2017: Fighting for You

2016 was no doubt one hell of a year. It's true what they say: Before it gets good, it has to become really bad first.

Surviving yet another gut-wrenching fight for life has one major advantage:

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Self-Portrait | Florence, 2017

Self-Portrait | Florence, 2017

To put my values to the test, life hit me once again. I got fired from my temporary cubicle job for communicating an unethical labor law breach to human resources in confidentiality. Management didn't like what I knew and kicked me out despite my excellent job performance.

I'm convinced that it was the Universe's way of telling me to never look back and follow my eye, heart and soul forever!

Eye, Heart & Soul Tattoo | Amsterdam, 2017

Eye, Heart & Soul Tattoo | Amsterdam, 2017

During my last fight, I spent months getting to the bottom of my recurring clinical depression. For all my life and especially the last 7 years I had been battling with it on and off.

Each and every one of my psychiatrist and psychologists misdiagnosed and mistreated me. Since I studied clinical psychology myself, I did my own research with the help of medical journals and studies.

One day it hit me like a brick when I told a coworker that coffee and Red Bull calms me down for some reason. Since he has ADD himself, he advised me to look up ADHD.

BINGO!

Untitled | Amsterdam, 2017

Untitled | Amsterdam, 2017

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder is a mental disorder that causes limited attention, high levels of energy and low levels of self-control in certain settings.

Let me explain real quick how it feels to me:

First of all, you can't focus on things that don't interest nor stimulate you. Literally after 2 seconds you do something that excites you more.

Second, your emotional and sensual range is much broader. You can enjoy life on top of the world, but you can easily fall in the depths of despair.

Thirdly, your brain needs constant stimulation. Preferably new knowledge and skills that are as challenging as it gets.

Last but not least, if you have hyperactivity, you have twice as much energy at your disposal - but you need to know how to use it in a constructive way or it becomes destructive.

If any of the above mentioned are not well managed, ADHD turns into a ride down to depression hell.

Exit To Eden | Amsterdam, 2015

Exit To Eden | Amsterdam, 2015

To confirm my hypothesis, I consulted with yet another professional and she confirmed my self-diagnosis. 

It made me so happy and changed my life forever. All of a sudden, this crazy roller coaster of a life made so much sense.

I wasn't just being dumb, I played the game of life with a broken controller.

Since I have rather severe ADHD, lifestyle changes alone don't cut it. When I took Ritalin for the first time, I was absolutely blown away.

"Oh this is how life normally feels? Wait, it's possible to focus on one thing at a time? What?!"

Even though I'm insanely critical of the pharmaceutical industry, Ritalin literally changed my life for the better! My mind simply doesn't run with 500 miles an hour.

Self-Portrait | Amsterdam, 2017

Self-Portrait | Amsterdam, 2017

It's funny to see how I would've been without ADHD. However, since I was unmedicated all my life, I truly embraced and grew to love my unique view on life.

Especially in my early years as an artist in Germany, my ADHD driven choices felt like one sin after another after another. Not only to others, but especially to me:

I left my own country, quit my job against all odds and advice, chose a career that is considered pointless, traveled around the world without a home and invested everything I ever earned into my "fine art fantasy".

My ADHD is my biggest strength, but also my biggest vice! It's the root of the worst and best experiences of my life. It's my rainbow, but also my rain.

Eye, Heart & Soul Production | Frankfurt, 2015

Eye, Heart & Soul Production | Frankfurt, 2015

To honor and embrace my double-edged ADHD sword, inner child and Amsterdam's influence for the rest of my life, I decided to officially go by the artist name Vijce. If you pronounce it in German, it's also my nickname as a child.

Whether my artistic journey made me lose it all, mentally ill, ate up all my savings, left me homeless, piled up debt or burned me out, really doesn't mean anything to me in the end...