A long year blog post by marna lunt

it’s been a long old year & we’re only in May

This year has flown by in a bit of a fog, suddenly I have woken up and it’s May already. I seem to have been hibernating in my own little world not noticing things flying by me.

You will notice possibly that I have been absent in a manner from my business for sometime. Not posting or communicating too much. I’ve done the minimum to keep things plodding away but not been focusing on work fully, keeping you all at arms length. I feel I owe you some sort of explanation really although I’m not sure how I go about it or where to start.

Many of you who have followed me for some time know that I have a slightly complicated life, but don’t we all to be honest, that’s just the way of the world. I’m certainly not saying I have it tougher than anyone else at all but all these complications have made it difficult to juggle too many things of late. My Fibro pain is not too bad, I seem to have got the right formula of rest and play thats working okay for me for now, hooray. My little cherub Arthur is also on great form and achieving the greatest of things with the new support he receives at his excellent and miraculous new school. So this is the time when things should actually be perfect, but as we all know the calm after the storm can be when your inner most demons rear their heads. It’s a bit like when you’ve been working your arse off for ages and then you get a holiday and you’re ill. SO frustrating. But there we go, this is what sort of happened to me.

Lyme regis

For many years now I have been fighting off my depression and anxiety knowing it was bubbling down deep there but I kept thinking ‘no you don’t, get back down there, leave me alone, I’ve got things to do don’t you know’. But come January this year my brain broke a little too much and all those cruel thoughts zoomed to the surface like a volcano. It felt pretty dreadful I can tell you. I went from feeling rubbish but knowing tomorrow was another day to thinking ‘actually you know what, no, I don’t want to do this anymore. I think the world would genuinely be a happier place if I just didn’t exist anymore’. I could hear my kids laughing downstairs, a sound that would usually fill me with joy, but this time I felt numb. There was just no good feelings inside anymore. I felt like a drain on my family and friends, like if I didn’t exist anymore then they would be set free. I actually thought I was releasing them from a life of misery that I was causing. How could I release them from me and my hideousness….

Well I looked around me and I saw the answer. So I took some pills. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t actually want to die, that’s the frightening bit, but I didn’t want to feel anymore, I couldn’t take the emotional pain anymore, simply existing was no longer in my belief system. This is what the unstable mind really thinks sometimes. It won’t seem logical or sensible to some of you but if you have ever had a mental illness you may have a small idea of how and why I felt like this. Many may think it was selfish and cruel, years ago before experiencing the reality of the situation I may have felt the same. Suicidal thoughts are not new to me but there was always a glimmer of new hope in tomorrow. Sadly this time that glimmer had gone on holiday for the day.

Sherwood forest

However I did survive that day, because I have a pretty heroic husband, one that believed in me, wanted me and was brave enough not to give up on me. Having said that, I still refused to seek professional help and plodded on, I had things to do you see, I had plans and things to be working on, really really blooming important things, and was not willing to let people down just because of my ‘stupid’ feelings. I had things to look forward to to push myself towards. But after several weeks I realised that I could’t actually keep going and things were going to get worse everyday until I got help. I am not going to go in to detail at all about the daily things that were happening inside my brain, they were bad enough at the time so I’m certainly not intending on reliving them now. Needless to say I was finally visited by the Crisis Team and they gave me home care and help. With their incredible kindness, knowledge and professionalism (big HOORAY for the NHS by the way, aren’t we bloody lucky to have them!?) I started to function a bit more each day. I left my bedroom, then I left the house and then I managed to do some projects that seem insane that I did them now, (you will see them nation wide next month) after years of practise I am a dab hand at putting on a brave face.

I’m not completely better yet but I am recovering. I will be in recovery some time, this sort of thing takes a lot of time. But while I am recovering and functioning I am starting to work again. My mind is clearly out of the fog, and I am taking an interest in the sun in the sky and the people around me and using stitching as my therapy (along with professional therapy I hasten to add), as I have so many times before. Powering me on to want to share with the world how creativity is essential to wellbeing and hope.

