My inner life was fraught with dark thoughts, anxiety, no self-esteem, feelings of failure, imposter syndrome and chaos. Outwardly I was a model citizen and student—polite, straight-A, exuberant and enthusiastic over-achiever. However, times of extreme drive and focus were wiped out in private by feelings of despair and dread which left me incapable of doing anything but block everything out by sleeping, or pleasure-seeking.
I can’t be the only person that feels like this? I used to ask myself but how could anyone know how I was feeling as I was extremely careful not to let any of the ‘real me’ slip out. I now know I was masking.
One of the only times I managed to escape myself was during orgasm. It was the one place where I felt calm and worthy.
Carving out a career in the erotic arts must have been my inner fight driving me to something that I knew deep down I was good at. When I was screaming at myself how useless I was, a tiny part must have been pushing for survival. Sometimes I feel that orgasms literally saved me from myself.
Being diagnosed with ADHD only last year has meant that while I’m absolutely delighted to find I’m not alone and I’m this way for a reason, I am also going through a grieving process for the girl and young woman I was, and what I might have achieved if I'd had professional support.
The extreme hyper-focus has made me capable of writing entire trilogies and inventing fantastic products, so for that, I’m truly grateful. And now, being able to recognise RSD when I do ‘something wrong’ ie NOT PERFECT I am so much kinder to myself, which, as a chronic self-harmer, is the biggest gift having a diagnosis has given me.
My career highlights have been receiving great reviews, being featured on This Morning, my audio erotica featured in Cosmopolitan and winning awards. I can’t express how devastating it is to have imposter syndrome and doubt every good thing that comes your way… I still tremble when someone posts a review or article. But to have such incredible endorsements from groups like The Vaginismus Network and enthusiasm from sex-positive shops and influencers, really does make things easier to believe. The most special moments are when customers get in touch to share their experiences with me – some have even reached out to tell me Ruby Glow was the only thing that helped them achieve orgasm. The fact that people take the time to do that is incredible and makes everything worthwhile. It really puts my own doubts into perspective.
Through researching and exploring this condition I sometimes fear I actually might have no personality of my own, just a series of ADHD symptoms, which is a huge swing from feeling very alone. Turns out there are many of us! I look at what I have managed to achieve despite my experiences, I can actually admit in a tiny, very cringy way, that I’m a bit proud of myself.