The deadline has gone by and I am amazed at just how much you all have helped me. I'd say I had no words, but I have several, and I'm going to talk them at you, so get comfortable.
You. Are. Wonderful.
Really, all of you -- wonderful.
Depression makes it hard to ask for help. It's a tricky disease that way. It tells you that you're fine, even when you aren't. Then it tells you that, okay, you're not fine, but you can't tell anyone. Then it tells you that, okay, fine, you can tell people, but they won't listen to you anyway. THEN it tells you that they WILL listen to you... but do you really want to be a burden on them? I mean, really?
My struggle with depression started when I was a child, but I don't know exactly when. Somewhere in that time, I was introduced to what would become my boogeyman: glimpsed in the shadows of closets, in the reflections of darkened windows, following me to school in the mornings and haunting me through my part-time job as a teen. It climbed into one of my boxes when I packed for college. It stopped by when I was between my first and second industry job. It sits on my shoulders today.
Depression is the ghost in a horror movie. It's that curse that springs itself on you and, even when you dig and dig and finally find the reason behind it all -- it doesn't let you go.
But there are ways to fight it. For me, it's storytelling: I like creating characters who defeat their dragons, despite the odds. I like illustration, I like writing, I like to animate. I like to make things that people like to look at. It's why I chose this as my career: not because it's fun, not because I'm no good at anything else, but because it saves my life. Literally. Every day. Every moment.
My campaign has ended and I'm fifty percent funded. I'm astonished and so so so grateful. I've cried a lot through this campaign, first from shame, then from joy. Setting up this fundraiser was a roller coaster experience. It was incredibly stressful at times! Raising funds for others is one thing, but doing it for yourself is equal parts mortifying and scary. I worried about what others would think or say. "Asking for money for a new computer? Really?" Ugh. But I wasn't only asking for money for a new work setup... I was asking for help. Help to defeat my dragon. Help to stay strong. Help to survive. I had to remind myself whenever I thought about closing up the fundraiser and pretending it never happened.
And you did help.
I'm moving to the Seattle area in Washington in a few weeks. I'm going on the invitation of one of my best friends, an amazing woman who has been my family through all of this -- she thinks I'll have an easier time finding work up there, and I'm inclined to agree. Because of this, I'm going to update my campaign's end date to run through the rest of 2015. I can't use as much of my own money towards a new machine as I thought I could now that I'll be moving to a new state, so I'm still a few hundred short of my goal. Again, I agonized over whether or not I should wrap up the campaign and make do... but I think leaving the campaign open from this point on will be beneficial in the long run. If you would like to increase your donation, or if you haven't donated yet but would like to do so, now's your chance. :)
Even though I'll leave the campaign running, I want to stress that you all have helped me so very, very much. I'm crying while I right this. I'm so inspired to be the best woman I can be, and I want to create for each and every one of you.
Thank you for believing in me. Thank you.