I’m changing how I do things for a while

Hi pals

I’ve been talking about feeling uninspired for a while and even when I have ideas for posts, I find the motivation to actually create them isn’t there. I’ve been writing more for my WIP and the inspiration and motivation to do that is slim and far between, I don’t want to be trying to force myself to write for my blog and burn out on it and sabotage the progress I’m making on my WIP. So generally the plan is every two weeks will be a post on the blog rather than weekly for a while. I may not even do that depending on how I’m feeling. But the monotonous repetitive cycle that is my existence at the moment makes it hard to write for my blog when all I want to do is complain!

I’ve also been working on other side projects which has taken up time and energy. I’ve had two self tapes/auditions for small films I wanted to try and go for as the pandemic did get in my way. I started dipping my toes in the acting world again in late 2019. If you’d like to see some videos on my experience doing self tapes and auditions as a disabled and neurodiverse person, let me know! Sub to the channel and leave a comment on this video.

I’ve also had to focus more on my health again. I was meant to taper down 1mg of steroids every month but when we tried to go from 9 to 8 first time, I became very unwell within three days and had to go back up to 9 and it took me a while to feel better again. So we changed it to every two months we would try to taper 1mg and it’s that time again. Trying to make this easier on myself, I’ve been doing 8mg one day 9mg the next and onwards to try and make the transition a bit easier and less shocking to my body. I ended up changing it to 8.5mg for a few days (I’ve had to use my pill cutter for this) and I’m doing OKAY ISH and will go down another half in a few days to test the waters. I’ve also been more relaxed on my diet/how I’m eating to make sure I am not stressing my body further with food expectations or eating less than maintenance (my nutrition coach always reminded me that being in a calorie deficit will add stress onto your body, so I’m making sure I’m not in a deficit to not add extra stress on my body whilst trying to taper as that is stressful enough trust me) so I’m just trying to enjoy food, eat more nutrient dense foods like fruit (and veg when I can, I just like fruit a lot more lol) and eating foods I enjoy. Food has always been connected to emotions for me so eating the way I like for a week or so will also help reduce emotional stress. I’m planning on doing an updated What I Eat In A Day: 1 Year Pescatarian video so leave a comment on this video if you’d like to see that and hear about how I’ve been finding the change in my lifestyle.

I’m trying to remember to take my supplements more regularly as well!! Urgh, I’m so bad at remembering to take anything after my morning meds, I’ve been forgetting my evening pills as well and taking them later. I’ve also been taking more pain reduction precautions, using certain creams that are supposed to help (like biofreeze and CBD products) and taking an extra painkiller at night. I’m trying to keep up some weighted exercise as it helps reduce pain for me as well. I did film a few clips over my weekend which I’ll upload soon that will talk about a lot of this stuff and show you what kinds of weighted arm exercises I do etc.

My sleep has been out of whack since the time change (sound silly I know but I’ve read Neurodivergent people do struggle more with this so it makes sense) plus the steroid tapering, I’m pretty tired. I struggle to get to sleep before midnight coz it would have been 11pm before the hour change. Waking up at my usual 8:30 (sometimes 7:30 coz of the hour change) but struggling to stay awake, so some days I sleep an extra hour. I’ve had a few afternoon naps this week as well which is very unlike me. But as I’ve said, I’m doing what I can to just listen to what my body needs, it needs more rest/sleep at the moment and that’s fine.

Some of my upcoming videos planned are 1 year on Adalimumab (Amgevita) injections (check out the linked video for 6 month update), Gossip Girl reading vlog part 2 (the other half of the series, check out part one here), I’m going to continue watching Dawson’s Creek and vlogging each season, I’ve heard there’s a possible reboot coming so more reason to carry on! I’m working on a Manga Reading Marathon video still, the scans that diagnosed my TAK is also one some people were interested in as I mentioned a few in my pre-diagnosis video last year and a range of scans they do use in my TAK 101 post, I also want to do some book themed videos as I’ve been reading a lot of books by Black authors I wanted to make a video to recommend them and a video about the poetry books I have read as I’ve also been reading a lot of poetry through NetGalley. Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to see me make these videos! I also have a lot of books by Asian authors I want to get to reading, I’d love to make a recommendation video on those books too.