So this year has been a little bit tougher than normal for me and because of that I have retreated from social media and writing and just concentrated on getting well. There are days when I feel like I rule the world and can do anything and there are days when I hide in bed because outside frankly is a place I don’t want to interact with. Clinical depression is a powerful thing, it creates darkness beyond your imagining but because of these black, lifeless days we can see the good and bright days in glorious technicolour and all our senses are heightened. I smell my childrens hair and suck in the sweetness, I hug my husband until he turns purple, I laugh with my friends until my tummy hurts. I rather feel like existing is quite wonderful now. That each day brings a new challenge filled with exciting opportunities. Even when those bad days happen I am very very sure that the next will be good, the future is possible again.

Battersby

So I’m starting with this blog, and trying to be honest about my illness. Not to frighten you, not for sympathy (god thats the worst) but to explain a little of why I am who I am and why sometimes I’m quiet and sometimes you get a flurry of activity. I’m not going anywhere though. I’m staying right here thank you very much.

You see, it’s not just my family who are my saviours but it’s you too. You liking things I make, appreciating the beauty I try and share, and listening to me. Knowing that I exist and that my life means something.

I started my business because I just could’t help but make things, I created because of a deep need inside me, as a way of therapy and well being, and a way to say to the world that “I am somebody! Listen up!’ I don’t want to be forgotten and not to have left my mark on the world. I need to leave a legacy to my children. A legacy of happiness, of hope, of inspiration. And so I start on my journey again. It may be a slow one, but it’s going to be a worthwhile one. I hope you carry on watching, and listening and enjoying what I do, write and share, every little comment however small, every winky face, thumbs up, and heart brightens up my day and makes me know that beauty is all around us when I just open my eyes and pay attention.

Marna + Simon (low res)-31

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51 thoughts on “it’s been a long old year & we’re only in May

  1. Wow! What a heartfelt post, it must have taken a lot to write it and share what’s been happening with the world. I really hope that it was a turning point and that things feel better for you from now on in. The world would be a much less beautiful place with you and your creations in it.

    1. Thank you so much for saying that! Im definitely on the up, even though sometimes its two steps forward and one back. But I’m a rather stubborn person so I will keep fighting. Xxx

  2. I’m sorry to hear you have had such a rotten year so far. Depression is evil and anxiety, well I personally find that even less manageable! Well done on accepting help and giving yourself time to heal and refresh. Be kind to yourself and sew! That should be a catchphrase!

  3. I’m sending you a hug! I have related to your posts many times, I have 2 sons on the autistic spectrum, and have chronic illness, CFS and lyme. And on February 23rd 2014 I was out walking my dog, I was exhausted, beyond exhausted and in pain. I was nauseous and my head hurt and it had been that way for 3 years. I was sick to death of it, I was depressed and I’d had enough. I saw a bus and thought, if I step out in front of that I’ll get a break. I thought my boys are old enough now (13 & 14) they don’t need me, I’m more trouble than im worth, I can hardly do anything, what’s the point. I felt a blackness that only people who get to that point will understand. A horrible, horrible feeling I would never wish on anyone. At that point my thoughts were not rational, I know that now, but in that blackness the brain plays nasty tricks. But I looked at that little fluffy face, my fur son, and thought if I do step out what will happen to him? I couldn’t bear the thought of him being hurt so I came home. It took me a long time to escape the blackness, but I did. I got the right help, and with the support of my lovely husband I’m doing very well. Thank goodness for that sweet innocent face that probably saved my life! So I truly know where you’re coming from. And if I could hug you now I would. Please know that I does continue to get better, there are many of us out there who care and we have your back. Chin up flower xx

    1. Ops, it goes from suicidal thoughts into something even deeper that you can never quite understand unless you’re there. I have re up and watched a lot about the after effects of suicide now and have discovered that the likely hood if I did or do do it means that my daughter and son are more than likely to do it. Now that thought alone keeps me safe. I can’t leave that sort of legacy for my children. Xxx

      1. As hard and horrible as it is to go through, I do think we come out of it with an even greater sense of compassion for others. And I think probably more aware of how bad things can get, so we keep a close eye on the people we love. I would definitely get help sooner in the future, should I slip again. It’s strange, I did know about the charities that help people who are suicidal, but it never crossed my mind in the blackness. Funny though how a black dog saved me from the black dog! 😃

  4. Oh Marna! I have just shed a tear. I am very emotional at the moment and truly wish you all the best with your recovery. You have been so very brave and honest, I salute you my dear! I hmet you once at Bovey Tracey and you were so lovely to me, see you soon at the event in Honiton? Big hugs x

    1. Thank you Annie, I will indeed be at Helens talk but through the medium of skype I think. Not going to quite manage the drive as I have a hospital appointment the next day. Thank you much for your kind words. Xx

  5. A great big hug from someone who knows where you’re at. Take care; a very wise and dear friend of mine told me that sometimes it IS good enough to just breathe and be. There are days where that is enough; a tiny achievement in itself. Look after yourself.

