Maybe you know what I mean (maybe you don't).
So, I'm going to say my unsaid thing, and those are my reasons. If you'd rather just read about crafts, feel free to click away now :-)
The thing is: I have depression.
I've had it since my son was about 6 months old, and this year I discovered that that wasn't a one-off postnatal episode.
The way that I discovered this is through finally, in the autumn of 2013, v e r y s l o w l y and carefully coming off the antidepressants I'd been taking for the past four years - and then last spring, plunging into a severe and long drawn out depressive episode that, well, let's just say it beat the pants off the first one. To the extent that I was on full-time medical absence from work from the beginning of May until the very last working week of December - which I worked half-time, to ease myself in before I start again 'properly' this week. Wish me luck: all my extremities are crossed and after the year I've had, I'm taking nothing for granted.
Now, I'm extremely lucky, and I know it. My conditions of employment (and the accompanying health insurance) are outstandingly protective of employees in such circumstances. Both my line manager and my direct colleagues have been consistently, overwhelmingly understanding and supportive, despite this being an particularly bad time for our small team to be one (wo)man down. My doctor/therapist is a wonderful match for what I've needed, and has helped me out of some very, very deep holes. Much of the early summer I spent feeling stupefied at how bad things could be; mid-way through I was largely terrified of just how little control I had of my mind (and how much control it had over me, in worse ways than I could have imagined). Autumn was spent in despair and frustration, because how can 6 months on all the drugs not make the slightest bit of difference? And then, one Sunday morning in November, just like that, I woke up feeling normal. Out of nowhere. I'm incredibly, incredibly lucky.
It doesn't matter that feeling normal felt so unfamiliar, and how many months or years had it been since normal was normal, anyway? It doesn't matter that I mind, deeply, that I had to take so much time away from my 'real life', to be absent not just from my job but in many respects also from my husband, my children, from all the people who care about me. And of course, to wake up feeling normal rests very much on what is finally the right combination of medication, and on the weeks of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and on the rest I eventually managed to give myself. But what I overwhelmingly feel is luck. Mental health balances on a pin, and I'm all too aware how easy it is to fall.
So, as I head into 2015, that's what's behind me (I hope). Mindfully taking life one breath at a time, or trying to (have you tried? It's not that easy). There is still making - there is always making. Now you know how I found the time to produce an entire new summer wardrobe for 2014 :-) And I've had plenty of time to consider just how creativity plays in all this: making the mind, mindfully making... I think there will be a post about all that, at some point.
For today, I think I'll just leave it here. If you've read this far - thank you. Please don't feel the need to comment, especially as I'll very likely come over all awkward and not reply (yes, I'm already cringing in embarrassment at that as-yet unhappened possibility). Normal blog service will resume shortly: right now I'm just glad that I can 'come back', to talk again about the things I've made and the me behind the screen who made them.
The me that's stitching myself back together, as best I can.
All pictures in this post are of the weaving house at Fotovikens Museum of living Viking history, southern Sweden.