Crafting is actually somewhat of a new concept to me, and is one that I came upon somewhat accidentally as an outlet for my energy during a "manic" phase of what has been diagnosed as bipolar disorder. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
Last Spring I started to experience extreme anxiety, followed by mood swings that swung either into a deeply depressed state or to an energetic, motivated, highly optimistic state. It was not the first time I had experienced it. In fact, I could recall as far back as junior high having similar feelings and mood swings. However, this time was different and I knew I needed to see someone. I won't bore you with the details of sleepless nights, hours and hours of crying alone in the dark, or feelings of total and utter despair. Fast forward several weeks later....after having seen a psychiatrist, starting on a cocktail of meds that aimed to keep me "balanced", and beginning to feel somewhat normal again. It was Summer, the kids were out of school, and the fun could begin.
It started with a tiny piece of driftwood that I found on the beach. It was an odd shape, smooth, light and pretty. Instinctively, the wheels in the brain started turning and I knew I could make something out of it. I hadn't crafted in years, and when I had, it was nothing fancy! But I just knew I had to make something out of this little piece of wood. I was super excited to start (I would later realise this extreme motivation was part of the manic stage) and collected more and more pieces of driftwood on the beach that day-little pieces and big- and I could hardly wait to get home and get started. To make a long story short, the next few weeks consisted on several trips to the beach to collect more and more driftwood, as well as to the craft store to buy more and more paint, hot glue and magnets, and by the time it was all said and done I had painted more than 300 pieces of driftwood and turned them into fridge magnets!
Weeks later when my "manic" phase passed the driftwood was forgotten, which for anyone who is familiar with bipolar disorder, this is not unusual. As fast as I had become completely engrossed in it, I dropped it just as quickly. However, the phase had introduced me to a new part of myself that I would come to truly enjoy- the crafter- and I moved on to different projects, mainly working with wood.
While this introduces you to the crafter in me, you have now also met the bipolar me. The illness is one that I have had to struggle with over the months since my diagnosis, but every day I try with everything in me to not let it consume me. I have bipolar, but it doesn't have me.
Until Next Time....