  6. Thank you for your honesty. I, too, have experienced those feelings this year and life felt very bleak indeed at times. thinking positively, therapy and medication have been my life savers. May things keep calm for you. Jo.xxx

  7. You are a very brave and inspirational lady. I know so much about wanting the noise to stop, sometimes it helps just knowing that someone else gets it, as you do obviously do. Thank you for sharing and I hope you continue to have more bright days than dark x

  8. So, I loved your work before I read this. I love it a little bit more now, knowing it is to you what my sewing and knitting are to me. I know this pain, this struggle, this endless slog. What a brilliant, honest post. i salute your strength and your spirit and I am glad you can begin to enjoy the beauty in just being. You give so much to so many with your incredible gift. I am glad to be a part of your army of fans who give a bit back to you. With love to you and yours xxx

  9. you are a very brave lady to even admit to yourself you have depression, take it from one who knows. Wishing you a much happier future, take one day at a time xx

  10. Thank you for being so very honest – I don’t any of realise how many people suffer with illness and how debilitating it is for the sufferer and their families. Your post shared with us your struggle and gave us a glimmer of how it was like – thank goodness for your husband your children and your therapies (sewing and the more official type) and for our NHS. Depression has visited our family and whilst I wasn’t the sufferer – I know the knock on effects and how difficult it was for the person involved . Thank you for making the unspoken – spoken about – I wish you the very best in your recovery and many happy days sewing xxxxx

  11. Hi Marna, I am so very sorry that you have had such a dreadful year so far. You are so brave and generous to share your feelings to write this post. I have never suffered with anything like you have, but a friend of mine did and sadly she us no longer with us. I thank you for being able to share your experience and If it helps just one other person then you have done a fantastic thing. I am glad that you are feeling much better and you continue to get all the help that you need. Much love to you and your family and remember that you are very much loved and very special to them. Take care. Jay xxx

  12. your post has touched me. I have a daughter with bi polar, she to is lucky to have an amazing husband and 3 children, one of which is type 1 diabetic and has loads of ailments. I understand your struggles. I have never met you but I have followed your amazing talent for a year now. You are amazing and one day when the time is right I will get to one of your workshops and tell you personally. Never believe you are worthless. You have already a place in the world of craft with your outstanding work and I am sure your family are bursting with pride. So glad you have professional help, that is half the battle, recognition. ALWAYS put yourself and your family first and thank you for highlighting depression and being honest. I will be reading even more of your blogs and wishing success day by day.

  13. Sending you big virtual hugs and sunshine. I want you to know that you’re not alone in your journey, that the fight you endure each day is shared with many of us, fighting the fight. I’m sad to say that perhaps around this time last year I was in a similar place to you now, the crisis team came, and I know it’s so bleak and that you’re supposed to feel glad and all of those things. I also know that it’s hard, it’s still a struggle, a steep climb some days. I’m so happy for you that you’ve found the strength and ability to speak out. So happy that you have the support of your wonderful family and all of these people here who appreciate your talent and creativity, on an even deeper level now than before. I’m also appreciative that you’re speaking out, on behalf of those who don’t feel able, you’re helping other people understand and that’s so very important. Hoping for many bright days for you xx

  14. Marna, so brave of you to open your heart to us. You are an inspiration. I dealt with the black dog a couple of years ago. Such a terrible place to be, I couldn’t sew, or do anything creative. It was like there was no room for me in my life.But with medication, counselling , and a wonderful family I’m in a happy, content place now. I did your retreat at Wyboston lakes in December and loved every minute of it. I can honestly say it was a joy to be able to spend time in your company. Take care and give yourself the time you need .x.

