Hello; my name is Felix, and I am the creator of Goodbye Strangers.
What I am writing now is not easy for me to share...and I have a very hard time asking for help.
But...I need your help.
I suffer from disabling mental illness. Autism, PTSD, ADHD and severe social anxiety make it a struggle for me to manage my day-to-day life. Many of my autism symptoms in particular are on the sensory/neurological end, with auditory, tactile, or cognitive overload even leading to fainting or psychogenic seizures if left unchecked. With no college degree, it has been difficult to find employment opportunities, and thus support myself financially. Aside from the year I spent employed in a corporate art environment (a job that was not sustainable in terms of the impact on my mental wellbeing), I have never made enough money to live above the poverty line. It is only thanks to the support of those close to me that I am able to live away from my family at all.
It is hard to admit how much my life is affected by these impairments – how many times I've felt like a failure for suffering like this, how often I truly believe that I have no worth to the world. This isn't how I want things to be, though.
For as long as I can remember, I've returned to my creative work as a form of comfort and expression in a world that often feels frightening and cold. Through all the hardships and trauma, I have put many thousands of hours into worlds, stories, and characters that I am so, so proud to share with people, and honored to have found personal connections through. And I can't put into words how grateful I am for the community that has slowly grown around the world of Goodbye Strangers – and how the support of both friends and acquaintances alike has helped me push past social anxieties that once seemed insurmountable.
But, I still have not overcome the full extent of my mental illness enough to take care of myself. Things like commissions and adoptable sales can supplement income, but are difficult to rely on even as a part-time job. It is very hard to predict the ebb and flow of symptoms – there are times when my illness grows much more severe, and I need to take breaks in order to return to a normal baseline. And so the idea of being able to afford things like food, medication, or rent on my own has always seemed like a distant dream.
I debated a lot about whether to even post something like this. I do not want to manipulate people's emotions, and I want my work to succeed on its own merits - not because people feel pity for my situation. It feels so vulnerable to ask for help, and I am deeply ashamed to admit how badly I am in need of it – but I hope that this can express how much your support would mean.
If you like what Carly and I are doing with Goodbye Strangers and want to see more of it, the single best way to support this is to subscribe to the Patreon. Because of the nature of my creative process (which I can only surmise is, itself, a by-product of long-term trauma and dissociation), my worlds and stories are something that appear to me involuntarily - there is no end to content I can create and share, and getting my thoughts and feelings out through this kind of work helps me heal from my own internal scars in turn. Unlike commissions or non-art jobs, this is a form of work that is both sustainable for me in the long-term, and makes me feel good about myself from the core of my being. As impossible as it has always felt, it has been a dream for so, so long, and I've never given up on it.
Please take care of yourself, first and foremost. If you are not in a place to support the project financially, please share the site with friends or signal boost where you can. And I will keep pushing myself to expand the world and story in turn. I can't say enough words of thanks to everyone who has enjoyed and supported my work so far – it means everything to me, and I am so thankful for the friends I've met along the way. There is a whole universe that I want to share with you all, and hope I will have a chance to do so.
I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read these words. Thank you, and please take care.