Sunday, 15 January 2017

keeping it real - where I have been.....

I am currently sitting here contemplating what to write for a blog post.  Throughout my whole blogging journey, I have always sought to establish genuine relationships with my followers.  My blog is by no means a numbers or stats game.  I do not really track how many people read this little corner of my world or how many hits, conversions etc I get.  Maybe some people may view that as foolish and not very good business sense at all?  I really don't care though, because I am all about keeping my love and passion for quilting real. Showing the good quilting with the bad.  Sharing the good times and the bad times.

So this brings me onto sharing why I haven't been around much lately.  My husband, Colin has been experiencing some scary severe anxiety and episodes of derealization.  This seemed to get a little better with medication, however, it wasn't long until he was heading down into the abyss again soon after New Year.  Fortunately he has been referred to the appropriate care team and will soon be receiving appropriate treatment and talking therapies.  This has meant a huge change in circumstances for us as a family.  He is unable to work at the moment, and anyone who is self employed, knows this can be very tricky indeed.

I stopped quilting for a few weeks there, hence the lack of quilty posts.  Times like these really put the world in perspective!  Thankfully we are beginning to see light at the end of the dark tunnel.  I am beginning to get back into my commissioned projects this week and may even use Colin's photography skills to take some good photos of a few of my quilts for pdf patterns I hope to publish soon!

I just wanted to update everyone and be open about this time in our lives.  One in four of us in the UK will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in our lives.  I had post natal depression just 3 months after Jacob was born.  Quilting is my personal therapy and meditation.  I don't share this information about our situation for sympathy or to be doom or gloom.   Quite the contrary!  I want you to know that from terrible suffering of the mind can come great things.  I discovered quilting as a result of suffering from post natal illness.  Our family has become so much closer over these last few weeks of Colin's illness.  As have Colin and I.  Sadly there is still a huge amount of stigma around the issue of mental health and wellbeing.  Colin and I have both suffered this kind of stigma first hand.  This is why I feel it is vital I share this story here on my blog.  The world of quilting can be very positive and viewed through rose tinted spectacles at times.  This is a good thing but life isn't always like that.  The discovery of quilting was a positive thing to come out of my illness.  Now quilting is something that helps maintain good mental health in me.  If more people are open about these benefits personally or for those around them, then perhaps we can help break down the stigma and encourage more people to take up quilting or share with those around us who are maybe finding life a little hard and could do with a distraction from their problems.

So even although it is still very, very early days for him, I just wanted to share that out of these horrid situations can come better things.  Things you never knew would be around the corner.  I never knew I would be a quilter all those years ago when ill.  Who knows what is around that corner for Colin?  I am thankful for every reader or follower I have here.  I can only hope that my sharing of our lives can maybe encourage or help someone out there today.

15 comments:

  1. Aw hugs I have been a bad follower as my blog reading has dropped off a lot in the last six weeks or so. I'm so sorry Colin and you are having to go through this and I wish him a speedy recovery to a place where life is a lot less scary. You're right there is an awful stigma attached to any kind of mental illness - incredibly sometimes coming from people who've experienced it first hand themselves. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jan. We are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel thankfully x

      Delete
  2. Depression and mental illness of any kind are so demoralising because there's no physical evidence. Be strong but take time to care for yourself. We'll be here waiting for an update.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right about it being demoralising. It certainly is and my husband feels like he has been through the mill and back. I was sewing today and it felt very good! x

      Delete
  3. This is very very similar to how I feel about many things around quilting and the whole Internet world. I need to write it down actually, as there's a release in that in itself, regardless if I or no one else ever read it again. I hope it helped you. It's the middle of the night and I'm awake yet again with a rushing mind with it all. Without detracting from your issues with my tale, I just wanted you to know that your story has reached me. It is helping me see that others feel the same as me re: blogs etc and how we want to be around other stitchy folks to add that great aspect in our lives. We appreciate what that brings to our lives but know that life isn't that straightforward. I don't know anything about what Colin is suffering but your words have connected. You are heard. You are clearly doing an amazing job at looking after your family. Reassure yourself of that. This will pass. Help has been requested. Small steps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is kind of why I blog Diane. I find it therapeutic to put write my stuff down and release it. I am sorry to hear you were awake again. I hope that things are ok with you and thanks for being so open and honest! Small steps indeed! xxxxxx

      Delete
    2. I'm basically fine Collette. I work hard to always find the positives in situations and take good out of them; it's not always easy but I do the work, to hopefully get the benefits of that mindset. xx

      Delete
  4. I've experienced depression too and also know it's hard to live with some one who has mental illness. I'm glad he's getting treatment and I'm sending lots of love xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the love Lucy! Sorry to hear you have suffered too. It isn't pleasant at all but I suppose it does help us empathise with each other if nothing else. x

      Delete
  5. I come from a family where mental disease is widespread, spent my childhood with a mum who's bipolar and have been diagnosed with depression myself at the age of 15 but only got the right medication at the age of 45. I had a major breakdown more than two years ago and discovered sewing as my therapy. I'm grateful each day for this little bubble of happiness and all the lovely people in it that make me go on. Mental illness and even more so taking medication against it, is extremely stigmatised in our society. I've seen "friends" turn their back on me because I'm on medication. But I think the only way we can help all those suffering in silence is being open about our condition. Big hug to you and best of luck for you and Colin. Betti @bettis_stitches xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Betti I am so sorry to hear it took you so long to get the right medication. I am glad that you found sewing and have an outlet for your amazing talent. You are right, we should be grateful for this wonderful little bubble of happiness and I am so grateful for the IG community of strong talented yet vulnerable women, not afraid to share and help each other. Big hugs to you too lovely xxxxxxx

      Delete
  6. Well Collette, you can see how sharing has made a little bit of difference already so well done to you for opening up. Sorry to read this but hope things are getting easier for you all, anxiety and depression has an effect on so many members of a family. Take care.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Sheila I really appreciate your kind words xx

      Delete
  7. You are not alone! Sadly my kids have been having difficulties and like you quilting has been my therapy though gardening is also a haven for me! Hang in there and jut do what you can - it is enough!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Nicky! Sorry to hear about your kids xxxx

      Delete

I love to read comments on blogs so please feel free to talk away!