It’s not you…it’s me…
I haven’t abandoned ship or walked the plank…I haven’t ran away with the circus or joined a travelling dancing show…I haven’t downed tools, lost my paintbrushes or mislaid my pens. I haven’t wandered away from my wool or even abandoned my embroidery thread. I am here. I am sat for the umpteenth time this month trying to find words and put them into the right order to make sense of the last few months. I am sat wondering whether I can post such a personal blog post. I am sat, as usual, worrying that I promised I would be taking a break for a while, but that it has been a little longer than that and that is not okay…but I am beginning to be okay with it.
When I announced my break after my Create 28 blog challenge I was excited to relax and be quiet and gather my ideas. I was looking forward to adventures and plans and no plans. I was eager to re-group, collect inspirations and hoard new ideas. I wanted to come back to work refreshed, inspired, on top of my little creative world, back in the game, ready to push myself and my little creative biz further and higher up the crafty little ladder than I had before.
Except as you can probably tell by now, my hiatus did not at all go to plan. Actually it pretty much rolled right off the tracks into a fast flowing river I call life. Life got in the way. Hell, life overtook me, looked back at my exhausted self and reversed back to take a good old look before flying off into the sunset taking with it my creativity and umph.
Behind it, in its trail of nastiness, it left some Dementors that even the strongest Patronus struggles to fight off sometimes. Saying that, I am pretty sure that my spirit animal is a panda bear so amongst eating bamboo (read: cake) and sleeping (read: taking naps) I didn’t stand a chance. (He is pretty damn cuddly in those naps though)
In a nutshell and because the details are gory and scary and far too personal and in depth to try to cover in a single blog post right smack bang in the middle of it all – We have the neighbours from hell. If you remember back to just over a year ago, my Fiancé and I bought our first house together after renting for 8 or so years. We bought a four bed new build (one of which is the almost finished Eliston Button Headquarters) and were excited to choose our flooring and tiles and kitchen etc…except that apparently you can’t choose your neighbours.
We seemed to have moved into our beautiful dream home next to some of the most inconsiderate, spiteful and just plain horrendous human beings that I have ever had the bad luck to meet. They are bullies that make living (and working) from home most difficult, not to mention the day to day stress that we have to battle with. This may also explain to you lovely Instagram followers, the numerous sunset hill views and Cotswold adventures we are taking to retreat to our safe places, our havens and our quiet soul restoring places and spaces.
I have found myself feeling all the emotions. Anxiety and Depression are emotional evil. Words cannot explain how anxiety holds you by the stomach and grabs your throat while you keep your head above water. While panic seeps into your mind from a wave that came out of nowhere. No words can describe how depression can come along and suck out your soul and you have to fight to get all of the pieces back.
J.K.Rowling used Dementors in Harry Potter to explain her own battle with Depression perfectly and she will forever be one of my literary heroes. She used the idea of a Patronus, a single happy memory that can drive the Dementors away, to say that if you can find just one thing to hold on to, you will be okay, you will be protected…
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”
As I am sure you can imagine this whole experience has taken its toll on our sanity a little but also made us the strongest little team ever. Emotions come in waves. One day I will be a fully (well, almost) functioning human being that can laugh and smile and feel ‘normal’ yet others are waves of overwhelm that makes getting out of bed, eating breakfast, taking a shower and putting one foot in front of the other a win. I am okay. I am getting there. I just need time. I just need to take care of myself each day and let it be okay to not do anything but go through the motions sometimes. I need to ease the pressure off of myself. I need to know that it is okay to take a longer break than expected. I need to relax and get better and move forward.
Which is why I wanted to write this blog post. I was worrying that you would all go away or that you would think I had given up. Quitting is not an option for me. I love this crafty little space and I will be back, even if I am only back with a blog post here and there – That for me is a win. Creating again will be a win, step by step. Getting on top of it all and strengthening my Patronus will be a win.
In the meantime we are on the hunt for a quieter home, new adventures and lots of laughter along the way – after all, laughter and love really are the best medicines. I am not giving up the good fight. In the words of the good man Hagrid…
“What’s coming will come and we’ll meet it when it does”
I am fighting the dark clouds that gather at the edges of my mind and steal away my thoughts of creative goodness. I am hanging on to my paint stained pyjama bottoms and not letting go until the sun shines into each day.
So, I guess I just felt that you should know. You should know that it’s not you…I’m not abandoning you or disappearing forever off the face of the crafty blogosphere. That it is me…but I will get there. I have hope and love and laughter behind me (not to mention the best fiancé and family and best friend that I could ever ask for holding my hand) That it is me…and my sometimes okay but sometimes cloudy brain that has to search a little harder some days for the sunshine. That sometimes I just have to ride it out and be kinder to myself on the greyest of days. That sometimes I have to grip a little harder on the umbrella of love and kindness for support on the rainiest of days.
For now I just need time. Time to get there slowly and without rushing any soul healing. Time to let go of the negativity and move forward into a cloudless sky. Time to step by step, Instagram photo by photo, Pinterest pin by pin, sunset hill view by Cotswold drive, gather back my creativity, crawl back up to my desk, grab that paintbrush/knitting needle/fine liner pen/pair of scissors and make it back…and boy will that feel good.
This was one of the hardest blog posts to write, but I am so glad that I did. If you are reading this, I posted it. I did it. I was brave and took a giant leap and, one day I will be pretty proud of myself for taking that leap, for being honest with you all but most importantly being honest with myself. For taking a deep breath and letting go of it all…
I will be back (Said in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘Terminator’ voice) Just hang in there…because I am…with my cup of tea in hand.
Have you ever felt like this? How did you overcome it all? Are you still working towards a better day? I would love to hear your story, so meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on.