November 30, 2016 7:04 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 12

lg_12

Even more of a focus on positivity and healing with this week’s comic, with a focus on the importance to me for meditation, and balance. As we are moving into the holiday season it seems appropriate to take a short hiatus from my weekly web comic for the month of December. Not simply for content reasons, but work also is booming. As well I need a bit of time to consider my plans moving forward for my own comics projects in 2017.

Meditation for me has been a practice I have used on and off through most of my life. When I was younger I participated in spiritual classes intended for those under the age of 13. Over the years the practice would slip, in and out of use. I often found it difficult to find the time, the focus. But as recently my life has become much more balanced and scheduled it became easier to include it as part of my day. The regular practice of meditation, of balancing and clearing helps creating a safe space to explore the darker places of myself to gain a better understanding of the root of the negative emotions I have been experiencing.

I feel unlike some that may actually have chemical imbalances or mental illness related to brain abnormalities, my issues are rooted in past traumatic incidents. Part of healing these issues will be coming to terms with these incidents and  as part of my healing process, include them in this comic. But these realizations are still rather fresh and tender. As well as how exactly to present them as a conclusion to this comic, is currently eluding me. Up to this point this has been an almost running train of thought, now I want to consider a final structure to wrap up this piece.

Aside from how to complete on fire for anxiety, I feel my time does need to focus back on some of my larger projects such as Proxy, and The Twisted Tale of the Tortured Raven. I do have several different books going at once, though not an ideal set up it works well for me to have many things to move between as outlets of expression. I also plan to do a restructuring to the Patreon, as I have had some small interest in going in a different direction with it and I need to at least to simplify some of the options available to make it much easier to pledge.

For the most part aside from a lot of painful emotional realizations personally, and a world seeming to be going crazy outside my door, 2016 was a solid year for me with my artistic goals. I’m grateful I’ve had the projects to lose myself in, and look forward to some new ones I’m starting now. I’m glad this year had much more comic illustration. I do look forward to taking a break over Christmas though I barely saw summer this year and need a bit of time to creatively recharge.

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

 

Share on Tumblr Link

November 23, 2016 9:21 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 11

lg_11

This week I actually wanting to give more thought to my process of healing. I’ve been doing a lot of personal soul-searching and a lot of research online in regards to anxiety, depression and anything that may give me help and insight into what has been effecting me recently and various methods of therapy available. I have taken a break from Facebook, something that was suggested could aggravate the things I’ve been feeling. Like a puzzle that has confounded me I am determined to work towards a solution.

In doing this I am having to look at things I haven’t in years, tracing back the roots of my negative behavior to generally a single moment where that pattern took root. Much of it is too much to share here yet in its entirety, as I am only starting to scratch the surface of the “hows” and “whys”. Yet there is much that is becoming more clear and though the path is long and will be painful, I see that it is a path to healing through acceptance and forgiveness of myself and others.

Short and sweet, just a bit overwhelmed this week. 😉

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

November 16, 2016 8:41 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 10

lg_10

This week’s comic addresses the rather darker aspect of self-mutilation, I bounced back and forth if I should include this panel. Though I have been free from it for years my skin itself speaks the truth of what a prevalent part of my life it once was, so I finally decided I needed to include it.

It’s strange so many years later to have found a better understanding as to why this was so effective and addictive for me. If the anxiety that, I’m coming to realize, seems to have always been a part of my life is a result of an overactive, and unnecessary fight or flight response. The calming effect of causing damage was undeniable, with the release of endorphins the flame brain would finally calm, and I would experience a kind of peace and relaxation that was and still is rare for me to know.

But my arms would end up just covered with cuts, which for the most part I wouldn’t hide. It became too much, I knew it wasn’t a solution, it was just dysfunctional. I broke the pattern so long ago but still it was like any other addiction, you have to be firm with the decision, understand that you may relapse, but keep pushing forward with your goal.

I still struggle with many of my feelings every day, using this comic and blog to help me better understand myself, where these feelings are coming from and how to heal these parts of myself. I’m hope that making these public may mean that maybe my experience can help someone else too. Even if it’s just to let them know they are not alone.

Many resources are available, I started by speaking with my doctor, and found I had many options from group therapy to one on one counseling. The first step is to reach out and tell someone to talk about how you feel, and to ask for help.

