Mental health, Twitter and how Dreadfully Drawn helps me when I feel a bit shit
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
I’ll be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with a lot of things - including my own mental well
being. I’m not one to really openly talk about mental health issues, especially my own. I find celebrity culture has slightly trivialised the whole topic, which is maybe a good thing. Maybe we need the conversation to be the norm in day-to-day life. But, on the other hand, I think there’s a real danger that people with genuine issues are being ignored, or at least dismissed, because every man and his dog seems to be using the phrase “it was detrimental to my mental health”. That’s not me saying we should just ignore people because they’re a celebrity or because they speak out about their struggles - I’m saying we need to be genuine. Whether that’s from the perspective of the person suffering, or the people who are listening. We need to be genuine.
I really like Twitter - I’ve always liked Twitter - but Twitter is mad. It never used to be mad, but it is now. It used to be like any other social media site but it has become this pit of hostile opinions, arguments, bots, trolls and anything in between. You can tweet something half-arsed about something that was on your mind 5 minutes ago and within a matter of hours, someone has “quote retweeted you” enticing groups of people to call you an idiot, ugly, a slag, telling you to kill yourself. Yeah, a lot of it is probably said with tongue in cheek, but people need to realise that some of us aren’t as strong as others. It’s crazy. It’s a problem that is occurring more and more, not just on Twitter, but in real life too. Things really need to change.
I very rarely post things on behalf of Dreadfully Drawn that aren’t drawings (or at least related to the content I put out). I don’t post opinions, get involved in arguments, debates etc. I try to reply to (or at least acknowledge) everyone that gets in contact - even if it’s in disagreement with one of my attempts at wit. I don’t like the idea of ignoring people. The reason for keeping Dreadfully Drawn strictly about the drawings I create is because I just want people to take joy from them. People who follow me don't really need to see me arguing about Brexit or discussing the pros and cons of VAR. Perhaps I’d have more followers, or perhaps I’d get more retweets and likes, but it’s unnecessary. I just want my drawings to make someone, somewhere smile. A laugh would be good, but a smile will do. Life is difficult at times, and the hope is that someone, somewhere logs into Twitter or Instagram, sees my drawings and it helps to perk up them a little bit. I’m not saying I’m expecting to change the world with my drawings and I’m not saying everyone thinks my content is good, funny, or makes them smile. I’m just saying someone, somewhere must be finding some form of happiness from a drawing that I do. Often that someone, somewhere is me. That’s enough for me to continue doing what I do. There’s been countless times where I’ve sat and giggled at what I’ve just drawn. The ones that are funny while I’m in the middle of drawing them are even better. That’s why I do Dreadfully Drawn. I often commit a lot of my spare time to Dreadfully Drawn. I try my best to post regular content, even when I can’t really be arsed to. I’ll watch as much football as I can so I’m in the loop with what’s going on, even when I can’t be arsed to watch Burnley play Southampton. Since starting Dreadfully Drawn in late 2017, I must have done hundreds of individual drawings. I often neglect other things (and people) to be able to keep it ticking over, but I don’t mind doing it because I enjoy it. I do Dreadfully Drawn because I enjoy it. I do Dreadfully Drawn because I have goals and things I’d like to achieve. Mainly, however, I do Dreadfully Drawn because it makes me happy. Away from Dreadfully Drawn, I find life quite difficult at times. I try to be good to people. I try to give people a chance. I absolutely fucking love life - genuinely - I love it. I love the people in my life. I enjoy my job. I work from home and I’m allowed to be creative for my job - it’s great. But that doesn’t mean I’m always in a good place. In fact, I’m often not in a good place. I think there’s only two people who know what I go through on a regular basis and they know that I’m continually having a battle with myself. Sometimes my brain wins, sometimes I win. Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? I dunno. I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety, and I’m fairly confident I never will be. Not because I don’t have it - I do - but because I can’t bring myself to be told that I have anxiety by some fella in a suit. There have been countless times where I’ve thought “fuck this” and contemplated speaking to a professional, but still I refuse. I feel like if I seek help, I’ve lost and my brain has won. Sometimes, as the PR companies that run footballers’ social media accounts would say, you’ve just got to ‘take the positives and move on to the next one’. And that’s exactly what I do - move on. I have techniques to help myself when I’m feeling iffy - some work, some don’t. One thing that often helps is drawing. Drawing really helps. I always think if you’re struggling, talking is good, but the main thing is to keep your brain occupied by doing things you enjoy. It might be listening to music, reading a book, drawing, gardening. Whatever makes you happy and keeps your mind occupied, do it. Drawing has always helped me and it has always been a good way for me to escape from the outside world. I owe a lot to drawing.
I’m not really sure what the point of this written piece was, to be honest. I think I’m a bit fed up with social media, but I also think I’m just trying to be a bit more transparent. I’m trying to be a bit more open with myself, and anyone that follows Dreadfully Drawn. I will continue to post my drawings, and only my drawings. That is the method that works best for me, and ultimately, that’s the most important thing. I want to say a quick thank you to whoever interacts with Dreadfully Drawn, those regular ‘likers’ and ‘commenters’, the people who have bought stuff from my online stores - it really means a lot. I know it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things, but it is important to me. Special thanks to mmg too - you’re amazing x. I hope Dreadfully Drawn cheers at least one person up, even if that one person is me. Rest assured, I’m trying Ringo, I’m trying real hard. P.S. My direct messages are always open on Twitter and Instagram. I’m happy to chat if you feel a bit crap, or feel like you haven’t got anyone to talk to and just wanna talk about football or whatever. I’m happy to help if you need any help with Photoshop, After Effects, drawing or anything else - just get in touch. Peace and love, DD