Not Your Grandmas Hobby

I love the look on people's faces when I tell them my new career is embroidery. It's a very quizzical look and I typically follow with, "I know it sounds grandma." I've yet to make any flowered doilies or cutesy 'Home Sweet Home' messages (although I might one day). If you look up #modernembroidery on Instagram you can see these makers have leveled up on the flowered doilies and are making stunning pieces of art. It's a medium you can do anything with. You can stitch out cuss words surround by delicate florals or create lifelike pet portraits. Your imagination is the limit. 

I started embroidering a few months ago at the start of my medical leave. My leave was initially only going to be two weeks long and I was completely stressed about being bored at home by myself. On a whim, I found an embroidery how-to kit and ordered it. I was hooked as soon as I started. 

I have a really difficult time getting out of my own head. I run disaster and death scenarios through my mind like movies on replay. I find the most impossible chain of events that could happen and obsess over them until I've convinced myself it's going to happen. It's part of my anxiety and I have to fight every day to push those thoughts down. Therapy and counseling have helped tremendously by giving me coping skills, but nothing puts me in a happy place like stitching. I've read that needlework is helpful for people with anxiety because of the focus it takes. You have to get out of your head to concentrate, as well as, the creative element, that I have to think exercises some happy part of the brain. 

While I am still completely terrified of my business failing or not contributing enough to our family, I can't not try. Taking risks goes against everything my anxiety tells me to do, but that's why I need to do it. To fight through the disaster movie in my head and envision the fulfilled, happy life I want to live. 

My therapist told me something that's stuck with me. You can choose to be in a relationship with life or death, but you can't cheat and have both. You can't be present with life if you are thinking about death. If you've never dealt with anxiety/depression/etc. you probably think this sounds stupid, but for someone whose mind is rebelling against them it's very real. When I get up every morning I want to make a conscious effort to choose life, and I want it to be the life I so desire to fully live.