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Miller December 2022 Update!

John has been making laser-cut bees!

These updates have been shifting around a bit. This was the year we were experimenting with time placement on creating and releasing various aspects of our website. We decided that for next year, each month our update for the month will be released at the end of the month. After all, the update is supposed to include what has gone on during that month. So it just makes sense to release it near the end.

This month has been stressful and not because of the holidays. We didn't want to celebrate Christmas this year. For various reasons and we will be digging deeper into our philosophy as to WHY with a well-enough written explanation for you hopefully this upcoming year. You may agree after reading our argument since we know you can FEEL that something isn't right about the holidays as years go by. Something seems to always be missing! More on that, possibly during the Christmas season of this next year.

Finances are always a problem during this time, our gov't assistance tends to have mistakes which cost us a month of benefits every couple of months because of their error. But we have to carry the brunt, thus stretching our money further than it can already stretch. On top of that, this is the season when both our medical issues skyrocket. We have debilitating depression these seasons, coupled with constant physical pain. Some days I have trouble rolling out of bed. Literally. I won't be able to roll over without outside help. It doesn't help with the constant nerve pains zinging from my injured spine. It's a lot worse in the winter thus almost impossible for me to hold a standard job. A positive related is that I can do caregiving which takes care of John and I get paid for it! That way, the work I do is at least counted towards keeping our bills paid. Since I use all of my energy and strength to keep up with that anyway. Also, those yearly payments adults tend to have? Such as car license renewal that comes once a year? It all falls around the same period. When we have the least amount of money and little prospect of finding jobs we can do in our current state.

Lots of stress every year.

But somehow, we manage.

This past month we decided to stop Sunday Sticker Spread. Mostly because we were going to be focusing on planning out our next YEAR! From two previously highly suicidal trauma survivors...we barely planned out the WEEK. Now we are mentally and emotionally stable enough to finally look out ahead for a full year! I'm not sure how significant this is to you but for those of us who suffered for many years straight, finally being able to get passed the 10+ years of torment is huge. We are excited to walk towards growing and building finally!

This year we are working with an OT (Occupational Therapist) to help us organize our time (and brains) as we fight with our various issues that impact our daily lives intricately. Depression is usually the hardest as it saps all of our energy and our motivation, interferes with actual sleep/rest, makes us disassociate and so many other negative issues. Then on top of that, we have constant high anxiety which can drain our day's worth of energy in an hour. I tend to need to take a nap from 2-4hr randomly during the day to be able to function. I don't want to go through all of our issues, but these are only 2 of our 7+ individual issues. Each. A lot of overlap so how we adapt could benefit us both, but we are hitting some blocks and are not sure how to proceed. Thus, our OT has been extremely helpful in making sure we are following the right steps and double-checking our thought processes too. Though we have the knowledge of what is to be done when you have your body partially shut down and you can't tell because either the emotions were overwhelming or you numb them doesn't mean we can DO what we know. Or that we can recognize in our own bodies what is happening. We have a mental disconnect from our senses since our sensory processing issues, usually become painful. I hope this year we will be able to write about what is happening more. There is a lot of information and personal experiences we would like to share. Since we overanalyze almost everything we do or say (and think), we know we can help others benefit from our suffering.

But moving on from that as I have many things to get to today.

I'm still working on my plans for a Monthly ATC Event next year. I planned out most of it but will need to catch up during this next month. ATCs stands for Artist Trading Cards which are small pieces of artwork on a standard trading card size (2.5"x3.5") made by different artists to be traded with others (or keep for yourself). So you would create a card and trade your artwork with others. This way you can collect different styles, meet new people and enjoy a cheap and easy means of making art. Of course, you CAN put more money into it, but it isn't required. These events will be held on the last Friday of every month at the East Library. Check out the page link in this paragraph to take a look at the info provided!

The next goal for us this year is to write more about our personal experiences with our various diagnoses. We go through very rich experiences that are typically overwhelming when it happens but can be informative and fascinating story later on. Many don't even consider that it could happen to someone. But because it happens to us frequently, our views of what happened may help others understand both us and the situation better. Take, for example, dealing with Food Stamps. We have fit the criteria to qualify for Food Stamps about 5 years in a row now. Though about once to twice a year they try to remove us. This is 100% their fault because it is their faulty systems that do not work and we have to suffer the brunt of it. In one incident we received paperwork in the mail asking for information to see if qualify to extend benefits. We sent all the paperwork in they wanted. Waited a week and heard nothing. I believe I even called in to check and they said they didn't get to it yet and we will be contacted if they need anything else. Two weeks later we get a letter in the mail saying they never got the paperwork they needed and we would need to reapply if we wanted to continue benefits. WHAT!?!? We go in to find out that though they sent the notification through their gov't portal, it NEVER got to us. John kept an eye on EVERY correspondence sent to us through the portal. We never were told they needed anything even though we asked. We went in to show them, and they logged into our portal and saw that we never received the message. They STILL required us to reapply, meaning we would lose a whole month's worth of benefits as we were waiting for all of this to go through. With us being on a tight budget, this is about $300 suddenly we have to cover it. And if we fit the requirements for Food Stamps, you can imagine what kind of a financial hit we would take. Recovering from that will take about 2 months, with the 3rd month (granted things go well), finally moving forward. All of this fiasco dealing with welfare programs happens to us about twice a year. With them KNOWING we are disabled and have been on Foodstamps for YEARS. I don't think we will suddenly be making tons of money. Even if we did, one month out of the year that we go over their max earned in a month (by $100 at most) is enough to cancel our benefits. Even if we send in all the paperwork and info, we still get pushback. Now we are quite familiar with some of their techs, as we have to keep going in to ask what is going on.

