/ / Why I sought professional help for my anxiety and depression

Why I sought professional help for my anxiety and depression


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Here we go… it’s been 4 years since I shared with you my thoughts about creativity, depression, and how I manage them both.

I have been amazed (and sometimes quite overwhelmed) by the response to that article. You have been 100% supportive of me and have also shared heart wrenching experiences. 

I want to keep this dialogue open so we can continue to talk about creativity, depression, anxiety, and how we manage it all.

Four years ago I was able to get along reasonably well with frequent exercise (walking, mostly) and a healthy diet. For a lot of people those two things can go a long way toward mental and emotional health.

But then life happened. Things got more complicated. A couple more balls were tossed at me to juggle along with the 10 I was already juggling. 

And Anxiety (the ‘A’ word) struck me like a ton of bricks. 

I’ve always felt awkward at social events and tried to find a friend to stick to. Dinner parties, school fairs, church events – they were all the same kind of uncomfortableness. But I put on a good face, smiled a lot, and pretended that making small talk was the most fun thing ever (even though for me it’s NOT!!!).

That’s the way I used to manage. Until I couldn’t anymore. I’d find myself heading to the restroom at events like that. Even when I didn’t need to use the toilet. So I’d fix my makeup, check my phone, and basically hang out in the restroom as long as I could. Until I had to go back because people would probably be looking for me. 🙁

When my anxiety got even worse, I avoided certain situations completely. Why put myself through that torture?, I thought. I’m a grown woman. I shouldn’t have to go to dinner parties if I don’t want to.

Then my husband and I seriously quarreled over going to an event that he wanted me to attend with him. That made me depressed – and I finally decided to talk to my doctor.

Now the cat’s out of the bag.

I totally expect certain family members to contact me and tell me how _______ (insert: dangerous, useless, wrought with side-effects, or just plain unneeded) medical treatment is for anxiety and depression.

But I’m going to share my experience with you anyway because of the stream of emails and comments that I have received from people who struggle with the same things. I believe creativity and anxiety and depression are all inter-related and many of us suffer.

We may find different ways of coping, but the first step is talking about it. 

If you struggle with anxiety or depression and have found a way to cope and find happiness – bravo!

I don’t care if you exercise, eat right, talk to a therapist, take medication, create things 12 hours a day, pray, meditate, keep a journal, or do all of those – yay for being okay!

Anyway, I decided to talk to my doctor… he referred me to a therapist and prescribed medication that I can take.

Let me tell you: now I can walk down the hall at church and feel happy to see every person I meet instead of fear that propels me to hide in the restroom. Could a medication make me feel love for others? I doubt it. It can only be that I really do love those people, but my anxiety was getting in the way.


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I’m not saying that all my problems are solved. I still need to eat right and exercise. I need to remember that who I really am is more important than who others think I am. And I think that sewing 12 hours a day would really help too. 🙂

I have also come to realize that some situations will be difficult for me no matter what I take. But with medication I am more the person I want to be. Will I always need it? I don’t know. And I don’t have to decide that now. 

Thank you so much for all your messages of love and support. A sweet reader recently told me, ‘after all, God made all the boys and girls who grow up to be doctors, too.’ Yes!!! I totally agree. And I’m so grateful.

Let’s all seek help when we need it – and be that listening ear or supportive friend too. 

That’s why I started an onlline sewing support circle called This Little Light. Check it out!

xoxo, 


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93 Comments

  1. Good for you for taking care of yourself. I am glad you are in a better place – you are a bright light for so many.

  2. Rosemary B says:

    Caroline, I love you. Thank you for sharing everything.
    There is something very special about this "group" of people, like you and me, and so many others, that is… we are intuitive and thoughtful.
    I know you love it, and dislike it. (I know for myself, I just need more sleep.)
    God is always there, and always approachable. I see how God works in others, and I know
    that He is also carrying me.
    I am also taking medicine. I can honestly say that it helps me by moving out all of the dust and clutter that is my anxiety.
    I love your blog and everything about you. ❤️
    "It’s not a big thing, just a lot of little things" is a thought that can be viewed in so many ways

    1. Rosemary – thank you. Your message lifted me just when I needed it. ❤️ I’m so grateful . God bless you in your journey! xoxo

  3. I can relate to social events. I have a problem fitting in with crowds. Always worried if I am acting the right way or saying the right things. Since I’ve been quilting, I have joined a club and I am having a great time showing off my work to others that are interested. I hope that is a first step in conquering my social issues. I have not seen a Dr. Maybe that is something I should explore, I’ve just been trying to manage it by myself.

  4. Thank you for talking about your experiences – it’s so important to make this an OK topic, and for people to know they can get help!

  5. Thank you for this article. As I am sure many others say, you could have been writing about me. I didn’t dare even think that I had a problem with depression/anxiety. That would mean that I wasn’t a good Christian and if I would just pray more, I would be okay. Come to find out, I have had lifelong low grade depression with clinical episodes. Like you, no one would have believed it because I was the outgoing, life of the party type. But that was a cover for how I was really feeling. It went on for so many years that it began to cause physical health problems as well. There are a lot of studies on how the mental/emotional state can cause physical problems. Mine turned into bone and joint problems and now I am physically disabled. I was in my 50’s before I knew what a peaceful feeling was. I had taken several SSRI’s before but there was a new one out called Viibryd that made an amazing difference for me. I don’t take anything right now and am doing okay.

