The show must go on…

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These last days I have thought about this post a lot of times. Should i write it ? Must i publish it ? Do i want to share this with the world ?…..but yesterday i found the answer in myself and made up my mind. I’ll have to share and write down these words as i want people to know how i feel, how it works and what is all behind the mask.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Wink. Better known as Marinke Slump. She was a very talented and young crocheter who had an upcoming appearance over the last years. Everything she made was just so colorful, bright and happy to see her do. However….there was another Marinke behind all of this. She suffered a lot of depressions and kept it all in. Telling no one what it really was she felt and how she was stressed out about deadlines and pressure. And although I’m really not the same as Marinke as any human being is unique on its own, I feel so much similarity with her. I feel very connected to her as i recognize a lot of her in myself. At the time she experienced this difficulties in live she was the same age as i am now. But what i even recognize more is the struggle of trying to get yourself to a higher level and take opportunities to show your talent off. But with it comes a price some of us have to pay. Of course a lot of other subjects are playing a role in this whole thing as all influences of your personal life, your state of mind and the weaknesses of your character plays a big role as well. Some of us are just not strong enough to fight against some obstacles as we simply don’t hold the power to do it. For Marinke there was no way out and sadly she took her own life in the end which is a final decision to flee away from all what is in your head..even how hard and sad that choice is. And how strange it may sounds…although i don’t think it is the way out of your problems…i can understand her choice completely.

If I look back on the last months/year i have achieved so much. I always thought i would never manage it to put myself out in the world with something special, something i would master and people would love it what i was doing. Until the beginning of this year. I was crocheting and knitting for over ten years already, had made some designs in the past but no one really knew me. Which was fine…..i just crocheted/knitted as a relaxing way of spending my free time and distract my mind from daily problems. But when i opened my Instagram account the beginning of this year and start sharing some pictures it all went very fast. I started some collaborations with crochet friends to test or work on patterns and that was the beginning of something i never could have imagined. I picked up designing after it and by the time it was summer i had five new patterns available. And I’m glad they were so well accepted by everyone. I couldn’t wish for more and positive vibes gives you inspiration. And if you grow in any way possible, you won’t stay unnoticed by companies. And it was the biggest dream to get on board with a larger player in the field to spread out my work.

But with these kind of things you also agree to deadlines, rules and other things which builds pressure up for yourself. And they are no big deal if you can fit them into your lifestyle and manage them. But that is where things went wrong for me. I have worked my bones off the last months of these year. Of course on many things which are still behind scenes and not yet shown to the world. But I have been rushing myself into a way of living which has broken me down by the ground up til today. For months my life existed of working my regular day job, come home, eat something and crochet for hours up til late night. Sleep a few hours and repeat the circle. And i did it myself, i wanted to prove myself to show off what i was capable off and take the opportunity when it was there. But no normal human being can keep this up. With crocheting 1000 meters of yarn in three days for deadlines to catch my body is mentally, but physically as well burned up.

I’ll have to be honest that besides this all my life has been hectic already with a fulltime day job, informal care, trying to keep up a social life and many more of those things. And as we live in a world where 24 hours a day something is going on and social media is the way of connecting, you can imagine with the whole crafting and designing besides it, it was madness what drove me.

At the beginning of November this year I had a total breakdown while i was again designing new patterns. Depression and everything related to it knocked on my door and things started to get darker. So i made the choice to stop designing for the rest of this year and just take some rest and work on myself. Setting new goals how to let this all work in a way i could hold everything up. And honestly….i thought by the beginning of December i was calmed down a bit and was back on track. I was just looking forward to a cozy Christmas with just some regular crocheting under the Christmas tree. The idea of that made me so happy and i was determined to keep that up.

But in the same week I was in that state of mind i also got an option to work on something very big. And where i just promised myself to keep things down i accepted the thing. One of the baddest habits i have is the craving to always help others and never say no to anything. And that is exactly the thing i did again.  And it was the last thing i needed to break myself down in every way possible. Working on this big thing  felt like breaking down a wall by taking out brick by brick. Everyday in December i only worked and worked taking a stone out each day. And there was Christmas….luckily i finished it in time to celebrate the holidays….but what was left of me was a pile of bricks on the floor. And where it should have been fun to do things like this i can only feel pain, anger and aversion towards the whole thing.

Where I had done everything to make Christmas a highlight of my year by buying the best and greatest gift there was no pleasure in unwrapping them or receiving. Because when your truly gone to far you can’t enjoy the pleasure of materials anymore. I feel the dark coming in and especially at days like this like Christmas and the changing of the year it is even harder to keep things up. Where i try to where a mask to the outside world where i tell everybody it is fun and it so much fun to do things, inside I’m give up every sparkle of happiness i had. And that is where i feel very connected to Marinke these last days of the year. I don’t want to start a new year again knowing this is the way it will be. That is why i have written down this blog post. I hope it will be the first step to getting out of the darkness and see some light again as there is none at the moment.

