Tag Archive | depression

You guys rock

Guys, I love you. Blogville is so weird and wonderful. I never thought I’d be writing a blog post that’s basically like a private journal entry, but I got such wonderful, thoughtful comments that it makes my heart happy. Writing has always been how I work through a lot of my hard thoughts, and just writing that post helped me a lot. But then to hear from others who felt the same, and others who were encouraging and supportive… it’s so good. This morning, writing this post reminded me of a song, Breathe (2AM) by Anna Nalick, whose lyrics I love:

Two AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer
Inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
‘Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

So thank you, for using my words to be kind to me and to yourselves. One of the comments made me realize that if I’d made different choices, I might never have started crocheting or knitting, and I can’t imagine not having that in my life, or having the amazing fiber community. I am grateful.

Okay, enough sappiness. I have photos of yarn shops and yarn to share but that’ll be tomorrow. I wanted this to be first.

I get knocked down, but I get up again

A couple of days ago the girl sent me a snapchat asking if I was okay, because I hadn’t blogged in like three weeks. I confess, I teared up a bit because it was really perceptive and sweet and I miss her. As I told her, the answer is yes. But also no. And all the gray area in between. One of our dogs, Grace, got really sick last weekend and she’s still not quite 100% so I’ve been worried about her, plus a little stressed about how much we spent on vet bills because of it. Work hasn’t been what I want it to be lately, and I’m at the point in my life where I think about things like what are my long-term goals, how can I have multiple, competing goals, how do I want to spend the rest of my working life, is it okay to do something that fulfills you even if it’s not “A CAREER”? And I haven’t found any answers yet. I’m knitting, but I haven’t felt the call to write about it lately. Every time I think about it, it seems like a lot of work, so I don’t bother. But, here I am, doing the thing, because maybe if I push myself a little bit, I can get back in the groove.

My most recent FO is a hat commission I just finished this morning. It’s not quite done because it needs a pompom, but I’m debating between pink, silver or both. What do you think? It’s for a 10yo girl, if that makes a difference.

img_5840I used Caron Simply Soft Party Sparkle. I do like their acrylics, and I do love some sparkle! The pattern is Zayo Bayo Hat, which says it was written for 4-7yo kids, so I bumped up the stitch count by a few stitches.

Over the last few weeks, I also finished the Cersei hat for my former boss’s birthday, and I cast on for a new cowl for myself and a scarf for a friend’s birthday coming up. Plus I’ve been working on my Spring Rain shawl and my Boxy (not that much on the Boxy, to be honest). Oh, and I cast on a new pair of socks for a nephew, but I haven’t gotten a photo of those yet.

The Spring Rain shawl has its own little story, so I’ll share that soon. It will be a tale of why one should use lifelines when knitting lace shawls!

Happy weekend, friends. Hope it’s a good one for you!

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Stress = a new project

Yesterday was Not a Good Day. Not as bad as Car Accident Day on Sunday, but not great. It was more stress piled on to to all the other things we’ve dealt with this summer, and my nerves are just about at their breaking point. I needed some serious comfort knitting, so I pulled out some colorful worsted and cast on for a new cowl.

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The pattern is simple and easily memorized, so I can just sit and knit without having to think too hard. The needles are bigger, so I’m not gripping them as tightly as I’ve been doing with my fingering weight WIPs. And the yarn, oh, it’s so pretty! It’s mystery yarn from a destash, so I have no idea of the brand. But it makes me happy to knit with it, and it’ll make me happy to wear it!

Happy Friday, friends. Hope your week’s been better than mine!

A Tale of Two Socks

I always have a sock on my needles. Ever since I started sock knitting two years ago, I have at least one sock going. They’re great travel knitting, they’re useful, they’re small, I don’t need a pattern for my favorites, and I get to use fun sock yarn. But I’ve discovered that the yarn is a key part of this equation. Maybe not surprising to you — I mean, yarn is one of the best parts of this knitting obsession, right? — but it always surprises me. I have this sock I’ve been working on for a while. I don’t even know how long because I didn’t start a project in Ravelry, but maybe a couple of months? And this is what I have so far:

IMG_4777It’s not very much, given my usual sock-knitting rate. And I realized it’s because I don’t love the yarn. It’s a Zauberball and while I think the colors are fun, I don’t like how it feels. It’s a rougher yarn than I prefer, and I’m afraid it will be scratchy on my feet. (Yes, I know feet aren’t as sensitive as necks or foreheads or arms, but believe me, I’ve had some problem socks.) The girl has asked for a reprieve from new socks for a while. Who else would want possibly itchy purple-ish socks? I don’t know. So while I’m tempted to frog, I’ve set them aside into hibernation and last night I cast on a new, fun sock.

IMG_4776Much better: fun colors and SOFT yarn! This is Apothefaery Fabrications Middle of the Road Sock yarn that I got at my LYS and it’s going to be Beautiful Socks. Yes, capitals!

