Mental illness is heavy.

I don’t think I see many people talking about how very heavy mental illness can feel. I’ve got a laundry list of mental illnesses, some I talk about, and some only my closest friends know about.

When something happens, a trigger… or a panic attack or something that sends you into a depressive spiral, the combined weight of your mental illnesses can feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Even when you’re medicated and in therapy.

It can glue you to your bed even when you’ve got shit to do.

It’s truly awful.

I’m not in bed, I’m sitting in my garden, so yay me, I got that far. Everything else I’d hoped to accomplish today is probably not going to get done. Which makes me feel just wonderful about myself.

This is all before you add in the very real physical issues you can get with mental illness. It’s a party I wish I hadn’t been invited to. Misery that has no cure, just treatments that sometimes work, and sometimes don’t.

I’m going to go stick my hands in some dirt. Did you know it’s been proven to help depression?

It’s part of why I garden.

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I need help, and it sucks.

Many of you know that I’m disabled. I’ve been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTS, MCAS and Fibromyalgia/CFS. I’m autistic and mentally ill, I’m queer and my ability to mask any of that has gone downhill since I became a SAHM.

Due to a recent robbery (last week) at my partner’s work, he’ll be losing a large portion of his income. Equating to between $1600 and $2000 a month.

We can’t afford that, we’re dependent on his income to even scrape by, my income as an author and editor doesn’t come close to covering that lack. My partner has always supported this dream of mine with everything in him, working two jobs he doesn’t like much in order to make ends meet.

But we can’t do that anymore. 

Which means that if I don’t get to around $2000 on my patreon before the change in his work comes about (end of August, 2019) I will have to go back to work outside the house. I’m already looking for jobs, and I almost have a meltdown daily, trying to find something I *can* do that isn’t going to send me into a horrible slide down mount mental illness again.

I’ve been a SAHM, disability, queer and autistic advocate, digital graphic designer, book reviewer as well as an author and editor for 5 years now. It’s work I *can* do from home.

Being an author and advocate is like having 5 full time jobs wrapped up into one. The time commitment I’m working now is around 18 hours a day, every weekday.

I curate a valuable Twitter feed, it’s not something I do for fun. I like Twitter, don’t get me wrong, but I tweet what and how I do because I’m trying to provide an awareness service for people who want to know about things most people don’t talk about. There’s purpose behind it all. I’m also on Twitter for my fans to get to know me. If they’d like to.

Being *able* to work, and more importantly, being able to work at something that is reasonably okay for my mental health is so important to me. Writing, advocacy and editing do that. They *let* me work, (because to be completely frank, I’m not even sure if I *can* hold a job outside the house), they let me build a career that I can *do*, that doesn’t cost me too much, that feeds my creative soul.

If I have to go to work out of the house for our survival, there won’t be enough left of me to write my books. I love writing my books, but if I’m an employee (probably doing customer service work, since absolutely none of my very expensive degrees and certifications are worth toilet paper in this country), it’ll be all I can do to keep up with my duties as mom, wife, and freelance editor.

Some people can hold a day job AND write. I’m too disabled to be able to do that. It’s one or the other, and my family’s survival depends on me getting a job or getting to a living wage via my patreon.

I’m booked on editing for the rest of the year, and I’ll continue to do those jobs, but that’ll eat up all of my limited free time and minuscule energy.

I need help to be able to continue writing/advocacy work. It’s a rarity for someone to make enough money at writing for it to be a liveable wage. The Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowlings are extremely few and far between. I doubt I could stop writing if I wanted to, I’ve been doing it since I was 11. But writing for publication and writing for myself are two completely different animals. I highly doubt I’ll be able to write for publication anymore, and if I *can* at all squeeze any writing in, it’ll bring my productivity down to a book every 5 to 10 years or something like that. Everything I’ve built will disappear at that type of productivity. That breaks my heart. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I’m at, and I’ve achieved success most people don’t in the time I have done it in. But it’s at an end.

People tell me they love my stories, that I’m writing things that people need and want to see. Here’s a list of my very queer, autistic centered stories.

But I can’t afford to keep doing it. We have to eat, and that kind of monthly loss, when you live paycheck to paycheck, isn’t something we can absorb.

I want so badly to keep going and not give up this dream I have of being an author. I’ve got several books published and more in me to write, but if I have to work outside the house, I won’t be able to do it. When you’re as badly disabled as I am, it’s a constant battle to decide which things get done, and which don’t. Writing will come last, and it won’t be because I want it to. It’ll be because there won’t be enough creative energy left in me to do it. I’ve worked phone service sorts of jobs before, I know what they cost me, and that was before I had kids to care for.

FWIW, being an immigrant, I’m not eligible for help/support from the government.

So I’m turning to you, my readers. Those who take the time to read my words, my digital content on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Those who read my blog and who care enough to follow me, interact with me.

I have a patreon, I’ve never really pushed it much, because I felt others probably needed the support more. We were doing okay. Not great by any means, any extras we had came in the form of gift certificates received from awful family members, and recently an occasional treat from my income.

Now, I desperately need the help. I know my capabilities, and if I have to take an out-of-the-house job, I won’t be able to write for publication anymore. I just won’t.

If you can afford it (and well do I know that a lot of the people who most need my work, queer peeps, disabled peeps, autistic peeps CANNOT afford it, it’s okay, I get it, you don’t need to apologize. I can’t afford it either) please consider becoming a patron. If you know of ANYONE who might benefit from my work, please consider becoming a patron. I don’t want to give up, but I see no other course open to me.

Without your help, I’ll be done with writing consistently for publication in August. Just typing that sentence out has me in tears. Capitalism is the evilest beast. Even a dollar a month can help. Truly, that dollar a month can really and truly help. It doesn’t have to be a lot from each person. I just need to get to the total monthly amount.

The way I’ve done the math, it would take half of my Twitter followers donating a dollar a month to keep this dream afloat.

It would take 300 donors at 5$ a month. Fewer at more per month.

I feel that my writing and advocacy are needed, so much so in this horrible world. But I can’t do it alone.

If you help me, I can.

It’s really as simple as that. My family needs to eat, and I can’t feed them my dreams, or my writer’s tears.

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Thank you for listening, please help if you can.