I've been debating whether to write this post or not... and even now I've written it I'm not sure about it. I don't want it to come across as all "woe is me" and I'm not the most eloquent of writers, but it's a subject that really interests me, although I'm sure other people have written far more insightfully on it.
What really prompted me to go ahead and write was one of the daily themes from Bimble + Pimble's #BPsewvember over on Instagram. I'm taking part (although I've missed a couple of days) and thoroughly enjoying seeing how other people interpret the themes and connecting with new to me Instagrammers and bloggers.
The theme that prompted my ramblings today was the one entitled "Why Sew?"
I sew for a number of reasons; because I love wearing clothes that no one else has (I've mentioned here several times that I wanted to study fashion design when I left school, but wasn't able to); because I love the creative and intellectual challenges sewing presents and because it helps enormously when things get too much and my head feels like it's about to explode.
|Picture credit: @marnie_makes on Instagram|
For the past few months I've been posting here less regularly than usual because although I've still been sewing, I'd been finding it increasingly difficult sometimes to summon up the energy to photograph and write about what I'd been making. I've felt tired all the time and often can't be bothered to get myself dressed up and find a decent spot for photographs. It turns out that this isn't just down to me being lazy, but actually due to (thankfully, fairly mild) depression and anxiety.
I've had depression before, some years ago, and at that time I wasn't sewing or doing any creative hobbies really. My main source of enjoyment then was reading, but I found it so hard to concentrate on even the simplest book when I was feeling low. My mind would race all over the place and I wouldn't even take in half of what I was reading. This time around however, I've found that sewing has helped me stay calm when anxiety and confused thoughts threaten to overwhelm me.
And there are lots of other people taking part in Bimble + Pimble's Instagram challenge that seem to feel the same way. People with varying degrees of mental health issues posted variations on my feelings that being creative helps them to stay positive and feel better. There's something about sewing that means you have to concentrate in a completely different way, focussing purely on what you're doing at the time - or that's the way it works for me anyway.
Sewing also reminds me that I am good at something when my brain is telling me I'm rubbish at everything. I just wish my sewing machine was quieter so that I could sew when I'm awake at 4am without disturbing my husband!
So what's the purpose of this post? I suppose it's twofold really; firstly to let you know that even if I'm not here posting I am sewing and I will catch up eventually; and secondly to say that if you're feeling low and as if you're rubbish at everything, you're not (rubbish at everything). Get a project out and sew, or knit, or whatever takes your fancy - even if it's something really simple - I'm sure it will help.
By the way, I'm still posting progress shots and completed project photos along with various other rubbish on Instagram, so if you don't already follow me there, come over and see what I'm up to.