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

November 9, 2016 9:19 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 9
lg_9
With the completion of NPC I’m back to work on my own weekly web comic. I missed it, I definitely find it cathartic, and I’ve had some challenges facing my very chaotic emotions recently. But it is a bit like trying to pick up a train of thought again, I kind of forgot where I was going. Especially, as it seems surprisingly appropriate after the presidential election yesterday! This week’s comic focuses on the final stage of an attack for me. Tears, that extinguishes the flames. Though I am often left feeling burnt out depressed and often extremely guilty. The high intensity burn of the anxiety finally subsides. But for how long.

Crying though often seen as something bad to be stopped or avoided, I’ve always tried to view as a necessary release. It surprised me when I considered how often I use crying as a positive release is to aid my normal functionality, many mornings as I begin warming up for my days illustrating I play music I can sing to. Often I become moved to tears over the expression of a sad song and I cry a bit. I feel all good art stems from emotion, and it’s good to stir things up. I also found that release in the morning even if I had nothing in particular to cry brought about my calmer, more inspired more productive days. So maybe for me expression through the tears, through expression through singing really does help quench my flame brain.

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

September 21, 2016 7:26 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 8

lg_8

This week I look at how I “break down” when the strain of the anxiety becomes too much. Unlike the typical panic attack, my breakdowns often involve a blind rage that can cause me to lash out unexpectedly all around me!  I may yell at nothing or verbally attack and blame others. I may become more physical, stomping and banging on things, or throwing things, possibly breaking them. At my worst when I was young I would self mutilate. A topic I hope to explore further in these comics.

But for the moment I have to take a short hiatus from doing my weekly Wednesday web comic, as I have been hired to do another web comic that releases on Tuesdays and Fridays, I’m super excited about it. So stay aware, I will be sharing links!

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

September 14, 2016 8:23 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 7

lg_7

In this week’s comic, I wanted a look at how my anxiety manifests on the surface for me, especially as I don’t tend to suffer from the same sort of outward panic attacks that seem to be the norm for those with anxiety on average. I never really understood these feelings were anxiety until recently, and through all my younger years I never wanted them to show outwardly for what it truly was, panic! As I felt it made me weak, so my expression of my anxiousness became much more overt and aggressive, I think to compensate.

I’d lose focus on anything else other what was causing my anxiety, I’d become more irritable, and short tempered. Slowly becoming more vocal about my irritation, I could lash out at those only trying to help. All this would mount in a completely different kind of “attack” that I want to explore in depth next week.

Now I simply want to make a progress note. With Fan Expo now passed, I mark another convention I didn’t have crippling anxiety attacks after the show. I had some smaller ones during the first night of the show, but nothing as usual. This despite there being some significant emotional ups and downs during the show that would normally trigger massive rethinking and panic.

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

September 7, 2016 9:23 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 6

lg_6

Just going to keep it short and sweet this week, as this one I feel is self explanatory.  Unfortunately though I do feel the root of a good portion of this anxiety is directly rooted to some very negative feedback I received regularly about my appearance from a family member when I was younger, and really most of my life. Some of these are direct quotes. Aside from my personal reasons I think we all in some way fear the judgments of others, and should remember to try to be more accepting.

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

August 31, 2016 7:09 pm - On fire for anxiety 5

lg_5

I actually pushed a different unfinished comic through this week, feeling covering this specific idea right as Fan Expo is coming up would be ideal. As this comic represents how most cons go for me, cool as a cucumber on the outside, flaming wreck on the inside, and I’m sure many others are the same!

With me specifically I actually find that my anxiety always kicks in worst after the convention, to the point where I usually have full on panic attacks as part of recovering from a con. I tend to over analyze things that happen. I find its especially bad for me when I get to interact with so many people, many of them artists, some of which I look up to. Having so much going on at once leaves you open for many more wonderful moments, but also for more of those moments where you feel like an idiot.

I have found it to be getting better; Toronto Comicon 2016 was the first convention where the panic didn’t happen. Though I have done a smaller con since where it happened again. Over all I am working on mediating my interactions at cons, as I know a lot of the anxiety comes from an overload of social interaction. I make sure to take some time away from the crowds alone where and when I can. Or find small moments to myself using headphones and music to cancel out some of what is going on around me (especially when setting up).