I did get my previous benefits back recently so I have got some financial support back again (still, if you know PIP, it’s pennies) so I would really appreciate people checking out my Kofi, leave a tip or buy some of my art. I have 15 art pieces up for sale, plus a selection of handmade cards. Please check out my links throughout this post and to my social media accounts, leave some likes and share some posts, it helps a lot! I post on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. I am starting to stream on Twitch again but whenever I link it here it error codes out so search artiecarden. Don’t forget to check out my affiliate link with the BookShop for any books you are interested in buying, it helps me out a lot! If there’s something you’re specifically looking for that isn’t on my lists yet, let me know in a comment what you are looking for and I’ll see if the Bookshop have it and link you.

I post pretty regularly everywhere, I just feel like I need to change how I do things for a while.

~ Artie

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My Third List of Queer Content on Netflix

Hey pals,

We are onto part three of the queer media I am finding on Netflix (obviously this is not just Queer media, this is just the media with Queer rep and letting you know if it’s a disappointment or not). Hope you enjoy this list during Pride Month of 2020.

Tales of the City – basically everyone is queer and live on an estate-like gay commune, racial diversity, one disabled (deaf) queer person, black, asian and latinx queers, bisexuals and the spectrum, lesbians, trans man, black drag queen, trans woman, couple who have threesomes, and the one dedicated straight duo whose child is one of the gays but (get this) the straight couple lived in the gay commune first! It’s pretty fun but also really on it with inner community violence and prejudice. Highly recommend. 

One Day At A Time – Elana is gay, has a genderqueer partner who uses they/them pronouns, a lesbian cousin married to her wife. Had this recommended to me a long while ago and binged the show. It also has so much other great rep (latinx families, addiction, mental health, disability benefits, being a single parent, etc.) very family friendly but also very on it politically. Great show (and glad to say it’s coming back!)

Friends With Benefits – gay best friend. That is all. 

Always Be My Maybe – queer best friend of female lead, poc in a wlw relationship having a baby, basically some side rep just coz they can which is still nice to see. Also the film generally is great with two asian leads in a RomCom. Very funny, very cute. 

Wine Country – White middle age lesbian, young Asian queer woman. This is a fun film with tonnes of leading women in their 40’s. Mostly white, which is no surprise but it’s pretty good. 

When they see us – last episode it is revealed one of the boys has a trans sibling (a Black trans woman), this is an incredible show. Very dark, based on real life events. Very important watch but also quite unsettling. 

Easy A – the guy she does detention with is a gay white dude. I think this film is pretty funny and well spoken about the issue of slut-shaming. 

Saved! – her boyfriend is gay and they have a love child at the end after he busts out of the conversion therapy center with his new boyfriend. Sorry spoilers but its a RomCom and I thought you should know it does end well for him. It honestly hilarious in a very late 90’s-early 2000’s way. 

Degrassi: next gen – new generation gay dude, bi dude, a brief weird poly thing, Asian gay guy gamer, nonbinary afab gamer. A nice little sprinkling of rep across gender and race. It’s cringe but I actually really enjoyed it and I’ve never seen the original Degrassi. 

Otherhood – one of the sons is gay and has a boyfriend and lives with other gay men and has a lesbian couple friend. I won’t lie, coming back to this list to add details and thoughts, I couldn’t remember this film. It wasn’t terrible but I wouldn’t go watch it again. 

Everything sucks! – main girl is a lesbian. Kiss at the end of the series. I hope there’s a follow up coz this was such a long build up and quite enjoyable. 

Unfinished Business – someone who works for the competitor is gay and they all go to a gay sex club in Germany. Typical dude film (kinda like the Hangover) so if that’s your thing you might enjoy this. It was alright to watch but wouldn’t watch again. 

Rough Night – wlw relationship at beginning (later one of them is divorcing a husband and the wlw couple aren’t together) two main characters woc. A couple looking for a third. This has Scarlett Johansson in it but if you can ignore her (she is the least likable character and also badly acted) then it’s not a terrible film, quite funny. Kinda like a lot of dude-bro films where they all got really fucked up and ended up in a really shite situation (the Hangover) and I like when it’s turned into a women lead film, they’re funnier to me the humour is similar but less gross.

