A private message from FGV
The following is a personal message I wrote to my Patreon supporters today to explain my recent absence from the site.
Patreon is a way for people to financially support the FGV platform and the work it does to champion independent vegan business, support human rights, and help improve outcomes for non-human animals.
If you would like to pledge a monthly amount to keep my blog and social media platforms alive, you can at my Patreon page.
Now for the letter…
This post is both an apology and an explanation.
I have been missing in action on Patreon for about half a year and I owe you an explanation.
The past six to eight months of my life have been some of the most difficult and I’ve only just come out the other side.
One of the biggest changes and challenges I faced was the end of my relationship with Josh. Actually, we are still best friends and we love and support each other unequivocally but the period of transformation where we changed our relationship to a friendship took a huge toll on me and my mental health.
I lived with extreme depression and found myself accessing weekly therapy here in Mexico City. My therapist was so very kind and helpful. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without the support.
Having been in such a co-dependent relationship for 20 years, I was just incapable of even the most mundane life tasks on my own. I lost track of how many times I would just lock myself in my room and cry. Minutes were hours and hours were days and days were weeks.
The whole emotional and mental struggle was one of the most gruelling fights of my life. I’m still living with depression daily but have a hold on it at the moment.
It was during this period when I also discovered that I was NOT living with a medical condition that it was thought I was living with for decades. This is an extremely convoluted story, very private, and almost unbelievable so expect to see me write more about it in the future. For now, all I can say is that the experience broke me down to nothing and I’ve been building myself back up from scratch.
It pushed me into a type of depression and mental breakdown that I had never believed would happen to me and it felt like I would never recover.
It was also tough to say goodbye to Hackney Downs Vegan Market and Vegan Beer Fest UK events during this time. Neither of these ventures were financially viable any longer but making the decision to end them all hit me hard.
They never made a lot of money but losing even that tiny amount of income triggered my anxiety and depression.
Having exited a 20 year relationship in which Josh and I cared for each other in all aspects including financial, I felt beyond vulnerable. I had no job security, no savings, and no future financial plans. I was scared and lonely. The thought of growing old with no money is not pleasant. I went from being 50% responsible for my rent, bills, and food expenses to 100% responsible and the change has been a big adjustment.
All I could manage was to keep my blog alive in order to help independent vegan businesses and manage the FGV section of the weekly Venn Street Market for a small amount of income and to support those traders. I also had my monthly Vegan Life Magazine column to write each month.
I physically and mentally couldn’t keep up with anything else, and sadly that meant Patreon postings.
I loved giving weekly news updates and sharing content on here, but when there were weeks I couldn’t get out of bed that meant that some things got lost.
I’m am forever grateful for the support you have all given me on here. It makes me emotional to know you have stayed by my side when you had no idea why I wasn’t sharing content.
The money from your pledges has kept my head above water during the darkest times of my life and you have been a huge part in keeping the FGV platform alive.
I still get a thrill out of helping promote independent vegan businesses and the blog and social media platforms do make a huge impact. It is your support that has allowed me to keep all of this alive during my breakdown.
And I’m still here.
I’m still blogging all the time. I’m still promoting my events and events run by others. I’m still answering reader questions every day.
I’m still FGV and I’m still fighting for human and non-human animals.
Going forward, I need to make some changes to how this Patreon platform rewards you for your support. I’d love to know what you would like to see in return for your pledge. Feel free to respond here or send me a private message.
My idea is to keep the blog and the market running (your support helps with this) but also start sharing more personal writing on here. This would include vegan and non-vegan specific topics.
I never went away but I’m back here in a big way… and I couldn’t have done it without you.
I have exciting plans for the future and it would mean a lot to me for you to be by my side. A second and third book are being planned, while next year sees me taking on a huge adventure by curating a vegan cruise for LGBT people and their friends/family.
I am helping launch vegan events in Mexico City and have just curated an FGV food section for the Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks festivals in London. It is still full steam ahead!
I have a new boyfriend in my life who has been the most wonderful support I could have hoped for. Gil is kind and loving and handsome. He has come into my life at the perfect time and means the world to me. My friends have also stayed in touch to make sure I was still surviving and I’ll never forget their love and support.
I know it is all a lot to take in so I’ll leave it there and hope to hear from you all soon.
Lots of love.