I hope this this little comic is just a bit of comfort, we are not alone. Whether you hide your panic or wear it on your sleeve, we have all been there and understand. Find me with Jaded Dragon Studio at Table A382.

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

August 17, 2016 10:08 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 4

This week’s comic dealt with what I discovered to be an entirely irrational fear of the Internet. It started when I first started using the internet a lot when I got my first computer. This was much later than many others as my dad had an aversion to them at first. Most kids had a computer in the house through most of their high school lives; we got our first when one was given to us as a perk through one of our installation renovation jobs when I was twenty. My main interest in computers was for my art, I had used really early versions of Photoshop in school and knew it would be a benefit for me to try and learn to use the program, especially as I hadn’t really found a colour medium that worked for me.

Of course with the discovery of my new computer came the Internet, unfortunately I missed the glory days of “all your base are belong to us.” and entered as the Internet was fast becoming “the new media” and a viable source of revenue. It was the dawn of what we now call social media, with a variety of websites providing a virtual space for people to share of themselves with the world…sometimes truths, sometimes fiction, mostly anonymous. Myspace, Live Journal, Deviant Art were some of the most popular. Being that I was an artist I only ended up joining Deviant Art, because an odd obstacle would be there to challenge me.

Where even something as simple as signing up for a website causes me unnatural and irrational amounts of anxiety. To the point where I would start to sign up for a website and stop several times, because the fear was so overwhelming.  Even with the sites I managed to make accounts for, just having and interacting with the account would cause me a variety of anxieties as well. Before and after posting irrational doubts or concerns would occupy my mind. But if I didn’t post frequently enough I would get anxious I wasn’t posting enough. I’d stew over the time I felt I maybe wasted interacting with these strangers online, but would also feel guilty if I didn’t reciprocate. Fears my work and ideas would be stolen, just an irrational fear of the Internet having record of something as intimate to me as my art. It just got to the point where even just using a DA account became unbearable, but at that point it was easy to just stop using it.

For a few years I danced and avoided the social media revolution, with friends pestering me to join Facebook.  Finally I did, just before I started school at Max the Mutt. It became most apparent that social media promotions were going to be vital to my future career when signing up for a variety of social media sites and creating a portfolio was assigned as homework, but that prospect meant using more of these sites at one time. At this point in time I had not yet come to understand or accept this part of my anxiety.

It was only after a few years of using it unaware of the effect it had on me emotionally, that I started to realize what was going on. The ebb and flow of my emotions became directly affected by my social media posting. Didn’t really matter what was going on in the real world, a post that didn’t get the attention I felt it deserved could ruin my day, and even the positive returns were diminishing. Someone unfollowing an account of mine could make me really sad, especially if it could be linked to a specific post, what about it made them want to stop seeing my work? It would consume me, unnecessarily. Seeing highlights from others’ lives would make me question my own happiness. Those people are happy traveling, should I want to travel? Those people are happy with their work, is my work really fulfilling enough? When really I never wanted much, and I have all I dreamed of and more. It got to the point I needed to consciously disconnect from the unhealthy emotional attachment I formed with social media.

I still experience some anxiety over posting online, this comic today was a particularly tough one, but because of my practiced detachment now, I try to put it out, and once it’s out let it go. It is no longer mine to control others reactions will be what they are. No longer will I let it control my happiness, or self-worth.

lg_4

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link

August 10, 2016 10:42 pm - On Fire for Anxiety 3

This week’s anxiety comic came as I started to better understand where this new intensity of anxiousness was rooted. Inevitably linked to the inherent instability of my new “dream career”. I feel artists are inherently hard themselves and their own work, never feeling its quite up to snuff. Mostly this drives us to do what we do. To always draw and improve, but when those feelings become a block that stop us all together, it may be time to let some of that go. Many of my early jobs also rooted a fear of being screwed over, because basically that’s what happened with most of my early jobs. People making promises and never paying. Instead of letting it overwhelm me and giving up. I got wise, I begain creating business policies to protect myself, and the clients still came, now more reliable ones.  Still I can never know what’s coming, so I try my best to be accepting of that and to be grateful for the opportunities I have been presented. lg_3

If you would like to support my work you can do so at http://www.patreon.com/beccatr

Share on Tumblr Link