Dwelling On vs. Acknowledging Something Negative

This is something I’ve been working on for a long, long time.  I still need to revisit it from time to time, especially when dealing with either my depression, my anxiety, or both.

Sometimes I struggle with it more in some moments, not because of my own mind, but because of the reactions of others if I bring up something negative that is going on, or something I’m feeling that is negative, or some kind of issue I need to bounce off someone, or even something that isn’t that huge of a deal and I just mention it off-hand to someone, and their response is just so negative in return that it throws me for a loop for a while.

Toss into that mix the ridiculous amount of brain power and time I spend re-playing conversations in my head, or the things I would have said had I had the opportunity, or had thought of it at the time, or just plain wished I said but bit my tongue.

These are often times when I realize that I forget that lots of people’s brains and thought processes just do not work the way mine does, and I shouldn’t dwell on their reaction, because they don’t always know exactly where I’m coming from in the moment.

There are many things I try very hard, every single day, not to dwell on.  Some days are easier than others, depending on my “levels” that day (hormones, depression, anxiety).  The days where it’s easy are the days I long for.  I wish they were in the majority, not the minority.  Yet another thing for me to occasionally dwell on.  The list gets vast.

But… all said, I’m definitely getting better at reminding myself not to dwell.

The next step that I’m actively starting to realize is to communicate my feelings in some way, either here, or to my husband, or to a friend, in order to at least release that energy out into the universe and rid my body and mind of it, at least for a while.  The release is something I’ve struggled incredibly with for a long time, and it’s something I have just plain forgotten for far too long.

That brings me often to dwelling on feeling like I’m a burden on those around me, because of the things I struggle with internally.  I feel like if I go through a period where I am consistently needing to release something stressful, anxiety-ridden, or worrying that I’m slipping into depression, that I’m just going to drag everyone down around me.  I dwell on thinking that the only way a conversation pertaining to those things can only go down, and not end in a place where I’m actually doing better than I was when I started.  Which, intellectually, I know is a fallacy.

I dwell on being “too needy”, not independent enough, too emotional, too unstable, not actually capable of adulting, even though I manage it without any major disasters every single day.

I’ve too often forced a smile onto my face, bit back the tears, and swallowed the rising lump and bile in my throat, so I don’t make anyone’s day worse than it might already be.

I don’t want to be “that guy”, so they say.

And perhaps because of that, because of the standard that I’ve managed to create in my own life, it can often feel like I’m not allowed to feel my feelings.  I’m not allowed to break down.  I’m not allowed to get frustrated and huff.

Do I need to find better ways to handle my emotions?  Absolutely.  No doubt in my mind.  But I also need to feel like I’m allowed to feel my feelings without repercussion, as long as I’m not taking it out on someone.  I want to be told (pretty much like a child) that it’s ok to feel mad about something.  It’s ok to feel sad about something.  It’s ok to feel anxious about something.  It’s ok to feel frustrated over something.  I want to know that it’s ok.  That I’m not less of a person for it.

I also need to communicate when I start feeling this way.  I know that. And I’m certainly trying.  Perhaps the key (sometimes) to not dwelling, is to talk.  To put a name to the emotions.

 

I Did It My Way…. ‘Cept I didn’t.

Ok, who doesn’t love a little  Ol Blue Eyes?  Mm.

Oh, sorry, started singing in my head and got distracted. 🙂

I’ve been sitting on this post for a handful of days so far.  It might end up taking a few more days to end up finishing as well.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have been bending to the things other people want a lot more than I was willing to realize.  I can’t believe I managed to convince myself otherwise just because I basically refused to do baby stuff (besides gifts).  I also wouldn’t want to directly compete with a friend.

I have realized that things just aren’t selling.  I do not have the money to put into doing craft shows, and on top of that, I don’t have a local business license.  I’ve looked into it, but feel like with how painfully sad my sales have been for well over a year, it’s not worth bothering to get one.  I really wish I didn’t live in a place where the craft shows require it.  If I could do just one show, just to see how well I might be able to do (I know just one show shouldn’t be a good indicator, but hey…) I would then far more seriously look at getting a business license.

I don’t know if that makes any kind of real sense, but that’s just how my brain is working at this point.

I started this with next to nothing, and pretty much everything I have made has gone right back into it, little bit by little bit, and some craft shows are quite expensive to get into as a vendor.  Some aren’t, but some are up to multiple hundreds of dollars.  Though I have a few possibilities, I’m barred by the fact that I do not have a business license.