There are plenty of designs lying on my desk at the moment as I was full of inspiration and was very determined to deliver a lot of new stuff this upcoming year…but i can’t even crochet or knit a stitch at the moment. I can’t keep focus on patterns, i make mistakes and i feel a bit like loosing it. And besides that there is the feeling of failure….not having the strength to just do this as many others but to accept this is something i can’t keep up. Where crocheting and knitting was a distraction for me to get my thoughts out off already darker thoughts, it helped me many times.When i was designing my mind totally focused on it and there were no other thoughts. Nowadays, crocheting and knitting has become a job and it don’t holds a distraction anymore. It has become part of the other things i do because i must, but not because i like them. I miss the time where i just could sit in the garden with a ball of yarn, my notebook and a pencil and see what happened. The most beautiful patterns are born out of that like the Lotus & Blossom mandala, the Solstice and the Medina Mosaic Tiles.

To write an end to this post I just want to mention one thing. Many people always say social media can make or break you. And of course they play a big part in what i did and still do. And to be honest i have been nights awake of things happened out there. Patterns which are stolen away and published under other names, people who say you stole designs or did bad things to other designs which really devastated me as this is something i would never do. But besides all that there were many, many, many more positive people around. I can’t thank enough for all compliments, credits and likes everyone gave me. Telling me my talent was amazing, people who made my patterns and loved them, crochet friends who helped me realize things like translations or tests. And all free and without any doubt. Although there may be some negative feeds out there, i believe the crochet and knit community on social media is one big and warm crowd of people who embraced me with both arms.

For now….I hope you respect my words, give me the time to try getting out of this dark, deep hole and stand beside my. Although i can’t hold a hook at the moment i will try to get back there taking examples from people who went through this before me. Maybe I’ll post something anywhere, maybe not. I don’t make any promises and there are a lot of battles to fight ahead of me. Of course if you have any questions regarding patterns, sales or what so ever, just contact me. It can only take a little longer to give you an answer. And please keep me tagged in finished projects out of my patterns. It can be just that little light i need on a dark day….

 

20 Comments

  1. Wishing you all the very best for your health. I have suffered with depression for almost 2 years and found myself in some very dark places. If you haven’t already, please make an appointment to see your doctor. That one step saved my life. You are incredibly talented and I’m so sorry that your talent has been abused and taken advantage of. You are in my thoughts. Please feel
    free to get in touch.

    Liked by 1 persoon

  2. Turning a creative, enjoyable activity into a job or “work” requires a careful, mindful balance. Health plays a large part. Get healthy in mind & body ! I have friends that have suffered depression & contemplated ending it all. But, that is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You have the support of this community ! Feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 persoon

  3. First and foremost: get help. Secondly: get help. Thirdly: get help. Professional help that is for your mental struggles. Sometimes depression clears up sponteanously within three months. And when it doesn’t: get help. Depression is an illness. Not a flaw or weakness in someone’s character. Not lack of strength or too little willpower. In my opinion it is judgemental towards yourself and others in the same situation to say so. Judging yourself will not make you feel better about yourself. Be kind to yourself and take very good care of you. I wish you all the best and hope that your days will increasingly be lighter and filled with more love and laughter than you could ever wish for. Take care and with love.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I hope that the creative light inside you does not get swallowed by the darkness because there are many of us who enjoy your beautiful way with color and design.

    I hope you can set some structure in place to protect yourself and return to the joy you have known in making amazing things that feed your soul. We all need to find our personal boundaries in which we can be happy and I hope you find what works best for you.

    Wishing you a healthy and peaceful new year in 2019.

    Like

  5. There is light at the end of the tunnel – you might need help finding it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I had a burnout 17 years ago – a terrible experience – but one from which I have learned a lot – and am still learning – putting into practice what I learn isn’t always easy.

    Today I was watching a documentary from Food Matters TV – the 4th episode in their series “Transcendence” – “Whose Goals are we Chasing” and it looks at situations like what has happened with you. You might find some of it helpful. https://www.fmtv.com/transcendence

    Wishing you good luck and good health – and a healthy creative comeback.

    Liked by 1 persoon

  6. May you rest and regroup in a way that builds you up. I want to add that I understand. Saying no is not weakness but strength. Keep your love of craft alive. Thank you for sharing your story. ♥️

    Like

  7. What an amazing and honest post. I too suffer depression and anxiety and have visited some dark and lonely places. Know that you are not alone, you have not failed and you and brave and loved. I hope your talent once again brings you joy and that you find a path back to health.
    With love and admiration for your honesty, krissie xx

    Like

  8. I hear you, I feel your pain and am thankful you felt strong enough to share. Because I’m struggling just with the same things. Our hobby as a job sounds good but is demanding and takes the fun out of it for us who don’t want to disappoint… breath, focus on yourself and see what happens. We love you no matter whatand (hugs)

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  9. Please take care of yourself!
    You deserve to come back to your light and find the place that is a balance and not an overwhelming chore.
    Our crochet is a craft that is to be shared, as gifts, talents and time. But not at the cost of our personal health, mentally or physically.
    Finding the balance takes time, prayer and loving support. I will pray that you have all of these so you keep your light shining! Best wishes!

