What happens when you are making other plans

I am going to start this post with a picture of a bunny, for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture.

I did start a ‘My Creative Space’ post for last week, but it got a bit messy, and I ended up saving it to drafts and not looking at it again. What with teaching a crochet class at the weekend, trying to make things for myself, finishing off patterns, trying to take photographs for patterns, making stitchmakers and trying to stay on top of the washing, I never quite found the energy to finish it.

Which is where this post came from. It’s something I’ve been meaning to tackle for a while, because my own feelings on the subject are muddled up, and I thought untangling them might be useful for me and (maybe, just maybe) for others as well. Because as well as being a librarian, a wife and a crafter, I am a person with depression.

That’s not uncommon. A staggering number of people suffer from depression at some point in their lives, and possibly as a consequence or as a result of collective denial, the word has become terribly devalued. We talk about items in the news being ‘depressing’, and it’s come to mean ‘feeling a bit down’ which doesn’t really begin to cover it. As with so many mental health conditions, depression is a spectrum, and the diagnostic criteria can look ridiculously broad when they’re written down. Also, as is typical of these sorts of things, the illness manifests itself differently in different people. So I can talk about my experience of depression – something I intend to do, by the way – but it will differ from yours, or your partner’s or your mother’s or your friend’s.

But my main purpose isn’t to just talk about what it’s like to be depressed. There are hundreds of blogs and support communities out there. I’m more interested in the interplay of crafting and depression, how they relate to each other and how they can help or hinder. My own experience has been that it’s easy to turn the virtuous circle into a vicious one, where instead of lifting you out of your funk, doing more actually makes things worse. Crafting in particular can be a great solace, or it can be what burns up the last of your energy, especially on the modern crafting scene, where so much happens in an online, global world.

I started this post with a picture of the world’s fluffiest rabbit (probably), mostly because it made me smile. It’s a reminder not to take myself too seriously, and that for all the bad stuff, there are fun things as well. A healthy dose of humour – black or otherwise – has helped me get this far, and I doubt that I’m going to get much further without it.

And there will be a return to your scheduled Creative Space on Thursday, although how I’m going to post about Christmas presents without their recipients seeing them, I’m still trying to figure out!

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