Wednesday, 30 November 2016

On Fire for Anxiety 7

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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



On Fire for Anxiety 7

On Fire for Anxiety 6

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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



On Fire for Anxiety 6

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

On fire for anxiety 5

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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



On fire for anxiety 5

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.


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



On Fire for Anxiety 4

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



On Fire for Anxiety 3

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

On Fire for Anxiety 2

This week’s anxiety comic focused on the insomnia aspect. I have always had bouts of insomnia, but with the anxiety it was different. More than just not being able to fall asleep because I could not stop thinking. It was as if a light, the flame brain, was immediately turned on, just as I was on the brink of falling asleep, (or more usual now, early in the morning) my body would literally jerk fully awake, and sometimes it makes me say or shout things involuntarily, always negative. My body would vibrate and tense up as the flame burned, sleep at that point was usually impossible, and it was often better to get up and be productive. At least it gave me one benefit that I am now a morning person, something I’ve never really been before.


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On Fire for Anxiety 2

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

On Fire for Anxiety

Well, I am going to have to make a slight change to my game plan with my weekly web comic. This is mostly because I have had a lot of work coming in recently, with my recent move, (which didn’t go as smooth as may have liked, still living out of boxes) very little interest in my Patreon and a few other emotionally taxing things going on in my life. I haven’t had the appropriate time and energy to push through writing the dialog for Bolts.  Bolts being one of my oldest and most treasured stories, I want to make sure the writing gets the attention it deserves. So I won’t be running it right away anymore.


Of course so many years of neglecting to post my comic work has left me with at least 5 weeks of a small single panel comic to fill in with for the moment. It may even help to explain, in part, why there is so much I’ve never shown online. These mini comics were done more recently as an exercise for myself when I started going to counseling, for a prolonged state of depression and anxiety last summer. Depression and me have always been familiar bedfellows, I understand it’s as part of my emotional process, how to analyze its nuances, and move through it. This anxiety was something new and foreign that only happened to present itself more recently. It made me very uncomfortable, nothing like the almost familiar comfort depression had.


This forced me to explore these feelings extensively, to try and find the root of these irrational fears that had taken so much hold on my life, and try to find a way, if not to try and defuse it but at least mediate the feelings. I’m honestly not sure if it was the counseling, and it’s cognitive behavioral therapy, that was the aid or another option that became available, but I have had a marked improvement since then. I share the comics now, hoping they provide a little insight or comfort to others.


This week: Intro to flame brain


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This was just basic visual representation to how exactly the anxiety made me feel. I felt as though my head was burning and the longer and hotter it burned the more chance my head would have to explode! Sometimes I wished it would explode for real, as if that would release the pressure.



On Fire for Anxiety