And before I do get one, I feel like I might need to take a danged class on the taxes and bookkeeping necessary to pay taxes before I even GET one.  I’m a bit petrified of that, despite knowing it’s an eventual necessity if I do continue with this little venture.  I would like to find some form of proper bookkeeping that doesn’t overwhelm me entirely, but will provide me with the accurate figures necessary to report income for taxes.  Thankfully, I have a husband and a good friend that are both rather educated in the tax area, if not the bookkeeping portion.  So, there’s that.

But even before any of that, I have to get things organized, in order, and honestly… until Zoe is in school regularly, I feel like that’s an almost impossible task.  I make progress, then things fall apart again.  Excuses, I know.  Some people are just ridiculously better at all of this than I am.  They have the more A-type personalities necessary for things like this.  I’m trying, but with my emotional health and my hormones, it can be rather daunting.

Anyway, enough with that boring, depressing stuff.

I’ve indeed been trying to please everyone, and I’ve found myself not as inspired as I once felt.

I’ve decided to take a look at a few things that I love.  All things coffee/tea, wine and books.

SO!

An idea I’ve been tossing around for a while, considering the name of my shop is finally going to start coming to fruition.

  1. Bookmarks and possibly other book related items.
  2. Wine glass charms.
  3. Wine Bottle Cozies/gift bags.
  4. Coffee Cozies/Mug/Cup Cozies.
  5. Small to large charms on clasps to be easily added to any existing jewelry, wine cozy or mug cozy.

This is perhaps going to give me a bit more focus, and my shop a bit more focus.  More ready-made items to ship out immediately instead of having things made to order every single time.  Smaller items I can more quickly produce, so turn over time is cut down greatly.  Still using supplies from both my jewelry ventures, and my more current yarn ventures.  It’s a change, but not a complete overhaul, so hopefully I will not end up going completely in the hole in the process.

I feel like these things really are close to home for me personally, and I will have a bit more joy out of making them, and hopefully that joy will be shared with others.

 

 

 

 

I guess you can call it spring cleaning…

I have put some thought into things, and after a rather long stint of a particularly woeful amount of sales, I’m doing some spring cleaning in my shop.

Anything that doesn’t end up selling due to this sale, I’ll either gift out, or donate.  So, friends, family, or even just people who read this, if you want something, snap it up while you can.  I might be adding more to the sale section over the coming weeks, but this is only going to run for a month.

Anyway, enough with the shameless self-promotion. 🙂

I am planning on backing away from a good portion of the crochet things that I’ve been doing, especially the larger pieces.  I’m going to be refocusing my shop on a few things, and hopefully that will mean better things to come for my shop.

I am also planning on getting back to my roots, the reason why I originally started my Etsy shop.  I had originally focused on jewelry and other similar accessories, so there will be a shift back to that, with some small crochet items tossed into the mix.

I am still in the process of deciding just what I want to take away and what I want to add, but I have a pretty good idea.  And while I do love each of the things I make, if I want this to be more successful, I have to realize when something isn’t working, and it hasn’t been working for a very, very long time.

There are also other things that I do love, so I’m going to take a cue from those things and put the love for those things into my shop instead.  I’ve talked to a few other small business/Etsy shop owners, and others have also had to do the same thing, some have done it more than once, some do it somewhat regularly in order to stay more relevant and more competitive.  I feel that perhaps it is the best course for me at this time since all the promoting that I have been able to put the time into, and what minuscule resources I have has done next to nothing to actually help increase sales of anything that I have at this time.

It’s frustrating, it’s tiresome, it’s a bit humiliating, and certainly very humbling.  Which sometimes is a very, very hard set of emotions to deal with.

While I am certainly my own worst critic most of the time, I really felt like I was doing well, progressing, my skills with crochet were getting better, my photography and staging skills, getting a better handle on search engine optimization, promoting tastefully (I hope) across as many social media sources as possible without looking desperate… I was gaining some amount of confidence, to what feels like no avail.

I realize that this might sound rather Debbie Downer, and I don’t intend it as such and I certainly am not looking for pity, a pat on the back, or guilt-driven purchases.  I just want to be able to be honest about how I’ve been feeling about all of this.

I want to be able to turn this into the drive and motivation to make some big changes, and hold onto the hope that it turns things around for me.

 

The Struggle Between Motivation and Giving Up

Lately I have had a bit more motivation, and ideas are flowing, and lots of things I look forward to doing.  I have even been in a good mood for the most part, excited and energized.