    Like

  10. Bless your heart. I too understand. I had to lay my passion aside for a few years because of burnout & the demands of life. I missed it but just couldn’t pick up a hook for anything. I needed the break from the demand from others but also my own demands on myself. I am now back to crocheting with my passion back but I do what makes me feel good! It will come back to you when you are ready & when some inner healing has taken place. Take care of you & never listen to the inner voice that says you failed! Our inner voice often lies to us, especially in the dark of night. You are amazing! Your designs are amazing! Let new wisdom guide you to a peaceful place with kindness & love. Your gift will wait there for you. God Bless…

    Like

  11. Bless your heart. I too understand. I had to lay my passion aside for a few years because of burnout & the demands of life. I missed it but just couldn’t pick up a hook for anything. I needed the break from the demand from others but also my own demands on myself. I am now back to crocheting with my passion back but I do what makes me feel good! It will come back to you when you are ready & when some inner healing has taken place. Take care of you & never listen to the inner voice that says you failed! Our inner voice often lies to us, especially in the dark of night. You are amazing! Your designs are amazing! Let new wisdom guide you to a peaceful place with kindness & love. Your gift will wait for you there. God Bless…

    Like

  12. Get well soon

    English is not my first language and sometimes I find it very hard to express myself correctly.
    Please get any help you need. Whether it’s doctor, medication, hibernating like a bear until you feel better.
    I am so very sorry about your friend. Suffering with anxiety and depression myself, I know how suddenly you feel like there is no light. Like you are all alone. Spent.
    Please find light.
    Emerge back into the world as a butterfly. Stronger and healthier.
    Wishing you all the best in upcoming year!

    Like

  13. It’s time for you to rest up and recuperate. I am worried about you . Please promise to seek help and accept offers of kindness. Take care of yourself and come back only when you’re ready.

    Like

  14. … herkenbaar, ook al zat ik niet in een gelijke situatie… (eerst als 23jarige student en later als werkende moeder met 2 kleine kids)…
    in de jaren dat ik hier mee worstelde heb ik altijd zelf hulp en steun moeten zoeken…. maar ik ben er gekomen !!! … mede door verschillende therapeuten, yoga/meditatie, een gezonde hoeveelheid boerenverstand …. maar vooral de combinatie luisteren naar je lichaam en medicijnen… het bleek bij mij een erfelijke aanleg : de hersenen hadden de negatieve gewoonte dat ik me steeds weer opnieuw moest bewijzen en alleen de mislukkingen en wat er wellicht mis kon gaan onthielden … rationeel snap je dat wel, …. maar als het erfelijk is kan je ander gedrag niet zelf aanleren … gelukkig met mijn medicijnen lukt dat nu wel! …
    je hebt geen zwak karakter, dat bewijs je wel door je moed om deze gedachten te delen!!! ik wens je heel veel kracht en rust en hoop dat jij ook de passende hulp kan vinden die jou verder kan helpen! stap voor stap in je eigen tempo, waar jij je goed bij voelt … heel veel liefs … je bent niet alleen

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  15. Ik ben bezig met de mandala Madness zoals jij die hebt gemaakt, ik droom er over, ik vond het zo mooi dat ik het moest maken, zorg goed voor jezelf, je bent ook maar een mens en er zijn grenzen aan wat je kunt doen, ik kan momenteel niet veel meer dan haken, voor mij is het een zegen, zolang als het duurt, ik bedoel, soms moet je dingen laten vallen en een andere weg inslaan, ik heb genoten van mijn moestuin maar dat kan ik niet meer, misschien wat voor jou? Ik hoop dat je iets vindt waar je ontspanning en voldoening in krijgt maar voor nu, sterkte en beterschap, uiteindelijk komt alles goed

    Like

  16. Your creations are beautiful. You don’t know me and it is presumptuous for me to advise. I’ll simply say that early on I realized I crafted for myself and when I was under obligation to someone else it was no fun. I think what saved me was centering myself on myself for a time. I felt selfish about it, but with counseling and self-hypnosis (with guidance), gradually I began to feel whole again. I was comfortable with myself as I am, not as I felt everyone expected me to be. I wish you the same. I can say I recommend self-hypnosis, which is a type of meditation. I hope you won’t take this post amiss. Your creations make my heart sing! Be kind to yourself.

    Like

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