At one point they stated we had made $3000 a month and during a month that we were sick for 3 weeks in! They took our YTD number and times it by 12 months and then claimed we made too much. The lady was extremely rude and we had to bring our issue up to those above her. We worked with the top people in charge as they fixed our account, noting that if they didn't fix our issue and they were audited...they would've been in a LOT of trouble. So I'm glad there are still some in the ranks wanting to make sure people are following their set rules/standards.

But we still lost a month's worth of benefits.

Either way, we somehow manage. Though a lot of it is pushing off what we need until we absolutely have to. Whether it is a want or a need. We have needed new brakes since we bought our crappy car 3 years ago which freezes when the weather drops low enough. So we end up just rarely ever going out during the winter since we could never save up enough to cover it. Something ALWAYS comes up where it takes precedence.

John has been creating quite a few new products!

This past year (2022) we wanted to start up our business side and try to focus on some means of making passive income. We don't need a lot to survive, it's the surprise costs that are out of our control that get us. Unfortunately, our health isn't up to where we can just up and get a job. This upcoming year we are going to be more active and take these steps we have been afraid of taking for YEARS to make this happen! Finally able to make some progress!

We are trying our best to be productive. Just not always where people can see our efforts. Most of it is at home, cleaning, and organizing, prepping future projects, Like John getting a laser cutter and we grabbed my sewing machine from my parent's house to work on. He will be focusing on those two tools this year and seeing what he can create with paper and fabric. He wants to focus on making costume props (think Spirit Halloween store) in preparation for Halloween next year.

I have been trying to clean out old projects I have been keeping with me for almost a decade. Tons of art supplies and pieces of art I wanted to make or put together have been with us for too long. My hoarding was bad as a kid...and many of those things I hoarded I still have and can't let go of. Even after moving over 15 times. Don't get me wrong, I did whittle down what I had quite a bit, but in a small apartment, it kind of stands out either way. So the past few months I have been chipping away at it.

If someone is hoarding, it usually means there is some emotional processing that needs to happen. In order for the person to accept what is and then let it go. Sometimes holding onto a physical object can abate the pain of an emptiness they don't want to face. I'm working through a lot of them by completing the projects and feeling 'accomplished' when they are done. Reviewing of what items I have, what I wanted to do with them, when I got them and what was going on at the time, and why I possibly got them. I collected art supplies because of their versatility and possibility. It is always exciting for me to hold onto things I can make into other things.

A little too much. With our future plans of saving up for a home, I have been better at limiting what I take into the home.

Would I want to pack and move this later?

Usually no. So it helps me not purchase things I don't want to be costlier by overhead costs. (I.e. a cheap bag costing $10 but the space it holds and takes up could be costly in terms of my mental state if it builds too much).

So I'm focusing on using up what I have been keeping with us and processing these items. I don't think you understand how stressful it is to see everything sprawled out, haunting you that it needs to be done and you wanted to do this YEARS ago. (And I HAVE to have things laid out due to Object Permanence issues from ADHD and Autism).

We are getting there. We will prep for a smoother year and plan further out. When we first met, we were both messed up traumatized survivors. We could barely focus on ONE day at a time. Every hour itself felt like an eternity. Planning a week in advance seemed pointless and impossible. We have made significant recovery steps! Celebration!!

Last thing I want to address: Ai Generated assets. This past month, I got a LITTLE obsessed with AI generated art. I have been working on a project that was at a point where the steps would have taken me YEARS to complete. So I decided to create some generated art to help use as stand-ins or to help me get the 'feel' of what the character or scene is supposed to be. Like a mood board for the character/scene/beast etc.

Take a look!

If you want to see all the free assets available at this time you are FREE to use, head over to our Inspiration Station. There should be at least 200 images to look through at this time. I hope to add a few hundred every other week. Though if you want to see what kind of images will be added to this pile, go follow @aicreatedworld and @aigeneratedisekai on Instagram! These you can use for personal use or commercial use. You can edit or alter any of the images to your wishes. We only ask that you give us credit and link back to our website. Preferably the page you got the image from! For details on Creative Common's rules, please head over to the Inspiration Station. There is a link to the AI images that will describe it simply for you!

With that, I think that is it for us in 2022.

We look forward to all the excitement and blessings of 2023!

See you next year!

Hope you have a Happy New Year!

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