Friday, April 09, 2010

In Living Colour

Well, well. There was a time when writing this blog was (amongst many other things) a kind of therapy. Putting it all down in the edit dialogue box was a semi-structured way of working through how I thought about stuff. I'm not sure where I forgot about that along the way, but I really should have kept it in mind. I've had stuff to work through you see, but didn't use this blog to help me figure my way through it.

In short, the first quarter of 2010 pretty much sucked ass (and not in a good way). I broke up with the guy I thought I was dating (Or is it that I thought I broke up with him? Given that... never mind.) on New Year's Eve, at a party, from which I walked home, leaving behind my favourite hooded jacket. Portents? Omens? You know, one of the reasons I often don't celebrate New Year is exactly because people seem superstitious that only a good New Year can equal a good year ahead.

Poppycock, clearly.

So, flashing forward and trying to be brief, Sometime up until a few weeks ago I got profoundly depressed. Not dramatically depressed, no renting or wearing of ashes, because so long as you weren't inside my head I gave most of the signs of actually keeping it together. But somewhere along the way I lost me it felt like. Despair must be terrible, but numbness is in the race as well. At least Dorothy Gale got to see Munchkinland turn into colour, which is a lot more fun than the reverse lemmetellyou.

No I didn't seek professional help, other than mumbling something to my doctor and then agreeing that yes it was probably something to do with my old sleep problems and no the strong drugs I used to be on were not a road I wanted to take again. I got up and went to work, sometimes went out with friends but became a bit flaky about turning up for things, basically stopped doing any housework, and on days off quite often remained unwashed and in my robe until I couldn't any more.

The weird thing about being depressed is it's not like your limb is hanging off and people can see that yes indeed, you are a tad poorly. Unlike an only semi-attached appendage sometimes it isn't so bad, and sometimes it seems much better. I had some good times over the past 3 months, and I had some quite average times when I tried to fake it until I could make it... and thought mostly about being home in my robe not doing any housework.

A few weeks back I decided that in line with my parents' Northern English upbringing, all I needed was to pull myself up by the bootstraps. Symptom or cause I don't know, but things miraculously made a turn for the better. Step 1, I needed to lessen my stress about the work/money situation, so I contacted my previous temp agency, and a previous employer, to see if they had any work going. One temp work offer was made, but I decided I also should approach my boss at the yarn store and put my cards on the table. Explain what I wanted to do, what I know I'm good at, why I would rather stay working for them than go elsewhere, and how much I thought I would need to live on to be able to do so.

Essentially they agreed. I'm now on a less modest income (though still not immodest by any stretch), and am in charge of visual merchandising for the 2 (soon to be 3) stores as well as keeping the website updated. The VM stuff is my baby, and because we are a yarn store designing windows means having garments to put into said windows, and to differentiate ourselves it also means designing and product development of said garments. I'm loving it. I put our new windows in a few days ago with 5 garments that I workshopped with our in house designer, and one I designed and knitted outright, and the customers are lapping it up.

About the time I received my promotion I also got a flatmate. The stress of breaking the housework embargo almost broke me as well, and it's true that much of the contents of the junk room front bedroom that couldn't go to Goodwill are now stacked in teetering piles in my bedroom. Awaiting being dealt with. In baby steps. But my friend Steve is all moved in and is paying his rent, and is working out just fine.

Having someone else in the house is a good thing I've decided. Someone to make you reflect on the fact that maybe you don't really want someone to see you welded to the sofa, in your bathrobe, at 3 in the afternoon, and that maybe it was time you brushed your teeth at least. I want to be alone has its uses, but it's time for a little less Garbo just now.

I'm a bit less poor. I have a bit more money in my pocket, and am not looking at a single digit bank balance while waiting for pay day. I've started to not only service my debt, but have started to put a bit away for a trip to Italy next year. I've been doing some stuff around the house. My creativity has been fizzing away, planning things for work and jotting down things I want to make for myself.

So much of my situation was stress related, I can see now. Wow, I do not handle stress well. Shut down all non-essential services, and just leave a pilot light running on some of them. Best of all I feel more like me than I have almost all year. The colour is back, cue the munchkin!

14 comments:

K-A said...

Watch out for the Lollipop Guild... they will get you with their big sticky lollies!

I have been where you have just gone. I think at some time most of us venture there whether by choice or circumstance. The good thing is we eventually come out from there and you did it on your own. All will be well. It just takes time, which of course is the worst thing to wait for.

It sounds like you are heading in the right direction and with a possible trip to Italy too. Wonderful!

You are doing fine... and it is good to 'see' you again.

Mel said...

You've been conspicuous by your absence and I'd wondered how you were doing. Glad that the colour is coming back. Now try to stay away from Kansas. xo

John said...

Welcome back! You look great in living clolor ( I know, we yanks spell it wrong)!

Victor said...

I'm glad that life is more positive for you now. A trip to Italy sounds great.

Lara said...

Welcome back! Congrats on the "new" job - you'll be awesome :)

John C said...

This is great to hear, especially that you've found a job you enjoy which also gives you a creative outlet.

Beccaie said...

I'm so glad to hear that things are going better for you. I hope they continue to improve.

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I love youse all. *sniff*

Michael Guy said...

Missed you, luv. I'm pleased that the sun is shining for you, figuratively/literally... And I know of what you speak: I entered the 6th month of unemployment on gov't pay and see no job in sight. My money is fast running out; there are days I don't venture out. What would be the point? Still, I maintain; which was the 'pilot light' point you made. I get where you've been. It's good to know that things cue to color at some point in the journey out of this melancholy.

hugs- Glad to hear about the yarn store success; it's always been 'follow your passion/success will come' if one truly sticks their neck out. X O

Quatrefoil said...

I'm really pleased and really relieved to hear that things are working out so much better for you. I've been under a bit of a cloud myself for the last few months - not depression, just busyness and sickness - but I've been thinking about you, and worrying more than a bit.

Charisse said...

So glad you're back Andrew! I was worried about you! Glad things are looking up :)

Cecilia said...

Welcome back! I'm glad to hear you are doing better. Wish I were still in Sydney so I can go admire your windows. Bet they are amazing.

Mindy said...

Glad things are on the up and up for you. The store windows sound amazing. Do you get to sell the knitwear when you take it out of the window?

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! Mindy, yes we sell the samples but truth be told the prices are so high (co$t of yarn + co$t of what we paid the sample knitter + smallish mark-up = many dollar$$$$$$) that we don't sell them very often. Really it's not something we encourage because then we have to go through the process of getting a sample knitter to do another, and we tend to lose sales on the patterns/yarns in the meantime. On the second day the window was in one woman wanted to buy all 5! We had to give her the price and tell her to come back in a month after we strip the window out...