Falling Inn Love – husbands who run a cafe in New Zealand (side characters) very minimal role but I thought they were cute so wanted to include them. This is a very tacky RomCom but I liked it enough to keep it on my list on Netflix. 

Hearts Beat Loud – main character (daughter) is queer and has love interest. Both woc. This is a very cute film with a daughter and her single father. She wants to go to school and studies hard but he wants her to give singing a shot (coz she has a wonderful singing voice) and I love this actress. 

Atypical – doesn’t get gay until near end of season 2 and gets gayer in season 3. Possibly two bi girls, or realising they are gay. Unsure, obviously going to be explored next season as this season was more about the two getting together (spoilers sorry). I really enjoy this show, though it is apparently linked to Autism Speaks which is a really shitty charity. Not sure on the link but I was sad to hear it as the queer rep is so good! Also the queer main character is played by a nonbinary actor!

Derry Girls – one of the main group comes out as a lesbian ep 4/5. This is a really funny comedy based in Ireland during a very real TIME they had in the 90’s. It was super interesting watching it, but also entirely daft a lot of the time. The actors are amazing. 

End of the fucking world – two queer lady police officers and one is black. This show was relatively funny but very intense. Quite a few content warnings for this show like attempted sexual assault and animal death. It was a new concept for a show I’ve not seen before, it was pretty enjoyable. 

The Politician – gay/bi cis Male lead ? Bi cis Male lead? His girlfriend?? Gender nc black person. Main characters mother. I can’t lie, I didn’t finish this coz the more I watched, the less it made sense. I thought this show was a pile of shit but you might like it.

Cat fight – one of the main women is in a wlw relationship. Both white cis women in the queer relationship(i re-read how i write this and it sounded like i meant the two leads, and no Sandra Oh is definitely not white haha). This was honestly also a pile of shit. Sandra Oh is in it which drew me in, but it’s just women beating each other up until one of them goes into a coma and loses all their shit, repeat.

Let it snow – two girls. One is Asian. Both played by queer actors, one is actually nonbinary too! I enjoyed the book but was pleased they added a queer story to the film. I do recommend this, it’s very cute and silly. 

Merry happy whatever – lesbian adult daughter previously married to a bloke, is not out to family. This was quite a weird show but I was into it. It’s Christmas with one family and you see all the in-laws have a secret meet up to get through living with this crazy family. 

The Durrells – Mrs. Durrell almost marries a man who turns out to be gay, he later on has a male partner. I think they have to move away as the community finds out.

Being Human – there was one cis white male couple in one episode and one of them dies and the other has to flea. The rest of the show is constantly queerbaiting, but if you can get past that, it’s pretty funny and plot I’ve never seen before for werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. Also the werewolf actor is gay.

Skins – Generation 1 we have lovely Maxxie. Generation 2 Emily is a lesbian and Naomi is bisexual. Generation 3 none of the truly main cast are gay but Frankie has two dads and her and Mini seem to have a bit of a queer relationship in the second series. There is also Alex, not a main character really but there is some emphasis on him for plot.

Dynasty – One of the leads in the family is gay.

October Faction – the son of the main family is Black and gay, has a few love interests dotted around including other POC. I honestly don’t remember watching this… only some bits.

The Half Of It – A lovely film about friendship and becoming okay with who you are. Asian queer lead. Wholesome watching. Some weird issues with plot/story telling/writing in some areas where character actions don’t seem to make a lot of sense… but as a whole it’s a lovely film and has great rep. Also MC’s dad is so sweet.

Glee – I’m late to Glee and I’m glad i didn’t waste my life on it in my youth and used it as a time fill during Lockdown. We have out main guys Kurt and Blaine who are both gay men, both have interactions with other gay men. Then we have lesbian Santana (Latina) and bi Brittany. Santana also sleeps with Quinn at a later date in series 5 I think. Adam Lambert does a cameo as a queer band member in season 5. There’s a Black trans woman in season 5 but totally overshadowed and mostly vague, she never had any real love interests. Then there’s another surprise trans character season 6 which I’m not fond of, clear it was just a dramatic plot shoehorned in rather than something pre-planned. Season 6 has another gay character who is a jock and finds love with a hipster kid. Also introduced is a queer coded 13 yo character.