    I had never associated creativity with depression/anxiety but I have wondered about it because so many that have creative blogs also have these issues. I mostly crochet and many of my fellow crocheters in several groups have talked about how it helps with the anxiety issues.

    I agree with you…whatever works for you is what you should do. And never, ever let anyone tell you that you are less of a Christian, mom, wife, friend, person in general because of your depression/anxiety. I allowed that for too many years.

    I love your blog and all you do. I have wanted to do something similar but never felt capable of keeping it up like I should. Maybe one day.

    God Bless you and all who suffer as we do.

    1. Hi Juanita, Thanks for sharing your thoughts – especially the ways that ignoring emotional problems can lead to other health concerns as well. I’m so glad you have found healing and you are being creative too! Hugs! xoxo

  6. Thank you for sharing this, and for validating medication as a totally a-ok choice for people with anxiety and depression! It drives me crazy that as a culture we don’t bat an eye when people take medication for blood pressure or epilepsy, but take medication for a medical condition in your brain, and people suddenly feel they have the right to judge and criticize. I’m so glad you’ve found something that is helping you!!!

  7. Good on you for addressing your anxiety and depression. I believe I suffer from anxiety, though not from depression. Your comments about social situations and difficulty with small talk sounded so familiar. I too avoid social situations and find work social situations difficult and many years ago decided I’m simply odd.I did in the recent past talk to my doctor about it and while he prescribed medication I found it made me a bit dopey so did not persevere. I applaud you for your comments.

    1. Thank you. It’s so good to know that we are not odd – just introverts. Hoping you can find happy things to fill your life with! xoxo

  8. It’s refreshing to hear you talk about these things. I, too, suffer from bouts of depression. So far, I’m able to manage, but thank you for talking about your experiences and how you’ve been helped.

  9. Pamela Davies says:

    I took anti-depressants for many years and they made life worth living rather than just an endurance test so I can totally relate to your situation. if you had a physical problem you would take medication. Mental disorders are due to chemical imbalances in the brain so also need medication as well as sensible eating, exercise and leisure activities. I find sewing and crafting really help to boost self worth. Thank you for your honesty and openness. I wish you peace and happiness in your onward journey

    1. Thank you Pamela! You are so correct! I’m so glad you have found ways to be happy and not just endure. Hugs!

  10. Caroline, you are an amazing woman! Thank you for being so brave and being honest and open with us. Many of us suffer from anxiety with being in public in one manner or another. At my age, 63 ;-), I care less and less about what they think and more about my family and friends. Many blessings and good health to you.

  11. Caroline, I relate to everything you’ve said. For most of my life I’ve over-compensated for my fear of social events, to the point where I know a lot of people saw me as attention-seeking, loud-mouthed, overbearing. When really I was dying inside, feeling inadequate, clumsy, crippled with shyness, sadness and anxiety. I tried behaving differently but it’s so hard to change lifelong habits, and people would just keep asking me what’s wrong, was I alright etc etc. So nowadays I avoid events, parties, get-togethers of any kind. I’ve isolated myself and bury myself in my crafting, sewing and reading, and feel much better for it. I too take medication and it helps to level my moods. I’d take an aspirin for a headache, so why not an antidepressant for my sadness? And it’s blogs and sewing groups that give me enough people contact without the anxiety of the face-to-face stuff. Thank you Caroline for sharing your experiences with us, and for your amazing blog.

    1. Hi Lorraine, Thanks for sharing your perspective, which I think is so often misunderstood. I’m so glad you have found your happy place – and that sewing with me is a part of it! xoxo

  12. Hi Caroline, I read your blog every single day. Thanks for sharing with us. I, too, am of the creative bent (and also introverted) and find my happiest of times in my sewing room with the radio on where I can stitch up things for the people I love. I do think the highly motivated people struggle more with anxiety because our expectations of ourselves are sometimes too high. However, I’m of the opinion that our fast paced society is also a huge culprit. Simply put, I MUST manage my busy time. I try not to overcommit, I’ve learned how to say "no" and I keep trusting God to help me navigate those things that I have no choice to be a part of. Thank you for sharing your journey and blessing us every day with your creative ideas!

  13. Jo Culver says:

    Wow! Totally surprised to see this topic on my favorite quilt/sewing blog–but what a sense of connection and sisterhood. I struggle with a similar situation and was raised in a time when you were told to just "suck it up" and to "get over it" or that you were "too sensitive"–finally, with the help of a very good therapist, I have been able to accept that the fact (most of the time-ha!) that I need medication for my anxiety and depression. It is not a moral failing. It is not something I can think myself out of or get over. I feel better on meds. I am more me. I would prefer to be able to handle this myself without any help, but that is not who I am. God made me. He also gave me the good sense to get help. Thank you for writing about this.

