I give up

I can’t do this anymore. I’m exhausted all the time. I’m in pain all the time. I’m lucky when it’s only mild pain. More often it’s severe pain. I’m sometimes happy, but I always return to being depressed. But what’s really doing me in is my increasing inability to concentrate. I just can’t do it.

I’ve known for years that I had depression, anxiety, migraine, asthma, and anemia. When I was diagnosed last year with fibromyalgia, it made perfect sense. I’m pretty sure I’ve had it since childhood.

But I’ve realized in the last few years that I’m also autistic and have ADHD.

When I was a kid, they didn’t think girls could even be autistic or have ADHD. (Yeah, that’s what happens when you list only the symptoms of boys who have it and say “these are the criteria.” Kind of like when they write cardiology textbooks and only describe heart attacks in men, and then a woman goes to the hospital having a heart attack and they say, “You’re not having the textbook symptoms of a heart attack, therefore you’re not having one. Go home,” and she goes home and she dies.)

I’m realizing now how much autism and ADHD have affected my inability to make a living. I have tried. I have really, really tried. But there are so many things one needs to do to make a business really work that my brain just cannot do.

And getting a job somewhere is just something I don’t have the energy to do anymore. I get really tired. And executive dysfunction and inability to concentrate are big problems in pretty much any job.

I’m in the beginning stages of applying for disability.

I am not going to be making jewelry anymore. I just can’t do it anymore. I started selling off some of my beads in another etsy shop I opened a few weeks ago, TreetownBeads.etsy.com (yeah, I forgot to tell you about that. Told you my brain wasn’t working). I’ve been adding things pretty slowly (because I have no energy), so let me know if there’s something you’re looking for.

I took down the listings for custom spinning. Realistically, I am not going to have the energy to deal with carding someone’s fiber, so yeah…no. And I am not going to take any custom orders for jewelry. I still have a few pieces of jewelry that came back from a gallery that I haven’t had the energy to photograph and list yet (are you seeing a pattern here?), but I will not be making any new pieces. If you want to buy any of my jewelry, ever, well, it’s now or never.

I still have a ton of my mom’s jewelry to list. I think I’m going to start putting some things up in lots rather than individual items. When I have the energy.

I needed a fresh start

After Rob left in the beginning of May, I sank into a deep depression. I was unable to create anything, or even function much at all, for months. His leaving did not cause my depression–I have been clinically depressed since childhood–but it triggered a major depressive episode.

I thought after a few months I would feel better, but when I didn’t, I saw my doctor, who gave me a psych referral. Now that I have my meds adjusted I feel like a human being again. I can function. I can create.

I can think, and that means it’s time for me to think about my future and what I want it to be like, and how I’m going to get there.

In the year since I started my jewelry business, sales have been disappointing low. Rob and I were planning on starting an Airbnb and having an income from that. Cross that off the list.

I toyed with the idea of getting a “real job,” but depression is only one of my several chronic conditions. I don’t really have the physical or emotional stamina to go work somewhere else, so working at home is really best for me. So I need to make that work.

I thought about why my jewelry sales are low.

First, I think simply not enough people are seeing my work. I’ve had my work on Squarespace, and I don’t think their SEO is very good. I’m slowly moving items into my new Etsy shop, and I’ll be putting all new items there.

Second, I think my work is too expensive for some people. I can’t lower the prices on my existing work–it has to cost that much. But I realized I can design some pieces that take less time for me to make, and those will cost less. Look for those pieces soon. For the first time since May, I’m actually making jewelry again.

I’m also selling my handspun yarn again. Why would I sell handspun yarn again after closing Happy Fuzzy Yarn because I was going deeper and deeper into debt with every passing day?

Well, when I had HFY, I sold eight different bases of combed top and seven bases of hand dyed yarn. To order any one of the bases cost hundreds of dollars, and I had to have them all in stock to dye wholesale orders. Because I was selling wholesale, my retail prices were a lot higher than a lot of my competitors’ prices, and I had to have employees to help me with the huge workload.

I had huge expenses, and there was never enough income to have a decent cash flow.

This time, I’m not doing any of that. No wholesale, no employees, no hand dyed yarn or top. Just handspun yarn. I’m keeping it simple.

I’m adding custom spinning because hey, I like spinning. If someone will pay me to spin, I’ll be really happy.

I’m going to be adding proofreading too eventually, but that will be in a different part of this site. I’ll link to it though.

So, will I make enough money to survive? That’s the great question, isn’t it? I’m very frugal. I just got approved for food assistance, and I’m already on Medicaid. Can I bring in enough money to keep afloat, or will I die penniless and alone, living under a bridge?