Elite – a fantastic drama based in a high school in Spain where all the rich kids go. One of the rich kids is gay, another is bi and a selection of polyamorous relationships shown. One of the non-rich is a gay Muslim boy. There’s also suggestion a female character has multi-gender attraction but hasn’t had the chance to be shown in the show, I have my fingers crossed for season 3!

3% – a dystopian show with similar vibes to the Hunger games, everyone has to compete at age 16/18 I don’t remember it’s been a while to get into the luxurious life of the 3% but it’s a lot creepier than that. One of the main characters has multi-gender attraction to some extent, ends up with a character of the same gender. Not a lot of rep otherwise but I liked this addition. There’s also a Black disabled main character for a couple seasons.

Hollywood – a different timeline of Hollywood if things had gone a little better with accepting LGBT+ people and BIPOC. We have Rock Hudson and his writer lover, the Gas station of male sex workers who also serviced many gay men. Lots of gay male rep in this and Queen Latifa plays a queer woman (Hattie McDaniel) dating one of Hollywood’s most well known queer women, Tallulah Bankhead, who just kinda dated everyone apparently (I’m hoping Jessica Kelgred-Fozard makes a video on her). There is a bisexual actress, Anna May Wong, in a minor role whose sexuality is never addressed.

Black Lightning – one of the main characters (one of the sisters) is queer, I’ve not watched very far yet. Based around a Black superhero father who has the power to control electricity and his daughters start exhibiting powers too.

Dear White People – both the show and film, Lionel is gay, in the show he spends more time in the closet and slowly coming out. Struggles with being Black in the gay community but also gay in the Black community. There are a few latinx queer characters too. The story of Black students at Winchester University (an ivy league) fighting racism and trying to gain equality on campus. One of the more minor characters is actually a Black femme lesbian as well.

Dead to Me – had a lot of sapphic undertones but turns out one of our main characters is queer and gets into a bit of a pickle. Dead to Me is about a woman’s husband suddenly dying and his murderer feeling so guilty she befriends the wife without her knowing she murdered her husband and things spiral and get a bit crazy but it’s a great show with two amazing leading actresses. One of her love interests is also actually played by a queer actress.

Dare Me – this was a weird one, kinda thriller-y. About cheerleaders who hate their new coach and try to ruin her life. The main character is a Black queer woman, it’s relatively clear she is sapphic but is keeping it a secret. Unsure if she is attracted to multiple genders or performing straightness. Same for the best friend and the Coach, not sure if it’s multi gender attraction or performative straightness/queerness depending on the situation. content warning: abuse of power. There’s a football coach (i think) but definitely some adult man who sleeps with the high school girls and also the female coach of the cheerleaders engages in some inappropriate behaviour with her students.

I hope you enjoy your viewing, my previous posts are here and here 

Happy Pride!

~ Artie

Check out all my other content here

Check out my queer Youtube content here

Winter Watching for The Gays This Holiday Season

let it snow

Hey pals,

I wanted to give you a little viewing suggestion in that weird moment between ChristmasLove Simon Launch One Sheet (1) and New Year for my fellow gays. It’s a short little list, but hey who cares!

Love, Simon: Not a Christmas film but has a very important section during Christmas. We love a Christmas coming out! This is generally a cute, warm film so felt it appropriate to include.

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Let It Snow: The new Netflix film based on the book written by three authors from three different perspectives. The added more P.O.V’s including a queer relationship and actually casted queer people to play them too! Another soft film with Love, Simon vibes, just totally in a blizzard!

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Merry, Happy, Whatever… : A Netflix show I stumbled upon about a very dysfunctional family and all their other-halves and how they all learn to accept each other and be more themselves. It also includes a coming out from someone who was initially married to the ‘opposite’ sex. It’s fun and frustrating but has a really great ending.

