NDR: everything was looking up…and then BAM!

This is a personal post, not about dolls. So if you want dolls please wait until I post something else, please?

Okay, let’s be clear here. I’ve been struggling a lot with my depression and have only within the last two to three weeks started to feel more “rawr” and a lot more motivated to do things in 1/6 and finish outstanding projects and commissions.

Hey, I was loving that.

I got two commissions finished, I started making doll jewelry, I picked up another commission that I had outstanding and I felt all kinds of inspiired and jonesin’ to make stuff and try new techniques. When I’m in that state it is fucking great.

It was like how I used to be before my mental health really began to be a big problem for me.

Hey, I know everyone has their problems and issues and I am not the only one out there. Knowing that doesn’t make things any easier or nicer. For the majority of my life I’ve had dysthymia and for the most part I coped. Along the way though, through the years something changed in my chemical/biological make up and I was treated to repeated bouts of major depression that are awful. My third psychiatrist explained that what I had was basically a low wave that was constantly there (the dysthymia) and over that I had a larger wave (the major depression disorder) that they were mostly separate except for when the two periodically intersected with each other. When that happens it becomes everything that I can do to get out of bed and _do_ anything. Being depressed really wears on your soul and except for brief sparks of “up” it’s a nasty thing.

I’ve gone through all kinds of therapy and attempts to manage it. Some worked better than others, and I’ve learned to try to avoid triggers. I’ve taken many different medications in the past (along with therapy) and without therapy and gone for periods with no medication at all (generally when I had no health care coverage).

So anyway, I’m going to talk about this a little more.

I feel I need to explain why there are long silences on the blog, why I haven’t done a crap-ton of photographs or photostories. Why I haven’t done much repainting, and customizing.

The answer is pretty simple. It is because of my stupid depression. I hate it but am still learning to live with it 30+ years after diagnosis. I still struggle and sometimes things get to difficult to bear. I have to credit my cats initially for keeping me from committing suicide, and later (now) my cats and my husband keep me from that.

So along with my various dorms of depression I also suffer from what my doctor called crippling anxiety yesterday (I’ll get into that a bit further down this post). I get panic attacks in the middle of the night, or day, being social and around a gathering of more than a few people makes me feel sick to my stomach because my brain is trying to figure out the “right” thing to do/say/be because of that. Meanwhile all my muscles tense up and stay that way. I don’t grind my teeth but I subconsciously clench my teeth and developed TMJ. I cannot relax the muscles in my face, and my shoulders become rigid.

It sucks.

It used to be I was moderately anxious (I always have been, even as a child when I was frequently told I was a worry-wort.) but like the depression it’s gotten worse through the years. I have been medicated for it, I’ve tried therapy for it, and CBT and sometimes I can manage it pretty well. But a lot of the time–not.

I thought that the best way to try to push against my social anxiety (different from my general anxiety) would be to force myself to go out and meet new people and socialize. I have been forcing myself for the last 3 years to be part of a group called the Society for Creative Anachronism. It’s a way for me to try to get out with people which of course is also supposed to help me cope with my depression. I like the SCA, but like with my 1/6 stuff, my involvement depends highly on my state of mind. I’ve met a lot of cool people, a few douches and learned new things. That’s all great stuff (well, not the douches). But I remain in the grasp of anxiety.

Did I mention that I like things to be fairly stable? Yeah, I do. When things stop being stable, or something pops up that I wasn’t prepared for I mentally freak out and it isn’t pretty. This is where I am now.

I was tooling along having escaped the deeper depression and was doing my stuff and feeling good. Not great, but good and to me, that’s probably equal to everyone elses great. I am still having severe anxiety and it started affecting my quality of life. The fact that my mind and body remained under constant stress didn’t/doesn’t help my health. So anyway…

I went to my doctor (who up til this point had been doing my med-management with some reluctance) yesterday. I took my husband with me because I wanted her to have someone else’s POV on how I was doing/living etc, and also, because sometimes it is just plain nice to have some support when going to the doctor’s.

She told me that my depression and anxiety are too much for her to continue to take on and that I would need to find a psychiatrist to do my meds because she feels they need to be changed but as she is a PCP she isn’t familiar with all the new treatments and drugs since she doesn’t have to read that literature for her continuing medical education reqs.

