Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Struggles

I think it's important to talk about mental illness. There is such a stigma attached to it, and a general feeling (that I pick up on, at least), that's it's not real. My mental illness is a huge factor in my life. It prevents me from leaving the house, from accomplishing simple tasks, from keeping a steady job, from meeting simple obligations. I put some pressure on myself yesterday to work on my doll, and I completely shut down. Today I have residual stress and anxiety that prevents me from going to lace class, and I won't be able to go to lace club tonight. I should just get over it? If only it were that simple. I've tried to get over this since I was eight. Partly, I'm sure, it was worsened by being the wrong sex. Certainly it was aggravated by being raised by an alcoholic. It was at the very worse when I left home for college, when I would have done anything to get away from home. Today is a real struggle. I woke up in the middle of the night and did a little work on my doll. In the light of the day, I found faults, of course. I undid the work, and will try to work it again today. I have so much pain about these dolls, but I'm compelled to make them. Or one. I second guess what sort of doll I should be making. But these things are normal for doll makers. I guess the only thing different for me is my reaction to set backs. A set back can paralyze me for days, so that I am unable to do anything. Right now, the only thing that consistently brings me joy and soothes me is lace making, but without the dolls, there is no application for it. I do have a rescue drug, and I will take it today. I call it The Big Pill. It has terrible side effects, but nothing brings me back to reality like this pill. So I will take it, and hopefully I can get my cooking done today. Two batches of beans, salad fixings, dinner. I'll be in the kitchen all day. I wish I could be at the lace pillow. Maybe I can squeeze some work in.


  1. You're very brave to write such an open and honest post. People do hide mental illness, which is why it goes untreated, undiagnosed and its sufferers go uncared for and misunderstood. If you were prevented from dollmaking due to arthritis in your hands, or Parkinson's or , heck, even migraines, you'd have understanding and sympathy. But there's such a stigma attached to mental illness that, too often, it's not seen as a disease at all, but a kind of indulgent malingering. Hence the comments about 'snapping out of it'. I admire you for carrying on despite setbacks. Because you're aware that your condition affects your ability to create, it may be you can find a way through and make the doll you want to make.

    Failure is always bitter and the bitterness can be overwhelming. But once it's done we've learned something and next time we'll be better.

  2. Sending you a big, warm hug over the miles of ocean, Simon. Rhissanna expressed my sentiments very well in her comment. And the doll is looking great!