However, there has been a looming shadow in my thoughts.  I’m frustrated, and feeling rather disheartened with how much legwork I’ve been putting into trying to drive traffic to my shops (there are three now, as I thought having more platforms would yield perhaps a couple more sales, some is better than none, right?), and seeing nothing really come of it.

Now, I know that some that have a more positive outlook, and perhaps more business savvy than I have can see the benefits of what little traffic I do get as part of the longer term.  But I’m having a really hard time believing it.  I want to.  Believe me, I want to.

I understand that most, if not everyone who tries to start a business from the ground up, whether or not it started as a hobby at one point, feel keenly the struggle of learning, of growing, of trying and failing, and trying again.

And perhaps that’s all this feeling is.  I hope that is all it is.  Dealing with my depression and anxiety has put an extra layer of clouds on things at times, and I know it has certainly had a negative impact on what I’m trying to do.  But, I also realize that I need to tend to myself in order to continue moving forward, and not completely string myself out trying to fight it.  I almost feel like I’m walking on eggshells in my own head, around my own self at times.  It’s a weird feeling.

I do not want to give in.  I do not want to give up.

But perhaps the odd need to cry is something I should just do, be done with it and move on.  The clouds need to rain to lighten their load, after all.

 

Overwhelm, my old friend.

I have realized (once again) it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything.  I think many of you have grown accustomed to that at this point.  Even so, my apologies.

While things have certainly gotten better in general, I’m no longer on anti-depressants, and my body is shifting back to it’s own version of “normal”, I’ve been dealing with figuring out just how I want to continue dealing with all of this.

I have started Saw Palmetto, and at the very least it’s helped tame some of the androgen that my body apparently over-produces when I’m not on birth control (which the birth controls I’ve been on happen to target).  I still have some intense mood swings, and the occasional intense pain from my cycle, but at least my skin isn’t as oily, my mustache is going away, and my skin is clearing up.  (Seriously, I started feeling like a teenager.)

Though, the rest of my skin clearing can be attributed to going back on Proactiv.  No, I’m not plugging it, but it’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my couple of stubborn spots.

My weight has fluctuated about 10 pounds, and I’m trying to work on that as gradually as possible.  There’s still some changes to make, and I’m working on those.  We’ve make a concerted effort to changing our evening dining habits, and we’re now in the third week.  We’re also trying to get up and out a little more often, which has been nice.

While a lot has gotten better, I’m still dealing greatly with an over-sensitivity to feeling overwhelmed, and it’s frustrating because I feel like it’s happening for no reason.  So, yeah.  Lots of cyclical emotional garbage, which is nothing new.

The periods seem to come and go quicker, though, which is both good, and a little frustrating.  When things are good, I am pretty productive, but then then I hit the wall pretty hard and it just knocks me so far back.  Trying to power through it as much as possible, though.

But having made a couple new friends and having an amazing friend move to the area has been a big boost for me.

So, here’s to grabbing the sunshine whenever possible and forcing myself to like it.

 

 

Rain, Flooding, Broken Things and Pretty Stuff

The last month or so has certainly been interesting.

A few weeks ago, Hurricane Joaquin battered the Bahamas, and sent a rather troubling amount of rain to quite a bit of the east coast.  Thankfully we have not had too much of an issue because of it, but different areas in our state have been hit quite hard.  We’ve also had a few things to get repaired at our rental a couple towns over, but nothing too extreme, thankfully.

We’ve made new friends, had some good times out and about with new friends and old friends.

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the better in so many ways.  We’ve had quite a bit of clear skies since the storm passed.  It occasionally slips back up into the 80’s, but at least it’s not humid to go with it.  We’ve had dips down into the 60’s during the day and 40’s over night, which has also been quite nice.  We’ve turned the A/C off and had the windows open for a couple weeks now.

We’ve also been planning a couple of outdoor cooking shindigs, which I am certainly looking forward to.

I’m still battling the occasional fall back into the fog that comes from my depression and moving off of my anti-depressants.  But overall things are getting better, slowly.

I have had a few good days this week, though.  Quite productive in comparison to my foggy days.  But, even my foggy days aren’t my worst days, which I am thankful for.  I’ve been able to get 10 new things listed in my shop, some of which were waiting to be photographed and listed, the others were made in the last few days.

I’ve done a bit more work in organizing my yarn and completed projects, cleaned up my work space a bit and cleared out the growing mound of works-in-progress and random balls of yarn from my usual place in the living room.  It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a big improvement!

