Tag Archive | depression

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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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.