1_FdC8kqTR5MOgJQJZmmFiNwThe Christmas Set Up: a new one for 2020! The Actors are both gay and actually a real life married couple! Hugo goes home for Christmas for the first time in ages as he is a workaholic lawyer and meets Patrick, gorgeous, charming, rich, who was a few years ahead of Huge in school. The plot doesn’t always make sense, and it is pretty cringey in parts but this is a typical Christmas film, just featuring a gay couple! Definitely a fun, wholesome time.

I hope you enjoy watching these in your free time before the New Year, and I wish you all a splendid end to 2019.

~ Artie

Still open for new year’s tarot readings! hmu on twitter, £2 per card, up to 8 cards, all done via email or twitter messenger. Payment via paypal.

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Body Shaming When You’re Chronically Ill

Hey pals,

 

I’ve been hearing a lot about fatshaming in the medical industry and also general body shaming and certain standards people are expected to meet online recently. I have a long, complex history with my body and other people’s relationship to my body so these topics have brought up a lot for me I wanted to discuss.

 

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I don’t talk about my weight online, not in specific numbers anyway, because everyone changes their opinion of me once they hear the number. It doesn’t matter if its the weight on my scale or my BMI, people make a judgement they didn’t initially have. My BMI is currently in the ‘overweight’ category leaning close to ‘obese’, and I’m not trying to be up myself here but how am I nearly obese? I am an average mid-size person, but the NHS BMI calculator is saying I need to lose 26.5lbs (12kg/almost 2 stone) to be in the healthy weight range (not mid-healthy i mean barely in the range).

About 6 years ago I was two stone heavier and I received enough fat shaming from my NHS health team to make me want to die. I had to be weighed for my contraceptive pill and I had purposefully been avoiding the scale and said, “as long as you don’t tell me.” and stood on it. I did really well not to succumb to the temptation of looking all for my doctor to just outright tell me anyway! Of course as soon as I hopped in the car I googled the number into ones I understood. I always worked in lbs. And that night I wanted to die.

Before I had gotten to this weight, I was probably roughly the weight I am now maybe 10lbs lighter, and I’d finally decided to go ask for professional health with my disordered eating. I’d told him all the things I had done and been doing and how I was trying to stop doing them, and even though my behaviours fit best with Bulimia, he told me I had Binge Eating Disorder (BED) ignoring all of the self destructive things I was doing from starving myself to purging, I barely even binged, my binged were minute compared to other bulimics I’d met or other binge eaters. I was astonished. Part of his advice is what lead me to gaining so much weight so quickly and sending me even deeper into depression and triggering me more. All of the note books he gave me were for binge eating, not starving or purging or any of the other things I did. All because I was ‘overweight’ by BMI standards.

I’m disabled. I suffer with a lot of chronic pain. I have been told countless times to lose weight because that ‘will make it better’, without thinking about anything else going on with me. I suffer with so much fatigue I barely function 90% of the time. Exercise wipes me out for DAYS. But we should all exercise for 30 minutes a day and if you don’t YOU’RE LAZY.

 

At this point in my life, I am dealing with a very unstable IBD. As I write this, I feel nauseous and cannot eat my dinner and had a couple of bad episodes on the toilet because I accidentally ate something triggering to my stomach yesterday and now just have to suffer. I have barely moved from bed today. I also have an abscess in a VERY uncomfortable place which means I can’t do most of the exercises I’ve been recommended and felt able to do: walking sometimes aggravates it, I can’t sit on a bike seat so can’t get on my exercise bike for 15 minutes, I can’t really leave the house to go to the gym or a yoga class coz I might suddenly be in so much pain I can’t participate and may not be able to drive myself home. But I’m lazy for being overweight. I’ve fiddled with my diet constantly, partially coz I’ve had to cut out foods that trigger my IBD flares, but also trying to get the right nutrients into my body without fucking starving.

I’m bad at feeding myself, coz either I’ll forget and suddenly be so starving I feel sick, or all I do is EAT. I’ve been put on steroids that make you want to eat. At one point, I couldn’t stop eating even though I was so full I wanted to be sick. With an IBD, weight loss is BAD. Either your gut isn’t getting enough nourishment from your food or you’re shitting so much of it out so quick there’s no time for your body to absorb it. So, I guess at least they worry if I’m looking more trim lol.