Due to the rains, we’ve had a bit of an issue in the back yard with some ant colonies making their way up to the surface.  We’re hoping that subsides soon.  James has also replaced one of the plum trees that didn’t take from the last owner of this house, and two peach trees, they’re now planted in the back yard.

We’ve changed up some of our plans for the vegetables and herbs.  Some of which are still potted, we’ve placed them in the edging by the fence where our “garden” is.  The start of which was made by the previous owners. They really did an amazing job, but with some of the spaces there are, we’ve planted strawberries, among other things, and they’re doing well.  I will probably transplant a couple things as they start to outgrow their pots, but so far the ones we’ve got potted are doing great as they are, so are placed in the spaces in their pots. They’re rooting down through the bottom of the pot.

Now to eventually address the patio situation.  Not sure when we’re going to do it, but I think we’ve settled on using composite material “wood” for a larger, wider entertaining space out back.

Here’s a few pictures of the things I’ve done lately!

Lav Hankie5Fluff Cowl3Mustard5Moustache1Infinity3Hanger1Green Leaves2Black Fluffy5Fall Leaves2

Obligatory Personal Update

It’s been almost a year since I was verbally whacked over the head enough to drag my procrastinating ass to the doctor.

It’s been almost a year since what was the biggest emotional hurricane I’ve had since I was a teenager.

It’s been a rather interesting year.

It’s also been hard, not just on me, but those around me, and for that there is nothing I feel I can say that can tell them how much I appreciate their patience, love and support.

I was placed on Celexa (citalopram) for depression.  It was a last resort for me.  (If you want, check out my post “When nothing works..” and the one before and the one after.)

It was never intended to be something I rely on for the rest of my life.  I’d dealt with things as naturally as possible to that point, I’m determined to continue doing so.  However, I’ve become convinced that the worst of it was dulled for many years through taking birth control for most of my life from the time I was about 15.  After coming off of them when we decided to start trying to get pregnant, my body eventually readjusted.  Apparently that readjustment wasn’t exactly a good one.

I’ve been trying to wean myself off my medication for a while now, after going through yet another depressive state for a couple of months straight while on this medication.  I have visited my doctor, they had a cancellation and moved my appointment up.  He is perfectly ok with me weaning myself off.  I’ve halved my dose for a while now, which didn’t bother him since I was feeling better for it.

He did say that I had options, such as switching to a different SSRI, or to another class of medication all together, or going back on birth control.  Or both.

I pretty much flat out told him no on all fronts.

I refuse to go back on birth control because of my experiences since the Depo-Provera shot, which I have also written about in the past.  I have attempted once, if not twice to go back on birth control since then, and very quickly found that the positives were not in any way going to outweigh the negatives.

Though, I do believe that he isn’t really convinced or really even listened to, or really heard me when it came to how extreme the effects on my system it had.  It seems very few doctors have, if any, so far.  The only one that really listened was the psych guy back on Bangor they made me talk to.  He was more convinced that most of my problems stemmed from my endocrine system and wasn’t necessarily purely depressive.

My doctor here also wants me to talk to the psych guy here, as well.  I told him he’s free to call up the Bangor base medical and get my stuff, or talk to the guy I talked to.

Once again, they completely and utterly dismissed the idea of checking my hormone levels.  I’m not too happy about that, but at least he isn’t against me just plain getting myself off the Celexa.  I want it out of my system.  It worked for a short time, then just plain stopped.  Then I had to take it just to feel even remotely normal.  If I forgot to take it, the withdrawal symptoms were/are horrible.

Though, the unfortunate thing is that I’m going to have to suck it up. Which were his exact words, because I told him flat out that I didn’t want to go back on birth control, and I wasn’t willing to switch to anything else.  And I’m all for sucking it up, since the sooner I can get this stuff out of my system, the better.

So far, the worst of it seems to have passed, having cut down my dose already.

There is far more negative than positive to being on this medication, as much as being on birth control would be.  I’ve become hyper sensitive it seems to mood-stabilizers.  I become a zombie at times, floating through, foggy, and at times extremely withdrawn.  The worst thing is the times when I’m painfully aware of it, but can’t break past the wall of it.  My rational mind doesn’t do me any good at times, which kills me.

After going through what hopefully will only be a few weeks or so of the worst of this whole weaning thing, it’ll be another adventure in finding just what my chemical “normal” is, and how to deal with it.  And hopefully convincing my doctor that it may just be stemming from a long-covered-up issue with my hormones.  Or finding a new doctor that will listen to me.