about my galaxy brain

Hi folks! A lot of my artwork and public speaking are related to my mental health, so I’m collected my thoughts and some resources here for other folks in a similar space.

  • What my OCD is like: here
  • What changing meds is like: here
  • Go to therapy: here
  • Changing meds, round 2: here
  • What I’m thinking now: here

I have been in therapy for pretty much as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with ADD and misdiagnosed with Major Depression at a young age. I tried Prozac and Adderall and I hated all of it. I felt like I lost my personality. In 2011, when I was 22, my psychiatrist at the time realized I had General Anxiety Disorder, not depression, and proposed I might have OCD. I started taking Wellbutrin because I had such a bad time on Prozac and it worked. It worked for eight years.

There are elements of my OCD that didn’t ever go away, but my symptoms became manageable. Until suddenly they weren’t. Starting in 2018ish, my meds slowly stopped working and my symptoms slowly became worse. Over the course of 2019, a new psychiatrist tried upping my dose of Wellbutrin to see if that would work and it did not.

Thanks to an insurance debacle, I had to find a new psych and am grateful to have found Apex Counseling Center. Because I’m on Medicaid, I am entitled to free psychiatry as long as I go to therapy, which is also free. This is a total game-changer and I want to recommend them to anyone in Baltimore looking for mental health support.

My new psych tapered me off of Wellbutrin and put me onto Zoloft. I took Zoloft for a month and it did not work. At first, I was extremely nauseated and sleepy, which was likely from Wellbutrin withdrawal, but it also made me feel numb and anxious in cycles. When I went back to my psych, he stopped the Zoloft immediately. I took several days off to let the Zoloft leave my system and then I started Lexapro. Lexapro also made me numb and anxious in cycles. They were both SSRIs, which made me nervous, but it is the best class of meds for treating OCD and anxiety, so we had to eliminate it as an option. Ultimately, I ended up on Effexor, which is an SNRI. My doctor ended up supplementing that with an anti-depressant called Doxepin, which has helped me with my sleep and also managing some COVID-related depressive episodes, and I take Concerta for my ADHD. My brain’s still not perfect, but it’s functioning better than it used to. Stay tuned.

Some resources that might be helpful:

If you need to talk or have questions or would like to see me talk about something, you can do that! The form is anonymous unless you tell me who you are, which is totally optional. I’d love to hear how I can help.

why Galaxy Brain Design?

If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you might be familiar with the galaxy brain — or expanding brain — meme.

As you can see, to the right, it’s several panels of cheesy New Age images, each depicting a mind more blown than the last.

Next to each panel, there’s a series of “smart-sounding but nonsensical linguistic escalations,” per NY Mag. “[The meme] itself evolved — from a meme about raw intelligence to a meme about argumentative sophistication.”

Urban Dictionary tells us that the phrase “galaxy brain” itself is “derivative from the expanding brain meme, where the most absurd position/behavior/belief is derisively paired with the largest brain” Essentially it went from being a way to say someone is very smart, if a bit esoteric, to implying someone is the Ancient Aliens guy.

What does that have to do with me, you know, aside from being very smart and a bit esoteric and, perhaps, well on my way to being the Ancient Aliens guy?

My brand is predicated closely on being my most honest self. A lot of my art is about navigating anxiety and OCD and interpersonal relationship and medication. I am a super cerebral person and I spend a lot of time inside my own brain. My therapist once told me that I was extremely self-aware and clarified that that was NOT a compliment. BUT! My brain is a super unreliable narrator. I craft conspiracy theories to explain why I feel bad and make unfounded assumptions about what’s happening around me. My anxiety disorders convince me that my most extreme thoughts are revelations — my most absurd thoughts feel aligned with the biggest brain.

I also think space is dope.

So: Galaxy Brain Design, LLC is here and I’m opting to celebrate the most honest version of myself. I had a good run as bridget makes stuff and I’m grateful for the opportunity to figure out who I am and what I’m about unencumbered by anything but my name and my propensity to make stuff — and I’m thrilled to be kicking off this new chapter! You can stay up-to-date by subscribing to my newsletter in the column on the right, or by following me on Instagram.

You can read more about my specific galaxy brain here.

The GBD Story: Unabridged

Hey there! I’m Bridget (she/her) and I started my adult life as a freelance opera and theater stage manager and I’ve been building brands and websites — specifically my brand and my website — ever since. After earning a BA in Theatre, I spent half a decade on the stage management grind, working in venues like the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and The Lyric Baltimore. While working in the performing arts — as a proud union member, btw — I earned a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Arts Administration. After graduation, I was hired by a national service organization and spent 3 years revamping and strengthening the brand of its membership program.

Galaxy Brain Design started in April 2018 as a little side project called ‘bridget makes stuff.’ It was a way to keep my creative juices flowing while I worked there.

In 2018, I left my abusive employer without a plan — then my (mercifully, ex-) girlfriend went to L.A. and gchatted me to tell me she wasn’t coming back, so I said, ‘fuck it,’ and started trying to build a life that would make me really happy.

I relocated from DC to Baltimore, signed up for five different side hustles, and started drawing as much as I could. I also earned a Graduate Certificate in User Experience (UX) from the University of Baltimore. I ditched the side-gigs in December of 2019 — very grateful for that timing given what happened a few short months later —and I took on a bunch of web and graphic design clients.

Galaxy Brain Design, LLC was officially formed in the summer of 2020 after I ate an edible. I’d been trying to think of a name that combined my preferred topic — thoughts + feelings + mental health — with my preferred subject — space stuff — and on that fateful day it all finally came together.

In the last two years, GBD has grown tenfold to juried craft fairs, Pride events, wholesale, and retail — and I’m working with two of my favorite collaborators.

In the last two years, GBD has grown tenfold to juried craft fairs, Pride events, wholesale, and retail — and I’m working with two of my favorite collaborators. They are both named Hannah and I have lived with them both, but that’s not necessarily a prerequisite.

OG Hannah (she/her) was instrumental in the early days of Galaxy Brain. She modeled apparel. She wrote website copy. She told me which of my ideas were good. I lived with OG Hannah until she successfully married me off to spouse Hannah.

Hannah’s brand — WICKED GLINT — is hopefully going to be full of beautiful, intricate renderings of vaporwave skeletons + spooky, bougie cocktails

Spouse Hannah (they/them) — so called because they are my spouse + named Hannah — excels at connecting the right person with the right piece of art + hypes my shit up so hard — what more could I ask for in a life partner? I am often overheard making them “learn the family business,” which roughly translates to “babe, can you pls keep track of our cash sales?”

They helm Hot Floss Embroidery and embroider dogs, tiny foods, + queer paraphernalia with a unique and varied texture that I think is dope as hell.

I’m so glad you found us! Follow us on instagram for the livest look at what we’re making, what we’re selling, + when you can shop with us, in person. Thanks for being here!

Galaxy Brain is a Made in Baltimore member and is certified woman-owned.

Interested in joining the collective? Apply here.