I wasn’t really surprised, but I ended up crying anyway. I felt like things just suddenly crumbled and that pylon of stability was gone. She thinks I may do better on anti-psychotics to deal with the anxiety but that I would still need medication for the depression…and she said it is much farther out of her scope than she feels comfortable with. Hearing that, knowing that was the case messed with my head (I have abandonment issues) and dropped the “good” mood/state I was in right down to full panic-mode. I didn’t sleep last night, I binge ate, and in general feel crummy. BUT I am trying to remain positive about how this will work out. It’s got to get better. It really does. I am so freakin tired of being on a constant low. And I’m super sick of being so on edge about everything.

So now I am on the hunt (again) for a psychiatrist to 1) accept my medical insurance, 2)is accepting new patients, 3) isn’t much further than an hour’s drive since I don’t know how often I may have to go.

Right now I’m pushing myself to try to keep doing the things I was doing before I went to the doctor’s. Playing with my dolls, thinking about scripting them for photostories, trying to get my repainting skills back, posting on forums.

If I disappear from posting–now you’ll know why.

Learning to be Kind…

It’s taken a bit for me to realize that it is ok to be kind to myself. I put a lot of expectations and stress on myself when it comes to making things/doing things/ and just plain existing.

Today I realized that it IS ok to be kind to myself and not ride my case because the things I am doing aren;t coming out how I want them to, or are just flops.

That’s ok. And I have to be ok with that too.

I can’t say when the last time was that I sewed clothing in 1/6 scale. Most of the sewing I’ve done over the last year has been for my other hobby, the SCA. So the sewing small stuff fell by the wayside and I concentrated on making clothes for 1:1.

But now I am trying to get back into the 1/6 sewing and it is proving frustrating. But I think if I keep taking deep breaths, get up and walk away from the sewing machine and try to be more lighthearted about my attempts–it should be ok.

It is bound to be better if I can at least shut up my inner critic for a while 😉

 

Diorama stuff: Emerson’s Apartment

I’ve been kind of quiet here on the blog. I haven’t got an excuse–I have got reasons!

Firstly, I have been giving a lot of thought to the two roomset/dioramas I want to get on the ball with making. The first is Emerson’s apartment, and although it isn’t strictly 1/6 (I have to make allowances for that simply because we don’t live in a big enough house to do it to true 1/6 and still have room for us humans and furballs 😉

The second is the cafe and that’s just on hold until I can afford to buy the supplies to make it. 😛

In anycase, I am basing the apartment on one I lived in in NY. It wasn’t my favorite apartment but it wasn’t the worst one I’d lived in either. I also feel that with some tweaks and flips I can use it for other characters who may,or may not be living in the same building… 🙂 I could actually see one of her cousins living in the same building (possibly she put in a good word with the landlord Mr.Benedetti and got her the apt?) And who knows who else lives in the building???

BTW: if I haven’t introduced her—this is Emerson (Emerson Appleton).

5

Welcome back, Welcome baaaaack

It’s the same old blog that we laughed about…

Seriously, folks. I’m back. Although I may not (definitely) be batting 100 or 1000 I am at least functioning & feeling well enough to sink my claws back into this hobby of mine.

Let’s be clear: I love 1:6 and suspect I will until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil (or have a personality transplant. Whichever happens first) 😉

It is embarrassing to admit that since my last post in September I have done absolutely nothing with my dolls, dioramas, props or sewing. It probably shouldn’t embarrass me–I mean I suffer from clinical depression and have periods like this throughout my life that this happens. With pretty much everything. I hope that anyone who reads this blog can understand and forgive me for being a bad blogger! Please?

While I am on the uptick I still need to be careful about how much/many projects I take on and commit to at one time. For me it’s easy to rush headlong into allllllll the things I could be, want to be, and should be doing. But I’ve just gotten my equilibrium back and I want to stay as level and balanced as I can for the sake of myself and my family and friends.  SO I am going to spend the next month (the rest of this month, and half of January 2016 playing with my dolls and action figures. It has been such a long time since I’ve done that in any way, that I need to.

I want to sit and re-dress them.
Some of my dolls don’t even have “real” (as in assigned) names yet. I want to become familiar with those so I can cast them as characters in the Quinlan Chronicles (which is going to start shooting in 2016, I swear!).
Maybe make a shirt or two for one that needs a certain style. I can’t even remember the last time I sewed something for a doll?
Take photos of them. I mean, basically I want to do what everyone else does! 😉
I just want to take some time to enjoy them.

