Sunday, June 26, 2011

A little, possibly unneccesary, explanation of what I'm up to. Or not up to, as the case may be.

So, I've been on a bit of a plush hiatus.  I was starting to get anxiety attacks whenever I sat down to my dear machine, so I knew something had to give.  The timing of this wasn't ideal, but perhaps not a surprise.  I had signed myself up for 4 shows in June alone, and June is already a bit of a madhouse for me, what with the boy and the manchild BOTH having birthdays, along with 5 other members of the family, plus Father's Day, PLUS both kids being home with me all day long on summer break.  What has resulted has been a general melee of Abby attempting to do too much too fast and thus the pressure cooker that is my head.
Lately I've been getting that sinking feeling.

For those of you who don't know, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD.  I was diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago, but I'm fairly certain I've had it since at least high school.  I am almost constantly experiencing some level of anxiety in my body, and it manifests itself in all sorts of interesting ways when I don't give it healthier outlets.  One of the scarier ways it rears its ugly head is in the dreaded migraine.  I'll save you some of the gorier details of this, but for me a migraine means a minimum of 4 hours of being completely out of commission, and up to a week of feeling lethargic and vulnerable to a rebound attack.  I have had three in the past year, all of them right before a craft show.  The last one was a little over a week ago, before a night time show down on Fountain Square.  Luckily for me, I have a husband who loves the indie craft show scene, and has stepped in for me all three times to peddle the plush in my stead.

But clearly something needs to change, and so I cancelled my last show this month and don't have another scheduled until August, giving me a chance to regroup and reevaluate.  I'm catching up on some orders I hadn't been giving proper attention.  Once I'm caught up I'd like to focus on restocking the two shops I'm currently working with, perhaps approaching a third I've heard might like to do business with me.  My poor etsy shop was looking a bit neglected, so I'm slowly giving it some love as well.   
Sometimes I feel I'm too small too fill what I see as enormous shoes.

I'm reading books.  I'm spending time with my kids.  I've put away the piles and piles of work waiting to be sewn so I don't feel overwhelmed, and instead I've actually made myself a little dress this week, and have a couple of other personal projects I'd like to do.  I'm making gifts for a few unsuspecting folks, which is something else I've had on my to-do list for ages.  Workouts were beginning to get dropped, which is very bad as exercise is key to keeping my anxiety down and has been my replacement for the anti-anxiety meds I weaned myself off of in February.  So cardio is getting factored in again, and yoga needs to be in the mix as well.  I've dropped taking classes, which I've loathed doing, but need to at least resume my yoga practice at home.  

The hardest part of all of this is feeling like I've had to retreat, like I've admitted some sort of defeat and ducked away with my head between my tails.  I don't ever like to concede I have limits, that I'm not up to a task, so to say it's time to back down is painful for me.   I want to be all things to everyone all the time, which is not realistic at all.  And it often results in me being too little to too few, primarily my kids and my husband. 
I forget I'm just one person, not a team of people capable of lots of tasks at once.

I have known for awhile I have been struggling mightily with burn out.  I was quickly losing all the joy in my work.  What once was a very therapeutic activity for me was becoming the source for much of my anxiety.  There needs to be a middle ground somewhere here, and I'm treading carefully to find it and do this all properly. 

Added frustration comes in that I feel I am at the cusp of turning abbydid into a real full time job, a real business that truly contributes to my family's income.  It has been more than a hobby for quite a long time, but has hovered in that limbo of almost being the real deal (at least in my mind) for awhile.  But in reality, this is a one-woman show, with a very supportive husband and understanding kids, but still it's all on me.  And abbydid is only going to be as good as Abby can do.  This little biz has been built on my passion and love and quirkiness, and it has to be allowed it's own good time to grow and develop naturally.  I can't hold myself to artificial standards, projecting what I believe success to be.  I need to proceed carefully to be true to the spirit of abbydid, true to myself, true to my family. 
Just breathe.

And so, I need to get my house in order.  And by house, I mean my head.  I can't beat myself up for struggling with GAD.  I need to be forgiving of myself, accepting of my capabilities, and mindful of where I need to be.  I saw this gorgeous dish on etsy the other day, and I think it sums things up nicely.  Here it is:
Bowl by mb artstudios

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