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.
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.
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.
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.