So just a heads up that the next month of posts may be mostly be showing photos of my dolls and things I am doing for (or to) them. Maybe I will do a little customizing, maybe I won’t. Either way I plan on allowing myself to have a little bit of fun with 1/6 scale and go from there.

NDR: Being honest isn’t always easy…

It really isn’t when it comes to me discussing how my life is going and more importantly, my depression. No one really wants to talk about it. And I don’t in general like to fill my blog or tweets or flickr up with talking about it–because ultimately I’m on my own with it.

It isn’t so much that I hide it–I’m very honest about having it and suffering with it from my teens onward but that when I hit patches I can go one of 2 ways: I focus on only one thing or interest and try to use that to push through until I can get to a more tolerable spot mentally and emotionally OR 2) I try to carry on as usual and keep hoping that it will improve or I will encounter something that makes me feel some kind of interest or whatever to help me drag my psyche out of the inertia it ends up trapped by. Or 3) I have a major depressive episode and I see a doctor and either get put on meds or am hospitalized.

So. Yes. I have been suffering.
Because I couldn’t make #1 happen and #2 wasn’t helping.
Nothing I did was making a difference.
I don’t think I realized exactly how bad it’s been the last 6 or 7 months.
Bad. Unpleasant. Fatiguing. Pointless. Useless.
Those words don’t really cover it.
I contemplated alternatives. I thought about what the world, my cats and my husband would have to deal with if I wasn’t around. I have been a “downer” and a “bummer”. And even though I knew it I could not seem to do anything to change it. I thought a lot of it was related to the severe insomnia I suffer from. My doctor insisted that I was suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder but she wouldn’t take my concerns seriously. I was told it was all anxiety related. Which of course made me feel worse. I have been hospitalized for depression in the past and I know enough about myself to know what I’m experiencing.

The last time I saw my doctor mentioned that it was worse and that things were getting much more difficult to cope with and that the depression was making my life pretty much not worth the while to live.
That sounds more dramatic than it was.
It has just been the case that doing anything took so much more effort than I had. Interacting with people was about putting on a smiley face and then crying when I got home. All the things I took joy in — my dolls, my action figures, my photography all were too much for me to do or consider. It was picking up a craft knife and not thinking about crafting.

So about two months ago she prescribed 2 different things for me: 1 is an anti anxiety med and the other is a drug that is supposed to help me to sleep and also, have the added use of being efficacious as an antidepressant.

Anyway, I’ve been taking them and I am finally starting to feel closer to how I used to feel, back when my depression was relatively controlled.
And you know what?
I am starting to “play” with my dolls again!
I can feel the twinges of wanting to write scripts for them again. And to work on diorama projects that have been languishing half-begun or still stuck in planning stages.
I don’t feel good. But I feel better. And the fact that I am able to start looking at this stuff again without feeling guilty or like a failure must be a good thing.
I’ll update more soon.
Thanks 🙂

What’s up, Doc?

Well, isn’t that the question? 😉 I guess so! I’ve been going back and forth the last few months/half a year with a lot of medical stuff so I wasn’t able to give much of my attention or energy to 1/6 stuff. And I didn’t feel motivated to do it either. I am able to say now that I am doing a bit better, and able to take up my hobbies again. (I feel weird calling 1/6 my hobby when it really is such a huge part of my life and interests. I feel like I should say I am being re-united with my LOVE!).

So keep your eye out for updates! I’ll be posting stuff soon! 😀

E

Season’s Greetings

It’s been very quiet here on the blog. I’m sorry. Here’s a photo of our x-mas tree (or our Yule tree depending on how you want to call it). It’s a significant little fir tree–it is our first holiday tree since we moved to the US in 2012, and before that the last time we set one up was in the UK, in…2008? It’s been a long, long while.

happy-holidays-2014

Yeah, that’s our porch. It didn’t seem kind to me to make the tree come live in the house with the woodburning stove to dry it out and the cats to eat all the ornaments off of it…I think it’s pretty happy out there (until spring thaw and we can plant it in the yard). 😉

So although things had gotten pretty darned hectic here (between the hard drive crashing, losing software and some health related drama) I’m glad to say Happy Holidays to All! Mark and I have a lot of stuff to share in the new year! 😀

Enjoy, and be at Peace!

Erica

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