Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The life and the times

Hello world!

Wow, it's been over 3 years since my blog post!  I have no idea if there's anyone still out there but I'm still here slogging away and I figured I should really start up blogging again because I feel I want to share so many things, craft related, but also health related, because we all need to know that we're not alone when we have problems, including me ;-)

3 years update...

Loop-da-Loop first!
  • Well I have to say it's been a hard struggle the last few years.  Most of my sales came through Facebook, I always had a long list of orders to do and for 2 years in a row I was working on them right up until Xmas Eve, but then Facebook brought in their algorithms.... it's old news now, but essentially it means that of my over 2100 followers on there no more than usually 100-200 see my posts, in fact one photo I posted recently only got shown on 10 people's timelines.... :-(

    As such there is no order book anymore and the sales far and few between, solely coming in on Folksy these days, boooooo.  So what I'd like to do now is give Craft Fairs a try... there is a slight problem with this though, which brings us on to....

  • My Psoriatic Arthritis is now well managed, so says my doctor, in terms of blood tests anyways, I'm still on the methotrexate though I'm not on the highest dosage any more. A couple of years ago I was walking with a cane, now I do kick boxing, cycling, jogging (yuck!), swimming and more.  That being said, I still have constant pain and the PA has spread to most of my joints now, but I'm strong and I don't/won't let it beat me!
  • My PCOS I'm no longer trying to manage with medications, it's been a struggle but I've successfully managed to lose over 4 stone so far. I still have about 4 stone to go, but hopefully it's all helping to lessen the hormonal issues!
  • I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I've struggled with anxiety and depression since my early 20's.  It's gotten worse over the years, and was the predominant reason I quit my day job a few years ago.  On the whole my depression has improved since leaving work, thankfully I haven't had any major episodes during this time despite the health issues that have come since then, buuuuut my anxiety has gotten worse and I suffer from Agoraphobia and Social Anxiety and do struggle to leave the house on my own.  Hence the slight problem with craft fairs...

    The way I would describe it, is that I feel like whilst I'm inside the house I'm in a protective bubble of sorts, going out of the door fills me with anxiety and dread, even to go out to the rubbish bin or into the back garden, and even answering the door or phone fills me with fear.  It's easier to go out with others, and it's easier to travel by car (less chance of human contact), and it's easier to go to places I've been to before, I have a mental list of "safe places". 

    Some days the anxiety feels like a big brick wall blocking the door, and some days I can find the sledge hammer to break through, and some days I just can't. 

    Today I needed to go to the Post Office, a small trip, less than 10 minutes by cycle but I was absolutely "bricking it" about going. I find cycling easier than walking because there is less chance of human contact, and when I wear sunglasses to block my eyes and headphones to block my ears I feel more like I'm in a bubble again, but it's still a struggle to step through that door.  Today I found my sledge hammer, and even went for a longer cycle ride before heading to the Post Office (mostly to burn off those "fight or flight" hormones my body was making through the panic), today was a success.

    I have been asked "What's the problem? What is it you're worried will happen if you leave the house?", and frankly it's everything and nothing.  I know realistically that nothing bad is likely to happen, but my mind sees everything that could happen, that my house could burn down, I could get run over, I could get attacked or robbed, I could get chased by dogs, I could be shouted at or harassed... I might have to speak to someone.... And that's why Craft Fairs are going to be a big struggle for me!

I hope that wasn't too boring to get through, if anyone made it to the end!  What I hope will make its way into this blog over the next few months are Craft Fair plans, I have good friends who want to help me achieve this goal and promise/threaten to accompany me and protect me from the scary people.

Loops x