The truth is that I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile, largely because I am spending a lot more money building this brand than I am bringing in, and I could really use the support.
Here’s the thing though, asking for help is really difficult for me. I always swore that if I asked people for money it would be for a real purpose, like if I lost an arm, or I was dying, or maybe if my mom was dying.
But the thing is that I really, really, want to keep doing this content creation job. Yesterday (Monday night) I found out that a childhood friend died from an overdose, and it occured to me that if I don’t ask for help when I need it, well I could very much be in his position.
Putting myself out there – as myself without pretending to be something that I am not – is really difficult for me. Yes this comes from a lifetime of trauma and abuse. Being able to adapt to my surroundings is a super power yes, but it can also be incredibly debilitating.
Pretending to be something you’re not trains you to forget all of the wonderful things that make you who you are.
When I first started LMBG I spent a great deal of time painting on canvas because someone that I’d once liked and respected (a woman) told me that I sucked at painting…I was really hurt by that comment, especially because I was just painting a wall a solid color.
I learned that I am actually quite good at painting, and I could be great at it if I put any effort into it, if I took a class or two.
I’ve also learned over the last four years that I am not good at doing things the way that other people would do them. I have to do things in my own time, in my own way.
This means that sometimes people outside of my brain don’t always understand why I do the things that I do, or how I do them, but to my mind, they don’t have to understand.
“Living Authentically” is really difficult, because it means admitting all the things, not just the pretty things. It means stepping out on a limb and saying “here I am world, whether you like it or not,” while everyone looks at you like the jackass standing on a limb that is probably going to break if you move one way or the other.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in my future, but I am fully aware that for the rest of my life, people around the world are going to know me as The Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and that title is intimidating.
If I am being perfectly honest having a title, any title, is intimidating. I am telling the world that “this” is who I am, and those in the world who are paying attention expect me to show them why that title matters, and sometimes I’m not entirely sure I am up for the job.
That whole imposter syndrome thing really gets to me, it affects everything I do, and lately everything that I say online or off.
I’ve been finding that in a lot of ways I’ve been holding back, and in part that’s because of the perception that I want to leave people with when they are first introduced to me, but part of that is that I am starting to realize that encouraging myself to be angry and frustrated all the time is not healthy.
This blog has come a long way in four years, it looks better than I think it’s ever looked. It’s a growing, breathing, tree that is constantly evolving. The “brand” is very much about rising above my past and moving into a healthier and more positive future, and I am starting to realize that if I want this to be my career I have to get comfortable with working with others.
I have found a comfort in calling my own shots, but I also recognize that sometimes it’s okay for me to let others take the lead.
With all these projects I am doing, I am the one taking the lead, and that’s the scary part. What if people disagree with me? What if they do it better than I’m able to do it? What if I never make enough money to live on, thus proving that I am not wasting my time on this earth?
All these questions can be debilitating, but interestingly, at least to me, I don’t think about them often enough to have an answer off the cuff. That’s largely because thinking of them holds me back from actually doing the things that matter to me.
In an interview with my friend Kim for Comfortably, Uncomfortable, Conversations, my friend and ally told me that she’s not at war with the world anymore, and at first I thought “I want to be in that place too!” And then I realized that I’ve been in this place for four years.
I’m not trying to fight with the world anymore, I am just trying to carve out a small corner for me to exist inside of, without allowing the thoughts of other people to affect the work that I am doing.
My whole life I wanted to have my own business, I also wanted to help people, and to inspire them, and I am doing all three of those things now. I’m a published author, a dream I’ve had since I was five years old, I am making videos now, which is awesome because I never thought I’d find the courage to do that.
The first video I made is ugly, and raw, and it’s uncomfortable, just like me, it’s as authentic as I can possibly get without being completely naked, but I want to get to that point too. I want to be comfortable in my body, in my soul, and in my mind.
I’m not interested in fighting with people about whose right or whose wrong, I don’t want to talk about politics, not nearly as much as I want to bridge the gap between mental health, and services that are supposed to help those dealing with mental health issues.
I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum now, I’ve worked with those who have mental health issues and need help, and now I am someone who has mental health issues and needs help.
I know what it feels like to feel like no one cares, to talk to someone about what you’re going through and to get that dead-eyed stare in return to the words coming out of your month.
I know what it feels like when you say to someone “this happened to me,” and to be told that you’re psychotic, and that the things you know to be true are not.
I’ve been educating myself on mental health, and I’ve learned that this idea of “false memory syndrome,” is really a gaslighting technique designed by a man who molested his own daughter, and as a professor created the syndrome to discredit her claims which were ultimately proven true.
I’ve learned that whether people outside my brain choose to believe me or not, my best indicator of whether or not I am getting healthier and stronger, is my own brain. Trusting my instincts is difficult for me because it’s not something that I’ve ever fully embraced before, but now I am making a concentrated effort to do exactly that.
This blog has changed my life, and while I am not making millions of dollars like people younger and far more entertaining than myself, I am doing the best that I can to alleviate some of the pain that I experience every single day.
I want to go back to school one day, and I would like to take what I learn from taking classes on Mental Health into the industry so that I can help others learn to advocate for themselves. It’s important that we start listening to patients, and it’s super important that we learn to work with Doctors who are reputable, so that none of us are stuck in the cold again.
To all of you who read this blog, and take time to comfort me, or offer advice, or commiserate with me I thank you. I wouldn’t be here without you, and that means the absolute world to me.
I love you.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall