Tag Archive | depression

SUNSHINE!

GUYS. OMG. Today there is a blue sky and sunshine and it’s almost kind of warm (by which I mean 30 degrees F, but still…) and I knew I needed some sun but I had no idea how much it would lift my spirit. I feel brighter and lighter and happier. I feel full of ideas and motivation and inspiration. I want to read all the books and write a book and knit all the things! I wish I could feel like this every day, you know? But I’ll enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

I got to take advantage of the nice weather with an outing today. I went to the bookstore by myself for an hour (bliss) then had lunch with three friends at the Shake Shack (yum) and then we went to the yarn store (yarn!). I think I’d also forgotten how much I enjoy doing things like this, getting out with friends. I’m pretty anti-social, happy to stay at home with my yarn and my pups, but there’s a lot of value in getting out and connecting with people whose company you enjoy. So thanks, girls, for the perfect afternoon getaway.

There is no new knitting to show off, though I will get a lot done tonight during the Oscars, so instead I’ll share the pretty magenta Malabrigo I bought today. It will be a cowl for me!

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Happy things

Let’s focus on the bright side today, shall we? I’ll start with the best happy thing: the girl came home last night! She’d been saying all along that she couldn’t come home until Wednesday because of Tuesday classes. Well, apparently those were cancelled and she’s been planning this surprise for weeks! The dogs went nuts, Grace especially, and the boy was excited and thrilled to have her home, and it just feels good to have everyone under one roof again. So I’m thankful to have my girl back, at least for a few days!

Here’s another happy thing, a little story: when I started working at this company, there was one person who was always so helpful and kind and fun, and I appreciated her endless patience while I figured everything out. So that first Christmas, two years ago, I made her a gray cowl, and she seemed happy with it and it was fun. Then yesterday I saw a group photo with her in it, and she was wearing the cowl!! I asked her about it and she said she loves it so much and wears it all the time and thinks of me whenever she wears it. Yarn friends, I don’t have to tell you about the warm heart and tear in my eye her words gave me. I’m thankful for the support I’ve gotten at work, thankful for kind people in the world, thankful for people who recognize the love in my knitting gifts.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us, and I’ll be going to the brother’s house for a big family dinner. I’m thankful I don’t have to do all the cooking and cleaning this year, and I’m thankful that we can all be together and that we enjoy each other’s company.

I got lovely supportive comments on my post yesterday and each one really was like a balm, as cheesy as that sounds. I’m thankful for this blog, for those of you who listen to me and offer support. I hope you all have a happy and peaceful weekend, whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not!

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It’s okay to not be okay

Okay, buckle up, kids, because shit’s about to get real.

I cried in front of my boss yesterday. It was horrible and awkward and super embarrassing. There’s a lot going on in my life and in my head, and most days I’m able to paddle along and stay afloat. But yesterday morning I was feeling overwhelmed and I had an argument with my husband and then I came to work and someone said something that felt critical of my efforts, and when I went in to talk to my boss about something else, it just kind of came out. That’s one of the unfortunate side effects of my depression: I cry super easily and sometimes I’m not able to prevent it.

So, yes, let’s start with the logical and factual and reasonable: my boss is wonderful and supportive. She was kind and said all the right things. In my head I know that what happened was not a disaster.

And yet, here I am, cringing because I don’t want her to think that I’m weak or that I can’t handle my job or my life. I’m embarrassed because I feel like I’m supposed to be strong and capable and competent, and most days I am. What I did left me vulnerable, and in my head that means vulnerable to her thinking less of me.

This morning I chose something purple to wear, and I put on eye makeup that I rarely wear, because I needed those things as a shield. War paint, right? I needed them to help me feel like yesterday was an aberration, not the norm. Then she stopped at my desk and asked how I was doing, and I felt embarrassed again, self-conscious because I don’t want to be on her radar for this kind of reason. I want to be on her radar because I’m awesome at my job. Period.

Why do we do this? Why do we think it’s shameful to be overwhelmed or sad or anxious? Why do we expect so much of ourselves? Why do we think we have to be strong all the time and unaffected by what’s going on around us? Why should we think we have to keep work life and personal life completely separate? They aren’t separate.

I don’t have the answers, obviously. I just have these feelings at war inside me, the one side arguing that what happened was fine, and that we need to be more aware and accepting of those unpleasant emotions. The other side says no, those outburstsย are somehow shameful, and I need to project an image of strength and perfection. Yep. I can know it’s wrong and still feel it.

But do you want to know the funny thing? I woke up feeling better today. Part of it was taking care of a nagging home repair, part of it was making up with my husband, and part of it was probably just time and sleep. But I’m wondering if part of it was the release of letting go, because I so rarely get that. I hate to lose control like that, so I hold a lot in, but I also have very few people I feel safe losing control in front of, being that vulnerable in front of.

Plus, if you’re the one always asking people if they’re okay, who’s asking you?

So yesterday was about my body/mind/heart finally saying, “You know what? I know you didn’t ask but I’m actually not okay right now, and I need to let it out.”

I want to support my friends and family, I want to be there for them when they need me. I don’t ever want them to feel like they can’t talk to me. But in doing that, I absorb some of their negative energy that stacks up on top of my own anxieties and worries, and I need to allow myself to release it sometimes, in some way. And I’d like to be able to pick the time and place, rather than emotionally vomit on my boss, you know?

What does that look like? Not sure yet. I’d like to start with regular journaling because writing out my problems helps me so much. I’m not opposed to therapy again, but the therapist I liked is in a very inconvenient location, so I’d have to break in someone new. I probably need to remind myself that it’s okay to be honest with people sometimes, to pick a sympathetic ear and unload occasionally.

These posts are the easiest to write and the hardest to publish, because I know some people in my real life read my blog and this is really painfully honest. But maybe some of them are putting up the same shield. Maybe some of them will realize now that depression can wear a mask much of the time. So for them, I will say what I keep telling myself: It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

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Yarniversary

Today is a special day. Six years ago today, I bought my first crochet hooks and yarn and started teaching myself to crochet! It’s been a long amazing journey since then, with plenty of frustration but so much more joy and peace. Yarn has been with me through so many hard times, allowing me to focus on something other than stress or anxiety or grief or sadness, at least for short periods at a time.

Yarn brought me many friendships I wouldn’t have otherwise, amazing friends who support me online and in person.

Yarn brought me this blog, which lets me work through things in words, a form of journaling after I’d walked away from journaling years ago.

Yarn opened up this huge source of creativity in my life, something I’d been searching for through other hobbies until discovering this one. It balances out the rest of my life so well, giving me an outlet for beauty and experimentation and art.

Yarn has given me confidence, though that one isn’t constant. The other day a woman saw me knitting a sock and told me “You’re so gifted!” And my response was, “You’re sweet, but really it’s the yarn doing the work.” I still struggle with being able to take credit for what I create, but in my heart, I really am proud of what I’ve done, what I make.

Yarn introduced me to a huge number of inspiring women who are doing what they love, being who and what they want, without apologies and with great joy. I have so many role models in the yarn world, and I’m happy and grateful to be a part of this community.

I don’t remember what I did before yarn came into my life, but I’m glad I don’t have to find out now.

This week, depression is kind of winning in my head, for a variety of reasons. Some are identifiable, but then there’s that weird inexplicable depression fug that takes over and makes you all dark and numb and twisty without explaining why. I’ve been here before and I know I’ll get past it like I have before. It just sucks in the moment, and all I want to do is enjoy the comfort of yarn in my hands, and be grateful that I have that comfort available.

So, thank you for six wonderful years, Yarn. I look forward to many more.

 

 

Brighter days ahead

Can I tell you a secret? I’m almost afraid to write it in case I jinx myself but…guys, I feel optimistic, for the first time in a long time. We’ve had such a stressful year, mostly due to way too many big financial emergencies, and things were just getting stretched way too thin. I’m sure most of you have been there, or are there. It sucks a lot. But we made a plan to work forward, and we cut back our spending, which wasn’t fun, and suddenly I can see progress. I can see that our changes are working, are helping, and we might be close to pulling ourselves out of the pit of despair. We are still facing a big, expensive rehab project on the house, but if we can make it wait until early spring next year, it’ll be okay. I feel like we can handle it now. It helped a lot that I had a car repair done over the weekend that I’ve been putting off for months, afraid it would be super expensive, and it wasn’t that bad at all. That’s apparently been weighing on me more than I realized. It’s just been a really dark year in my head, so it’s lovely to feel even this small sliver of hope. (I’m knocking on all the wood that nothing else falls apart in my house or my car!)

Something that never fails to brighten my day is yarn. Last week I got these two beautiful skeins of Manos Del Uruguay in the mail. It’s their new Feliz yarn, a blend of merino and modal, and I can’t wait to find the perfect shawl pattern.

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Thank goodness for yarn and dogs!

 

Waving the white flag

Can I whine just a little bit? You can skip this post if you like, it’s fine.

We had the A/C repairman out this week. Again. We might have been their best customer this year: I believe we saw them four times between May and now. We have two units, so it was two visits per unit, but still, I find that excessive, don’t you? And thanks to one of those visits, we had to replace a heat pump with a furnace and do some other expensive crap. It was great. (Can you hear the sarcasm?)

It’s just been a stupid expensive year. We started off with some insulation to try to keep the winter temperature in the house above 62. My car needed body work, and then new brakes a couple of months later. The girl’s car needed some repair. We had our own A/C issues, plus a repair at our rental property. We had to redo two sets of wooden stairs outside once one rotted and broke, as well as redo the concrete work and build a new retaining wall. A dog got sick and along with vet bills, we added an expensive monthly medication to our vet expenses. We had to replace two tires on the husband’s car.

It just keeps coming and coming. We try to plan for projects that need to get done, but then something else falls apart and the other stuff never happens. I keep thinking things are looking up and we might get to turn this ship around, and then bam, something breaks and we have to pay for it. And this is all on top of all the senior year/off to college expenses.

I’m tired, friends. And just a little frazzled.

I know it will be okay, and we’ll muddle through just fine. I keep telling myself all the “cheer up” things I can think of, and in my head I know they’re true and sometimes they help. And yet, I worry, and it’s been hard at times to manage my depression/anxiety crap. It ebbs and flows, and I really do think I might be on the upswing, as long as I can keep the house from falling down around me!

Plus that’s what I have my knitting for, right? (Well, and meds too, thankfully.) My knitting has definitely been therapy for me the last several months and right now my Dotted Rays shawl is my favorite. It’s so soft and squishy and soothing, garter stitch over and over…

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When it’s done, it’s going to be the coziest shawl ever, I do believe. Yarn is Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20, which only seems appropriate. I need some zen in my life!

You know, every time I write posts like this, I worry that they’re too honest, that I’m sharing too much, and maybe I should just journal. But…whatever. It helps me to write them. And maybe it helps others to know they’re not alone, or to show those who haven’t experienced it that depression isn’t always a “cure it and it goes away” kind of thing.ย 

I’m in a funk

Today’s my dad’s birthday. He would have been 74 today. Except he’s not because he got cancer and died almost six years ago, and that sucks a lot. Usually on days like this I’d write a thoughtful post about what a great person he was, and maybe something about how I’m processing the grief. But I don’t want to. I don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like going down that rabbit hole because I know it’ll freshen the pain that has softened and dulled. I don’t want to feel it fresh and sharp again. Maybe that’s one more step in the process. I don’t know. I don’t really want to examine it that fully. I’ll just say that I miss him, some days more than others, but at least I know it gets easier to bear as time goes on.

I’m in a funk today anyway, and I’m not sure if it’s the date or what. The dogs have this new thing where they wake up super early, like 4:30. We think it might be Grace needing to pee because of her steroids. We were able to halve the dose a couple of days ago so maybe that will get better. But still, this morning I got up with them, let them out, and then curled up on the couch to doze for another couple of hours. Better than nothing, but not as good as real sleep in a bed. And I have a sinus headache. And I have all the social obligations this weekend, instead of two whole days to knit.

So yes. I’m clearly in a funk and need to find a way out. Maybe I’ll spend some time with my socks this morning before I have to do all the things. I finished one sock last night, one for the girl, and it’s good. I like it.

IMG_5757You can’t see the sparkle, can you? But know that it’s there, a twinkly little strand of stellina. It’s in my Wonder Woman sock, too, which is quite fun to knit.IMG_5758

With any luck, some sock knitting and extra tea will brighten my morning and make the rest of the day go smoothly. And even though the dogs are buttheads sometimes, being around them is usually a treat too. They’re good. I like them.