I think that most people who read blogs, especially those like this one, know that what you read is only a small snapshot of the blogger's life. I tend to write about the crafty, happy, fun things that I have going on. But that's only a small part of the story really.
I don't know why, but today I wanted to talk about a few things that I don't really mention. Fair warning, this will be pretty different to my usual posting style, and is definitely not a carefree post.
Regular readers might have picked up on the fact that my dad passed away a couple of years ago. It's not something I talk about on here, but it has obviously had a huge impact on my life. He was very young, only 47, and we were extremely close. In fact, I didn't start knitting until after he died, so this whole blog is a part of me he never really knew, which breaks my heart.
Since then, I have struggled with depression. Again, not something I talk about, as this is a happy place. But it is a part of my life and I decided this morning to come out of the closet, as it were. There is still some stigma attached to mental health issues, and I feel a little strange talking about it, but it is not something I am ashamed of. I'm working on getting better, but it is a slow process. Anyway, this will probably be my last post on the subject, I genuinely do prefer this to be a happy blog and I write about the things that I want to share and remember. But I also want to pull back the curtain just a little. Wow, that sounds over dramatic, doesn't it?!
At its heart, depression is an insidious liar. It makes it difficult to find the joy in things - which is why having this blog is awesome, because I have an outlet for the little things that make me feel good. Sometimes I read back though my old posts to remind myself of that, and the comments on those posts mean the world to me.
Sometimes I find it hard to post, which is why my usual 5 day a week schedule has been lacking for a little while. Sometimes I find it hard to reply to comments, for which I am sorry. I like to acknowledge every comment I get because they all mean a lot to me, but one of the things depression does is make it difficult to reach out to others, and difficult to get the energy to do very much at all. Which is also why I have been pretty lax about commenting on the blogs I read and love every day - something else I am sorry for.
Depression is believed to affect at least 1 in 10 people over the course of their life. That's a pretty huge number, yet it is something that doesn't get talked about. I get why, it sucks and I hate that it is part of my life right now, but not talking about it perpetuates some of the misconceptions people have. There is a huge difference between being a bit low, and being depressed. When I'm low, knitting perks me up. When I'm depressed, even looking at my knitting makes me feel like a failure because it's just sitting there not getting done and I convince myself that I'll only mess it up anyway.
I honestly don't know what the purpose of this post is, I just know that it has been on my mind for a little while and I wanted to get it out there. I have read some famous bloggers talking about their own struggles with depression, and seen that it has helped people to know that it can affect anyone. I'm obviously not a famous blogger (I wish!) but if this post helps or informs a single reader then I feel good.
Like I said, this is probably my last post on the subject. However, I am completely open and happy to answer any questions people have. I don't have a problem in talking about it - in fact, the more I do talk about it, the less power it has to keep me in the dark, alone. So if you have questions, let me know (if you don't want to post them in the comments, email me nat.howells @ gmail . com, or PM on me on ravelry, I'm pinkundine there)
I have a post planned for tomorrow and then I'm going to take a short break. Mainly because it coincides with some time off from work, but also because I think it might relieve some of the pressure I put on myself to blog, and the disappointment I feel when I can't think of anything to say.
If you read this far, thanks! I know it's a long and serious post, but it feels good to have got it out there.