  15. Such amazing honesty and from an amazing woman. I have not been so deep as you have experienced but my sister has a couple of times and it has been heart breaking trying to work out how to help and stop her going under. I think that i did understand what she has been going through, but your post above has really helped affirm this and that i did do all I could to help. I now also know about crisis help because of your post, and though I would not wish it again for her, this post could be a future life saver because you shared <3

  16. Sending so much love to all those who are suffering from this terrible illness. I can’t describe Marna how much your courses have helped to give me a focus which has prevented an ever present anxiety taking hold. So glad that you are making progress.x

  17. Thank you for your honesty Marna, am sending a hug too. So many of us have these really black times and I find the more we share the more we realise that we’re not going through it alone. Take care of yourself and I’m looking forward to your Skype messages next week in Honiton. Your work is so beautiful and inspirational and it sounds like you have a great family to support you. Xxx

  18. Bless your heart, may you continue to improve and grace us with your wonderful creations. You are not alone in your fight with the demons, there are many of us out here. I commend you for letting us in.. Wishing you peace dear lady.

  19. Marna, thank you. You write so elequently on such a personal matter. To so many of us you give hope and inspiration, both by sharing your own health issues and with your beautiful art. You are a very generous person. My very best wishes to you and your wonderfully supportive family x

  20. Well Marna – you have made me cry – damn you! But I bow to your honesty and bravery – being ‘out there’ is a courageous thing to do and I’m applauding – can you hear the clapping?
    I think us creatives dig deep and unearth a lot of things/thoughts/feelings that most everyday folk never see/feel… and as such are so open to the evils of depression and the like. I can empathise as I suffered pretty bad with anxiety some years ago, I couldn’t drive, or function, or relate to anybody – I was locked in an invisible prison cell – it was one of my friends who let me sit on her sofa all day whilst she continued whatever she was doing, feeding me and just letting me be me, that is the over-riding memory of that time. Through medical help I learnt to see the triggers and work with them. You will too.
    You are loved and you love – you create beautiful things and share your talents with others, you have a great legacy and one that will continue to grow.
    You go girl…. grab the day by the balls and shake it till all the beauty tumbles out… you continue to sew and I will continue to paint with ALL the happy colours,
    love and hugs Sally xxx

  21. Hi Marna, like many others – you don’t know me. Thank you for expressing how you feel – one of the only truly raw and naked accounts of how it feels when you have chronic depression. I have had this illness for the past 35 years( mine was triggered by divorce. You try so hard to be normal and as you say mask your feeings and pretentious to the world that all is well.
    Like you I also use hand work to allow me to live and at least be content at times it will even keep the negative voices at bay. I use medication to keep my illness under control and the suicidal thoughts away. I live a life in which I just exist – I try and accept that this is enough. I have a beautiful daughter – so I am lucky that I have 1 person that loves me.
    I am sharing this with you to say – you are not alone – I know it doesn’t help – but it’s all I can offer you. Your work is amazing and so beautiful. I love the creative ‘looseness’ that you manage to achieve. If I was closer I would adore to do one of your classes.
    Stay brave, embrace that your fragility allows you to be who you are and create the way you do, your true friends will accept that you feel the ups and downed of life more acutely and be there in the back ground to be by your side. Take care. Deborahx

  22. I had no idea that you had been so ill. Thank goodness that you are having expert help, and long may it continue that you feel better. You are an extremely talented woman, who many aspire to, and I can only speak for myself, but you have inspired me greatly, and pointed me in a direction of creativity that has helped me. I know mindfulness is a buzz word at present, but, it fits the bill. I popped into your blog today to check up on an upcoming project, but it pales into insignificance if you are not well enough to enjoy it.
    Look after yourself, and allow others to do the same. Sending you a big, soft, comforting hug. Xx

  23. You’re an inspiration Marna, so honest and up front. It’s lovely to read that you’re feeling better and I understand that it takes time to recover properly 😊
    Welcome back and hold on to spreading happiness, hope and being an inspiration to family and friends worldwide. Big hugs, Janet xxx

  24. A lovely FB fiend of mine from Rhode Island sent me a link for your blog and I was curious as to why. While I do an occasional cross stitch kit, and have dabbled in making clothes for my kids when they were small, I don’t consider myself arty (although I wish I was ) and I’ve never expressed a desire to do any form of free motion or hand embroidery. It seems you and I have other things in common which my friend identified – clinical depression with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. The relief of seeing, written down in front of me. the thoughts and feelings I have, I cannot express. I have signed up for your blog and will follow your journey in the hope that some of your own successes can be imitated. Thank you for sharing and standing up to say “depression is an illness just like measles”. Mental health issues have been a skeleton in the closet for too long and those who suffer from it are made to feel like social pariah and either unstable or hypochondriacs.

