I mentioned in previous posts that I've been struggling with anxiety for the last little while, and that I've been working with pros to manage it. And I am -- since my last post I've been seeing a specialist in the type of techniques my doctor recommended, and I have made a lot of progress. After crying most of my body weight in tears, of course, because anxiety is hard, admitting you need help is hard, finding and reaching out and accepting help is hard, and then doing all the work is HARD! But I also know that I can no longer struggle along on my own, and I also cannot put the burden of my many anxiety-monsters on my loved ones. They love me and support me and let me know that of course I can lean on them -- and I do, but with the fact that the work is hard, not the burden of helping me do the work.
One of the things I struggle the most with is something I call "the but whyyyyys" (you have to draw the whyyyyyyy out, it's important to mimic that annoying sort of "but I don't WANNA" toddlers have), and I know for a fact that many of you, nebulous readers, do too. Jennifer Rosbrugh of HistoricalSewing.com recently shared this article she wrote in 2013 on her Facebook page, and the timing was very handy. Some of the loudest "but whyyyyys" is that I have nowhere to wear the pieces I create, I have so little drive to wear them despite that, and no desire to sew pieces for other people, that why do I even bother with sewing costumes at all? What is the point of having fabric and dreaming about outfits and rarely creating them with these other factors? I've been arguing with myself for over a year, consciously, about that, and the only answer I can come up with is: Because I want to. I WANT to, and that's enough to DO.
There's so many little voices like that that chip away at my confidence. When I can successfully push past them, I am so pleased with my creations, and maybe equally pleased with the fact that I did it. I quieted the But Whyyyys enough and just CREATED, and it was an amazing feeling. But they always creep back in. And that's how I end up not making anything, or making something so late that I'm still sewing late into the night the day before I want to wear it. I have such a myriad of projects I want to work on that when I argue with the But Whyyyyys, I get paralysed with indecision and end up doing nothing.
I talked about this recently with my therapist, and she asked if I had a blog. I do -- hi! I've missed you. Writing is another creative outfit I don't indulge in as much as I would want to (they are their own set of But Whyyyyys that we haven't poked at yet), and that's part of why I wanted to write this post. I have been working -- slowly. The beginning of the year was, frankly, kind of terrible. I sometimes feel bad for saying that, when my brand of "terrible" is not as bad as it could be, has been, or IS for some people. But it is my reality, and it is terrible. The bad news of the world (so... much... bad... news...), working on my anxiety (you guys, it's really hard -- did you know you can hold anxiety in different parts of your body? I hold mine in my hands, which may tie into why they But Whyyyyys have so much traction), my cat's health (thankfully his diabetes is in remission! But I still think of him as a diabetic cat and am trying to maintain routines), the fact that somehow I became really really busy? I was measuring my free time in blocks of 2 hours or less. I did not enjoy it. When everything came to a head at the end of March and it was all over, I was so profoundly relieved. Maybe I could reclaim some sewing time, a big fluffy Victorian gown is not going to sew itself!
But then my work-life took a vastly different direction in a very, very short period of time and threw my brain into disarray again. We are talking a period of 4-48 hours, as the crow flies. I am happy to say that I've taken on a new role at my workplace, which I am excited to do, and the changes to my routine are minimal.
But the Victorian gown as I envisioned it is probably not happening. I couldn't get my chosen hooping material to work, and I am currently unable to get my second choice. What I wanted to work on more than anything was not what I "should" be working on, so I eventually called it quits and just started working on it. I've almost completed two petticoats so far:
They just need hems and trims! Good work, me :)
I also spent some time last week going over my Costume College registration packet and deciding on the classes I wanted to apply for, a couple of which will dictate my costume choices. I have some new plans to put into place.
And course I also need to somehow get along with the But Whyyyyys. Silencing them doesn't work, but perhaps listening to them will. Not actioning, just listening. Right now they're trying the "maybe you should just drop out of costuming entirely" tactic, and I did listen for a few minutes before thinking "wait a minute!" So many things are hard in life, that are also worth the rewards. And this... this I daresay is one of them.