I have been participating in stitching posting boards for a little over a month now and enjoying it quite a bit. I post on Cross Stitch Crazy and Rotation Stitchers. I have found the people on both boards to be very welcoming, talented and supportive of each other. On many of the posts the authors include inks to the photo albums, websites, or blogs where one can see pictures of their projects (complete, in progress, and/or finished into beautiful items), friends, families, or vacations as well as read stories about those same topics and many more. Through these posts I have found many blogs that I read daily now and have spent time greatly enjoying looking at the pictures of other people's cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet, knitting or other hobbies. Doing so has woken up my desire to start doing the things I used to enjoy a great deal again and I am so very grateful to have that desire back.
It was not until the desire returned that I realized how depressed I had become. I know why I became depressed and I knew I was not feeling like myself, but I had not realized how bad it was. I live with chronic pain and for a few months the steroid injections and daily medication was barely keeping it under control. Being in intense pain all day long every day is extremely draining. For me, it caused me to lose all desire to do anything that I did not absolutely have to do because all my energies were focused on controlling the pain as best I could and keeping myself from making it worse by moving around too much. I finally realized that I was no longer just having a rough patch and that I was clinically depressed when my doctor put me on an anti-depressent because being in pain messes up the seratonin levels in the brain. After a few weeks I realized that I felt better in general and since the new medication was the only change I had to accept that I had become clinically depressed. So I told the doctor and she increased my medication and is titrating me to the proper dosage for depression. I have had bouts with clinical depression before so I felt pretty stupid that I had not recognized the symptoms this time. But I guess recognizing them a little late is better than never recognizing or refusing to even consider the idea of it. Though I am finding it difficult to break some of the behavior patterns that have developed as the pain levels got higher and the depression got worse. I am working on it though!
One of those hobbies I used to really enjoy was writing. I used to write a lot in my journals. I've written essays on many different topics, poems, short stories and even once I wrote what was ment to be a self-help type book for parents dealing with a toddler who was sexually abused. That one was done solely because when I found myself in that situation, there were no books to turn to that dealt with the issues facing parents and children in that situations. There was information available for parents of older children, adult survivors and their families/friends/support network; but there was nothing for parents of 3-9 year olds. At the time, I only found one book that dealt with children at all and that one was for parents of children starting from age 10. Also, it did not give any tips for handling the specific situations that I was dealing with at the time. I asked the social workers, therapists, pediatrician and psychiatrist involved and none of them knew of any books written for families of younger children. So eventually I decided to write my own. I Lost my ability to write the book and desire to publish it when 2 years later I had to handle the same thing all over again when her father got unsupervised visitation and molested my daughter like his mother had before him. I just emotionally and mentally could not do it and every time I have tried over the past 14 years to finish it (the manuscript is ready for a second rewrite) I just can't, it hurts too much.
Anyway, I noticed that since I have started cross stitching and crocheting again that my desire to write has returned as well. I've started to write in my journal, I've written a few poems which I will post soon and decided I'd start a blog as well. I figure it can't hurt and who knows, I might enjoy it and it might help me return to writing the way I used to, which is what I am truly hoping for.
I haven't been stitching too much this last week, instead I've been doing some thread crochet. It has been about a year since I have completed any thread crochet projects, though I did start one many months ago and since I don't remember what pattern it is from I had to undo it. The doily and angel that I did over the weekend do not have even tension within each stitch but I think they came out pretty good anyway. I really enjoyed doing them as well.
This is the angel ornament I did. I am probably going to give it to my mother-in-law for Christmas. I hope she likes it. Its a silver thread with a shiny silver metallic thread twisted throughout. That was a tad difficult to work with as the thread would twist up and tangle so I found I had to let it hang down and untwist every little while, like I have to do with cross stitch to prevent knots.
This is the doily I made. The picture makes it look a bit washed out, but it is really a nice dark mauve, which is one of the colors my mother really likes and I think it will match the colors in her bedroom very well.
I have a second angel and a thread crochet doily in progress now.
I'm working a couple different cross stich designs right now. One is a Christmas ornament for my daughter and is a cat done entirely in blackwork from the 2007 JCS Ornament Issue. The other is a mini Amish quilt for my mother-in-law. She likes to sew and has a lot of quilts on display in her home so I thought the mini-quilt design would be one she would really like.