I haven’t posted since November. I wish I could say I was doing really amazing stuff, like touring the globe or something, but the truth is I have really just been sitting in front of my computer, watching a lot of YouTube.
Which is to say, I haven’t been sewing.
Further, I’ve been straight up avoiding the Lair because my anxiety about being in there was so bad, I felt like I was suffocating.
Let me back up… Last summer my anxiety, which is usually just a constant (but sorta ignore-able) whisper that no one really likes me and I’ll die alone, starting getting really bad.
I continued to ignore it. Honestly, I didn’t really know what else to do. I assumed the things I was stressed about would eventually resolve, and everything would go back to how it was.
Except nothing really resolved and my anxiety just kept getting worse.
At the end of September, I broke. I didn’t go to work, because I was terrified to leave my house. I also missed out seeing some family that I hadn’t seen in forever for the same reason.
I managed to pull myself back together enough that it was only a week of work missed, which was good because I really can’t afford to lose one week’s pay. More lost pay was out of the question.
Despite it all, I was still trying, however unsuccessfully, to act like everything was fine. I was trying to sew and upload happy blog posts. I was putting so much pressure on myself to keep trying to do it all.
But things weren’t fine… at all… and I felt like there was a giant neon clock over my head counting down to the next break.
I think somewhere along the way my brain realized there were things I really couldn’t avoid doing if I wanted to not fuck up my life to a point where I couldn’t fix it. I needed to go to work. I needed to pay attention to how politicians were trying to completely fuck up the country. I needed to be a responsible adult, a contributing member of society.
But I didn’t need to make things for charity. I didn’t need to seek out new commissions for quilts. I didn’t need to design patterns and set up a shop. I didn’t need to sew at all.
And in a last ditch, self-protective effort, Brain said “Fuck sewing” and transferred 65% of my anxiety to the Lair. The remaining 35% for the rest of my life was still more than it’s been in the past, but I could still
But anxiety is a fairy tale monster that sees your puny attempts to defeat it, regroups, re-strategizes, and re-attacks. I became almost as anxious about NOT sewing as I do about sewing.
Fuck you, Anxiety.
Seriously. You’re a dick.
I’ve made some changes my life since November – changed brands on my thyroid meds, drastically changed my diet in an effort to handle things better, etc. I got a tattoo on my wrist as a constant reminder to take care of myself, because anxiety (and depression) certainly don’t have my best interest at heart.
And now… it’s time to face whatever monster is lurking in the Lair.
I went in there yesterday.
I couldn’t breathe.
I cried. A lot.
If you looked at me, you might have thought I was preparing to jump out of a plane, not sit on my butt in front of a sewing machine.
But I did it. I finished quilting something I started when I was still trying to pretend everything was fine. And I made a set of placemats for mom that are Spring colors.
And I’m going back in there today. I hope to make an April mini for the mini quilt stand. I found a cute free pattern on Craftsy that I’m going to use.
Going forward… I’m going to try to “show up” at least 3x a week, and I’m going to sew for me. No charity stuff, no designing “patterns that might sell”, no designing things I think would impress people, no commissions…
No fucking pressure – external or, more likely, internal.
For now, I’m going back to how it was – to when I sewed because it was fun.
Maybe someday things will be different but for now, I need this to be 100% hobby and not a “passion” that I could monetize because DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND YOU’LL NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE or any of the other cliches that are constantly thrown around, as if fun work isn’t still fucking stressful work.
I’m going to try to be more honest here too… because maybe I’m not the only one who’s struggling and maybe someone will read this and feel better about letting that charity quilt they were thinking about go for right now.
It’s ok to take care of you. It’s ok to say “things aren’t ok.” It’s ok to lay down and rest sometimes – you’ll get up again when you’re ready.
*Hugs for everyone!*
I’m absolutely terrified that everything is going to fall apart again.