 

“Just go for a walk,” they say, “anything to raise your pulse,” they say… but anything I like doing I’m not ‘allowed’ because of my disability so OF COURSE I’m not consistent with exercise you tell me I can’t do stuff I enjoy. One doctor even told me I only enjoy those things because I am good at them, because of my disability… is that a crime? Am I not allowed to enjoy things I can do? Ballet and yoga don’t hurt me as much a circuits or zumba (which gave me shin splints btw). I also found out recently I can’t even swim anymore because of muscle problems in my right arm, it’s too painful to actually swim… the number one recommended activity (which I also don’t really like but now I can’t even do)

 

We constantly see skinny people selling us health and size as if it’s easy to reach without a 6 figure paycheck, a personal chef, personal trainer and surgery tbh. And the ‘normies’ of the world who don’t have a disability or chronic illness that takes a toll on your energy and activity level like to cram it down our throats that we just aren’t doing enough. There’s 24 hours in a day, you can use 1 for exercise. But… I sleep 10 hours on average, some days more, I’m slower to do things, I have to remember to take 1500 pills morning and night, doctors appointments and how I’m going to get there and be emotionally prepared for what they are going to say, or wow I need to cook myself dinner but I can’t bring myself to stand in the kitchen nor think of a meal I could make… Check out the spoon theory if you need more explanation.

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Not everyone can walk their dog, or get to a gym, or AFFORD A MEMBERSHIP, or have you ever thought about the process of getting ready to swim and then getting ready to leave from swimming? Most changing rooms are hot and you’re sweaty and you can’t dry off and you can’t get your clothes on and now you’re dizzy and you might be sick! It really just goes on.

 

Most people, including doctors, do not think I am ‘overweight’ when they look at me. I carry my weight around my middle mostly so occasionally I jokingly call myself ‘skinny passing’.

 

Here’s a great experiment: Me, my mum, and my gran. Different heights, I’m 5’7, my mum 5’4, my gran 5’2. Carry our weight differently, mine is mostly my stomach and upper arms, my mum is mostly her bum and stomach, my gran is almost entirely her chest. Poor little woman with great old nunga-nungas. We are all very similar clothing sizes. My gran needed a size 18 to fit comfortably over her boobs. I’m roughly a 16/18 on top for broad shoulders and ribs and 14-16 on bottom for my skinny legs but wide waist. my mum is around 14-16 on bottom but she has issues with the waist being too loose or the calf area too tight. I moved into wearing more men’s clothes coz somehow a small will be tight fitting like a 14 in t-shirts but there’s not shame in wearing a men’s large or even extra large… because there’s no number. Men’s trousers are still a fucking mess if you ask me the waist size isn’t accurately in inches, I’ll tell you that for free.

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My fat friends don’t go to the doctor unless they really have to. They aren’t believed when they think something is seriously wrong, it’s all put down to weight. Skinny white women struggle to be listened to as it is in 2019. Imagine being anything else, poc, disabled, chronically ill, queer, trans, fat, no one listens to us and we have to learn to be a self advocate or bring a trusted person with us to help advocate when it’s too much. I have been spoken to like I’m a fucking idiot and been told how to wipe my own arse on more than one occasion by the same man (a surgeon btw, surgeons have zero social skills) as if I haven’t lived like this for a long time already. I am also belittled by other sick people who have had their disease longer than I have and tell me my case is mild when the last year of my life has been nothing but suffering.

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I’m just tired and angry at the able people out there making assumptions, and the doctors and nurses out there deciding they know what’s happening to my body before I finish telling them everything, and the other sick people who think they are better and more knowledgeable than me because they’ve had it longer or are older than I am. I’m angry for myself and I’m angry for my friends and I’m angry for my community.

I got enough to deal with, kindly, fuck off.

 

~ Artie.

Check out this video where I finally get rid of my ‘skinny’ clothes!

Check out this post by Zipporah Arielle on getting comfortable talking about Crohn’s as there are many ways body shaming can sneak into your life as a disabled person.