There’s no better feeling than having an idea and seeing it become reality, emerging in the physical world.Boyan Slat
Hello, my lovelies! Welcome to the first post of 2022! I hope the new year finds you all well. Today’s post might be a bit of a mess and for that I hope you’ll forgive me. I have a lot that I want to cram into one post.
First, as soon as I get done writing this post, I am going to sit down before I go to bed and write out a posting schedule. I haven’t had a solid schedule in several months and I am floundering without it. Regular, topical posts are coming your way soon. If you have any topics that you’d like to see, please feel free to reach out and I will research it and get something written for you!
As for this post, this is going to be a review/round-up/update post, all rolled into one. Let’s dive in so I don’t write a novel.
So, I really want to take a minute to shout out to 2021. I probably should have done this last week, but here we are.
Anyway, last year was really special to me. The (almost) two years since I started this blog have been incredible for me. I have healed, grown, and learned so much. A huge part of that has been you, my readers. You all keep me going. Your encouragement, support, and friendship mean everything to me.
One of the things that I learned in 2021 is to celebrate myself and my wins. If you allow yourself to see even the smallest of wins, it gives you momentum toward your bigger goals. It gives you confidence and helps you to believe in yourself long term.
In January of 2021, I had written 8 posts for The Winter Of My Discontent. I was unsure of my ability to write well, to be consistent…just to be a blogger in general. I had 149 followers on Twitter and had no idea how to find readers or colleagues.
I started writing anyway; and learning. I started talking about what I was learning. I found community. By the end of 2021, I had written 88 posts! Here are a few of the wins that I celebrated last year:
- From January-June, I wrote prolifically; 2-4 posts a week. I was writing full time for the first time in my life.
- I was nominated and shortlisted for Blogger Of The Year at the Mental Health Blog awards. I made it into the top 5 because of YOU!! Everyone on of you who took the time to go and vote for me. I will always be grateful for that.
- I completed 6 coaching certifications. I still have 2 left to go, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.
- I started my coaching practice. As of today, I have completed my first 6-week program with a client. I am taking 1-2 new clients on right now, so if you’re interested, please reach out. I’d love to talk to you! firstname.lastname@example.org
- I started a podcast. It has since gone the way of a lot of my ideas (graveyard), BUT as I said a few posts ago, I have some big ideas for it and you never know when it will be back!
- Finally, at the very tail end of the year, I wrote my very first fiction novel. That doesn’t have anything to do with TWOMD, directly, but it sits firmly in the win column, nonetheless.
So, I was pretty busy last year. I plan for 2022 to look much the same. I built a lot of momentum last year and I hope to keep riding that wave. I’ll tell you more about that later.
What I really want to say is thank you for a great year. None of this would be possible without the people who support me and you guys have been there with me through some of the toughest times.
When I lost my grandma last year, you were understanding of the sudden break. When I’ve gone through Imposter Syndrome and depression and ADHD boredom, you all have been kind and understanding and you always come back when I’m ready. You cheer me on, you help me heal, and you make me feel understood.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Here is to a brand new year, full of possibility.
This is, again, perhaps something I should have done last week, but…ADHD, you know? Better late than never, I suppose.
I wanted to do a quick round-up of the most popular posts from last year. This will get all of the best content in one, handy place.
Drum roll, please….
- 15 True-To-Life ADHD Signs In Girls And Women – As a woman who’s ADHD was missed for 38 years, while actively begging the medical community for help, I wanted to give an everyday glimpse into what ADHD can look like. Not only is it my most popular post, I have had several women reach out to me and say this post was the reason they sought diagnosis. That is the reason that this blog exists.
- 10 Practical Items In My ADHD Toolbox – I heard the toolbox idea on a podcast one day and it reminded me a little of the book Doctor Sleep. I could imagine my toolbox perfectly in my head. So, I started thinking…what tools did I use to keep my life in order? The answer is in this post.
- Hyper and Toxic Empathy: On Being an Empath – I always wondered how much of my strong empathy comes from my mental disorders and trauma and how much of it is just me. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, I don’t think. Either way, this post was meant to help people understand what it means to be hyper empathetic and how that empathy can turn toxic for the empath.
- Toxic Positivity: It’s A No From Me – Tried of seeing toxic positivity masqueraded about as mental wellness, I decided to call it out a bit in this post. Toxic positivity causes guilt and shame and minimizes people’s real life struggles and emotions. Just say no.
- My Mental Health: Burnout and ADHD – Burnout can be dangerous and scary. It affects everything from your ability to sleep to your ability to be productive. My experience with burnout has been so intense, I decided to write about the correlation between ADHD and burnout.
- My Mental Health: Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria – Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is an issue for many of us with ADHD. Even perceived rejection feels bigger and more painful that it really is. In this post, I discuss what it is and how it has affected me personally.
- My Mental Health: ADHD – This was the very first post in the My Mental Health series and really the post that started it all. I take an in-depth look at ADHD and what it looks like for me.
- 8 ADHD and Mental Illness Truths Everyone Should Know – Tired of being misunderstood because of my disorders, I decided to write a post full of truth about what we go through and how we truly feel.
- 7 Common Misconceptions About ADHD and Mental Illness – Again, this post was born out of an anger for being misunderstood. It is important to bust stigma by reminding people what is true and what isn’t about having brain disorders. Stigma is born out of ignorance and misinformation.
- My Mental Health: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – My OCD diagnosis was a surprise to me because I didn’t understand OCD. Here, I take a closer look at what Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is and how it presents itself in my life and brain.
So, that’s the top 10 from 2021. But that is only 10 out of almost 100 posts, so take a look around. You might learn something, find some validation, or even find a friend in me.
So, what is upcoming for 2022?
First of all, I’m going to spend the first half of the year querying agents for the book that I wrote. It’s called Maladaptive. Just so you guys know, I wrote the main character to have ADHD symptoms. I never expressly say that she has ADHD, but I give her enough characteristics. It’s a nice little Easter egg for my community.
I also wrote some parts of the book that I hope depict depression and grief in an accurate light. I wanted a heroine who also had mental health issues. I wanted to show that you can be a normal person; have a job, own a home, fall in love…with a vampire, get turned into a vampire. You know…all the normal stuff. I kid, but I’m also very serious.
Also, as I said, I’m going to ramp up my coaching practice. I would like to take on 1-2 new clients for now and if you are interested, please reach out. You can email me (amber@thewinterofmydiscontent), peruse packages, or book a 30-minute consultation to see if coaching is right for you.
Of course, I plan to start my weekly posting back up here on TWOMD.
Lastly, I am going to start freelance writing. My big goal for 2022 is to be able to get paid to write full-time, no day job. If you are interested in working with me, I can be reached by email, text, or phone.
So, that’s what is coming at The Winter Blog. I have a lot on my plate and I’m excited to share my progress with you. Again, I can’t thank you enough for being here. Without you, none of my advocacy would be possible.
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Love and light. Keep fighting the good fight!