I am a crafter. I have depression. The two mix a lot. In a way, they also don’t mix. I’ll give you an example. Two days ago, I started a new pattern. It’s something that would normally take me 4 hours at most to stitch up. It’s really quick and small but with this recent bad bout of depression, I’m barely half way through it. I’ll avoid stitching on it for hours on end. It’s like I can’t bring myself to pick it up.
That’s been most of my life. I’ll find something I love, but when a bad bout hits, I have to force myself to do anything. Sometimes it will be so bad, I stop doing the things I love entirely. There are innumerable crafts laying around, or packed in boxes that reminded me far too much of bad times so I can’t work on them again.
It doesn’t help that I worry a lot. I worry about worrying before there’s anything to worry about. This time though, there’s a fair amount to worry about. I’m not going to get into some of the personal details, but let’s just say some of the people who are important to me have been busy lately, to the point that I often feel ignored and unwanted. I know I’m overreacting a bit, but it often feels like they just don’t want to talk to me. At the beginning of what I call my ‘episodes’ of depression, I throw myself into my crafting with more fervor, or I spend hours playing video games, since it helps me kind of forget my problems for a little bit. At this stage though, it’s the opposite. I either can’t get into the game or project, or it somehow keeps me thinking of the thing that’s bothering me.
I’m at war with my mind. Every single month I have to fight through it. Sometimes it’s only a couple days at a time. More than once, it’s been an entire month. When I finally get through it I’ll have a day or two, sometimes more, of renewed vigor. I’ll be able to finish things really quickly. I’ll get ideas for twenty new things, and might actually make some of them (or at least the patterns). But then another ‘episode’ creeps up and everything falls away so I end up spending my day staring at my computer screen, wondering what I’m going to do.
The only constant is answering messages from my Etsy shop. It’s the one thing I can’t pull myself away from. I want to make these potential customers happy. I want to throw myself into whatever pattern they want head first so I can focus on that for an hour or two and forget the bad. It works, but sometimes there just aren’t any orders or potential orders for days or weeks.
At least I try. At least i know that at some point it will get a little better, and I can finish something new.