive tight chested fight for my dignity. My concentration is nil. Nada! I really don’t know where to turn. My ADD is rearing it’s ugly head badly and I’m depressed and anxious and tired of reading that it will pass and to do something else instead. I’m sleeping more than I’m awake right now.

And I never did seek treatment after being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This diagnosis was the final one as the GAD, PTSD, Addiction and OCD are all but symptoms of ADD in adult women. How’s that for a mouthful. And most of us aren’t diagnosed until our mid-thirties.

I have an appointment to see a councilor (not free) on Friday and I’m going to make an appointment with my family doc (free) and call West (not free) to get my medical files sent (not free) here.

And really, this struggle is ongoing for me. Most days are good but the last few months have been hard. And yes, I did buy a house but it’s a rent to own agreement. I’m not rich folks… my income is small. I just go without and I don’t know anymore what the reason is that I quit smoking. I regret it because it’s turned all the little molehills into mountains within my mind.

I’ve re-read that book “Easy Way to Quit Smoking” 5 times? It is super easy to quit but not for someone with Mental Health issues.

I feel like my brain is missing it’s jolt. ZAPP… now you can concentrate for an hour uninterrupted. Go be a productive human being Ms. Jessica Doyle.

I must be one of the few people who actually loves to smoke. Frack!