  25. Dear dear Marna. So pleased you received and are continuing to receive help. You are not alone and your words reminded me so much of myself. Thank you for your honesty. Keep taking deep breathes, smelling hair and giving and receiving hugs. Big hugs. Annette

  26. It’s funny when you read things like this. Not funny ha ha, but funny as in its unbelievable the number of people suffering silently with depression and anxiety. People who on the face of it, seem to have everything together, but we never know what’s really going on in people’s lives and minds.

    Well done, Marna for having the strength to ask for help and also for sharing your struggle with us.

    I too suffer from anxiety and depression along with going through the menopause and all its varied effects on my mind and body. I can relate to the dark days of not wanting to get out of bed, of wanting nothing but to not exist and feel the pain and darkness that depression heaps upon you. People think it’s so easy to ‘cheer up’. How can you think happy thoughts, when your brain suddenly starts a campaign against you. It decides to remind you of all the sad, bad and dark experiences of your life which you are trying to put behind you. At night times when your head hits the pillow and your mind races with all these dark bleak feelings, that you just want to turn off but can’t.

    It’s a daily struggle, I’ve suffered for 4 years and cannot imagine a day when I don’t have a moment of despair, even on medication. I had no idea how debilitating anxiety could be until the first morning I woke up and could not move, I was tense and shaking, crying and feeling sick to the point I used to be sick.

    I too have a wonderful husband and my four wonderful boys who although they are grown up, still give me the will to go on.

    They will never know how many times they save me from ending it all, just for the release that depression seems to have on me.

    My salvage? My craft room and following people like yourself and seeing the beauty that you produce. This inspires me to keep going with my crafts, getting lost in my lovely craft room sometimes, just sat browsing a pretty things and daydreaming about things I’m going to make.

    Thank you Marna for your beauty, your bravery and for sharing. You have the strength to beat this. We are all behind you 100% xx much love and hugs xx

  27. Thank you for your blog. You have beautifully and eloquently expressed feelings I have felt so many times. Sometimes the hardest thing is trying to explain to somebody who has never experienced it how the thick black fog swirls around until you are completely surrounded and locked in its grasp. I’m so glad you are getting help and support and fighting back to wellness. Looking forward to seeing your new work and feel inspired to get my a**e in gear and do more stitching myself – I’ve still never finished my sampler from your level 1 course last year 😬 Big hugs x

  28. Dear Marna, I don’t really know you , (met you online through Viv) but I KNOW that feeling so well. It comes from nowhere and moves in and changes your life. I won’t go on about it but you’ve described it perfectly. I’m better now and I know you will be. Lots of love
    x

  29. I never understood how evil and debilitating depression is until my eldest son fell into that deep dark hole as a late teenager
    I have admired your fantastic creations for some time and now I also admire your honesty and bravery to talk about and share with others your condition
    Thankfully my son escaped the darkness and with the help of a diagnosis of SAD and use of a light box not saying that sometimes the world may become a little grey for him He is now a happy father of two of my grandchildren
    I wish you good health and sunshine to come in your life

  30. Resonates so strongly….I hope you continue to recover from what is truly the bleakest and loneliest place. X

  31. Wow! Just read your blog (saw your thank you on f.b, and being nosey, i headed straight over!!!!). Massive well done for putting your story out there, getting help, and highlighting there is hope. xxx

  32. Thank you Marna. I just want to say a big thank you, for letting me know that I’m not alone in how I feel too. I am not alone x thank you x

  33. Marna – It was very brave of you to post such a personal message. We met recently at one of your workshops at Hope & Elvis and I just wanted to say what an inspiration you are and that you’re not alone. Depression and anxiety can strike anyone at any time and it makes life so hard – but finding your way through the murk is possible and it’s only by talking about it that we all get stronger. Sending you love and hugs xx

  34. Oh Marna,

    I’ve just returned from Cornwall to read your post . I’m sending you lots of love and if you ever need to rant or want to talk to some random stranger who you know thinks your amazing please feel free. Life is bloody tough and we all just have to do the best we can to wade through. Sending you and your family
    Much love xx

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