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Monday, June 21, 2010

Depression Messes With Everything!

Depression hurts those who suffer with it in so many different ways. First there are the emotions involved, feeling sad all the time, feeling down, anxious, overwhelmed and so many more. The loss of energy is also a major pain in the neck. Even if you manage to drum up the desire to do something, you are just to dang tired to do it. Body aches and pains are a nasty effect for anyone but especially so for someone who already lives with pain everyday. I am not trying to say that the aches and pains a non-chronic pain patient who is depressed feels are somehow less annoying or anything like that. I just mean that for a depressed chronic pain patient, the aches and pains from depression increases their overall pain level which makes it very difficult to manage the extra pain. Complete loss of sex drive also stinks. This can result in your partner wondering if you have lost interest in them, or no longer find them physically attractive or other negative thoughts. The complete loss of caring about anything is also a horrible effect of depression.

As I tend to be the kind of person who genuinely cares about other people, their situations and more. Losing that made me feel even worse. I am very happy with my compassion and empathy for others. It is, to me anyway, a good way to be.

These, and a few others, are all symptoms of depression that I have dealt with before and which feel "normal" to me, at least normal for when I am depressed. But recently I realized I have another symptom that really bothered me. Though I'm not sure if it is a symptom or just a side effect as logically it could be a step or two further down the "nothing matters at all" path that I wandered through with this bout of depression. Anyway I found myself once again able to enjoy my cross stitching hobby. Picking a chart, getting together the floss colors for it, picking out a fabric and getting a piece big enough for the design plus a bit extra for framing/finishing, then the actual process of stitching the design and watching it come to life on the fabric, each stitch bringing forth more and more of the design on my fabric; the whole process is just a great deal of fun and very satisfying to me! I may not have a job, but I know I am not useless or worthless because I can create beautiful stitched pieces of art! (leave my delusion alone please ROFL)

I have started a few different projects and picked up an old one. There is the Quaker piece, Frogging Around, the Delft Card (which is now finished!), Christmas Dreams and the Anniversary Sampler for Ron (DH) and I. As I got close to finishing the Delft Card I got scared! I kept picking it up, putting in a stitch or tow, then getting terrified and putting it away. Eventually I stopped even trying. This of course made me feel silly, sad, angry and more. I didn't talk to anyone about it because I was afraid they wouldn't understand, or think I was making it up to get attention, or think I was over-reacting and there really wasn't anything wrong.

But feeling my heart race, sweat break out on my skin, my hands shake and my breathing speeding up were all quite real symptoms and the emotion was also quite real; I was afraid to finish. I think the fear may have been two-fold in nature. The whole fear of failure/success so just don't try thing, I know I felt afraid of finding out that I couldn't finish it. Then there was fear of screwing it up real bad and having to start over. With all those doubts rolling around in my head and the fear knotting my stomach, it just became easier to put the design away rather than continue to try and stitch.

Last night I finally told my DH about how I have been failing, asking him to help me push past this. I also told my friend Angi, who is also a stitcher. I sat down, determined to finish the Delft Card I started at beginning of month to send to someone in the UK so they could sell it and raise money for cancer research. Angi and I sent text messages back and forth and both of them kept reassuring me that I could do it. I did ask both of them at least once if I could stop. The last time I asked I was 47 stitches from done. They both told me no and Angi's DH (Dan) piped in with a no as well. Thanks to their support I did finish the card. At first I felt mostly relief that it was done. Then came disbelief, I kept staring at it thinking "It's done?? How did that happen? Is it really done?" and checking for any missed stitches. I just couldn't believe I had done it! Then after a few minutes the wonderful rush of joy filled me and I got to experience the wonderful rush that accompanies finishing a piece and it FELT GREAT!

When I got on my blog to post the "done" I found 4 comments awaiting approval. They were all very supportive, understanding, and encouraging. No one laughed at me either. It made me feel so much better!

Still this was a rather odd experience as it is not something I have had happen before, I have had something similar but the reason for it was very different as it was the result of an abusive relationship and it affected my ability to write. Heck I couldn't even write in my journal, though I have finally gotten over that and am writing again. So here is hoping that this is gone also! I did some more stitching on Frogging Around and should have it complete tomorrow I hope!

Being able to write all of this stuff down (so to speak) on this blog has been so very helpful to me since I started it. The comments I receive make my day and better still I have met other people in similar situations as myself. This has been very helpful to me! Just knowing that I am not alone helps a great deal!

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

Knowing that someone has read my posts and commented on it, helps in many ways. The biggest two being that it helps ease the feeling of being "alone" and that no one could possibly understand. Secondly, it reminds us that others truly do care and that just feels wonderful!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog, it really does mean a great deal to me and is helpful too!