I just need my knitting to get back to bringing me comfort again. I’ve struggled with my knitting mojo this summer, my everything mojo if I’m being honest, and I need my knitting to be where I succeed and do what feels good for me. After the big Fade project and then the dog sweater test knit, I need selfish knitting. And not even just knitting for me; I need knitting that is driven by my creativity and my inspiration and my ideas. I have one more review project on my needles that’s almost done, and after that I might take a little break. We’ll see. There’s been a lot on my mind this summer and I’m looking ahead to taking the girl back to college and our looming house renovation project, so I might not have the mental energy for much more than comfort knitting.

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Just a quickie

I’m about halfway through the Fade now! I started melting in the third color last night and I love how the change is so subtle. This is just a couple of rows but I’m loving how the yarns are playing together. See that bit of red at the top? That’s really the only change from the previous yarn, and it’s just popping up here and there right now. I was so happy to get that color started, too, because this project is fading in enjoyment for me. It’s just not my happy colors. But I have to admit it looks cool and it will be a pretty nifty shawl when it’s done.

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Beyond that, things are looking up, at least today. Sometimes I just need to remember to force myself to get out of my house, out of my head. After resting my strained calf at home on Monday, I went back to work yesterday, even drove myself, and it was good to be around people, good to get my mind off the negative things it’s been dwelling on. The muscle is improving quickly, though I’m still being careful and taking the meds, so that helps my mindset too. I even got a little excited thinking about some new review yarn coming my way, instead of feeling stressed about it. New yarn for the win, as always!

Happy Hump Day, friends! Hope the rest of the week flies by!

Back to knitting

Things are weird around here. My head isn’t quite right; the experience with my mother-in-law brought back a lot of feelings about my dad and I’m struggling to get on top of them again. Added to that are a few smaller things weighing on me, and it’s all feeling heavy. I haven’t been excited or eager about knitting, so I’ve just been forcing myself to work on my Fade while I watch the French Open.

But here’s the thing: I think it’s getting better. I took two days off after the service and have been spending time with the husband and kids, who are all home this week too, and that’s been good. I had dinner with my siblings, who always make me laugh. My dogs have been nearby, ready for snuggles. And Thursday I cast on a new sock with yarn that was calling my name. So I’m getting there. Day by day, right? In the spirit of easing back into my routines, I’ll show you what I found at an estate sale this week.

VRdkZHfST52b2rxLaVi7kwThe two smaller blue cakes are Koigu fingering weight merino, which came with the unlabeled cake of worsted. The two WIPs I mostly bought for the needles. I’m not sure which brand they are but they remind me of Addi needles. I’ve already frogged the projects, and the big ball of red/blue/white will probably become warm socks for my Colorado girl.¬†And here’s my new yarn, an impulse purchase after seeing it on Instagram.

Z%QLZCKHTxOtf4Bw1pHqGwIt’s called Pride in the name of Love, and is an exclusive color from Three Irish Girls for Eat.Sleep.Knit. I kind of had to get it, right? Purple and rainbow! If you feel similarly compelled, it looks like they still have some in stock here.

With any luck, I’ll get a good photo of my Fade progress this weekend, and I can show that off soon. Happy weekend, friends!

Another good-bye

Grief is so dumb. Argh. My mother-in-law passed away on Saturday. It wasn’t sudden or unexpected; she’d been fighting lung cancer for almost three years and made it longer than any of her doctors predicted. We all had time to go see her while she was still alert and hold her hand and tell her we loved her. One of the last things she was able to eat was a meatloaf I made for them. I had no idea it was one of her favorite meals, it was just easy to transport and bake. I’m glad I was able to be there for her in a few small ways.

But wow. The last couple of weeks brought back so many feelings from when my dad was fighting the same thing. He lived less than a year after diagnosis, and I wasn’t there at the end. I didn’t think I could drop everything to go several states away to be with him, and by the time I figured it out, it was too late. I know now that nothing’s more important. I saw him about a month before he died, and I knew there was a chance it was the last time I’d see him, but still. I’d give anything to have had more time.

And now we’re going through photos, finding ones of her for a picture board for her service, and it’s a wrench, seeing all these people we love who aren’t here any more. My dad, my husband’s grandma, step-dad, and grandpa, and now his step-mom. My kids have had a lot of losses. My own grandparents died when I was very young, so I didn’t have to do this. I didn’t have any experiences teaching me that it’s okay to feel however you’re feeling, that you should go when you want to go, and that it’s okay to step back when you need to take a breath. It probably wouldn’t have made any of the grief easier, though. Nothing really makes it easier. I miss them. I miss them all.

But we’re okay. We’ve had a lot of time to get ready for this, and I’m glad she’s not in pain anymore. We’re sad but we’re okay. Last night, my son wanted to keep looking at photos, so the four of us sat around going through photo albums and scrapbooks, laughing at baby photos and just remembering all the happy stuff. It was a perfect couple of hours.

I’ll be back with knitting soon, I promise. Until then, go hug someone and tell them you love them, just for the heck of it.

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 outbursts¬†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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