    1. Hi Jo! Thanks for sharing that it doesn’t show weakness, but courage to seek help. God bless and hugs! xoxo

  14. Constance Wilkinsonc says:

    Yes Caroline, I have been there! I had a time in my 40’s that became a nightmare for me. My husband kept telling me to call our doctor. I kept saying "I will" but did not until one day, while at work, I was pushed to the very edge and could not stop crying!! It was that moment I went right to the phone and made an appointment to talk to my doctor. Wow! The hour long session with my doctor was the best medicine! I did take medication for a year and I have learned to cope with things much better. And my real salvation has been my wonderful husband and my sewing!! I am not 70 years old and love my life and myself!!

    1. I’m so happy you posted that! I’m feeling inspired by the fact that you are happy and healed and you love your life. Hugs to you and your husband! xoxo

  15. It is so important to make our feelings safe to talk about. Thanks for sharing. I’m one of the uncomfortable in groups people.

  16. Like you, I am not that much of a social person. I didn’t have any training in how to act/interact at social events growing up. As long as I had one or two good friends with me, I managed. I am an introvert by nature so it is hard for me too to interact in social situations. I find more people are willing to talk since they have a listening ear, than expect me to talk. I push myself to stay for social hour at church for my hubby’s sake although he often tells me I don’t have to. I am actually better in a situation with people I don’t know than with those I do know at least by site.

    1. It’s so good to know that I’m not the only introvert and there’s nothing wrong with me because I am one. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  17. Great article!! Thank You for sharing!!

  18. Leslie Farmer says:

    We don’t know each other but I’m proud of you for doing what you had to do and what you felt was best to help yourself. That first step is often the hardest. Sometimes all the natural ways of helping depression/anxiety do not work because of the chemicals, hormones, and complexities of our bodies. Well, I don’t have to go into that for you because you know but thank you for sharing and doing what was needed for you and your family. Your readers/fan want you to be the best you can be and to continue to share the amazing creativity the Lord has blessed you with!

  19. April Lopez says:

    Thank you for sharing. I find this topic to be taboo with many and annoying for others so I don’t talk at all. It’s wonderful you found what works for you.

    1. Hi April. You’re right about that. Hoping that you have methods that work and people to talk to too! xoxo

  20. Thanks for sharing. I, too, suffer depression and to a lesser degree, anxiety. I’ve been doing a combination of therapy (off and on) and medication for about 20 years. (I’m now 76.) My med is approved to treat fibromyalgia, too. Some days I wonder if it’s doing any good. But therapy never wears out, it always helps to talk to an objective person. Also all the self-help strategies which you mention. I’m fully into making art of all kinds, which probably helps more than anything. Bless you in your journey.

  21. Oh my goodness! Hearing issues throw a big wrench in things, don’t they? I never thought about that. Thanks for sharing that with me. Wishing you joy in the little things! Hugs!

  22. Marigold(Mary) says:

    I think you are awesome and to share with us what you are going through makes you even more relatable. We can all learn to be a little more patient and kind by being more understanding. I look forward to sewing and creating more in my own journey and sharing my sewing and creating talents with all who are interested. You’re blogs are the highlight of my morning when I open my computer up at work and dream of the day I can accomplish some of the sweetest and most functional sewing projects anywhere on the web. I am able to complete a couple of them now but more have been bookmarked to finish in the future……keep living the life it looks good on you!!!!!

    1. Thank you Mary! I’m so happy you read my newsletter and sew along with me as many projects as you can. Wishing you lots of sewing time in the future. Hugs! xoxo

  23. Judy Nurkkala says:

    When I watched your video where you were opening up the new Christmas fat quarters you had just received, I never would have guessed that you were dealing with depression. You appeared so happy and alive! It blessed me and made me smile too. It shows us how God can work even thru pain.

  24. A Busy Quilter.... says:

    Thank you for taking a brave step to share with all of us what you deal with. Long ago, I had two periods of my life that I dealt with the same – once, when my mother died (and I was a very young adult), and the second, when grown children, other family members and incredibly difficult jobs were putting such incredible stress on my husband & I that we actually moved out of state for our own mental health. The first bout I dealt with by faith & putting MYSELF into God’s hands to guide me through it, and He certainly did. The second, the decision was placed in front of us by Him and we went with it. Both were perfect solutions. Had either not worked for me, then I would have gone straight to the doctor, as I firmly believe that medical intervention is important, but for me faith is always the first solution. Each person needs to find their own way to deal with it as the very judgmental & unkind world as it is now only compounds the anxiety each of us is exposed to. Quilting is a big part of creating my ‘happy place’ where I can regain my serenity — and its my way of helping others at the same time by giving away about 99% of what I make as a thank you for all the blessings in my life.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. It’s good to see that there are many ways to fight this fight and you found what works best for you.

      Love and hugs! xoxo

  25. Brenda Jerles says:

    Hi Caroline!
    I enjoy your emails and posts every day. I thank you for sharing your story with others. There are so many who suffer from Depression. It runs in my family. My Mother and paternal Grandmother committed suicide. Thankfully God led me to my Doctor and medicine. The medicine just makes me, me again. I still struggle during really tough times but it gets me through the normal day to day things. I thank God for his help and for giving Doctors the knowledge to treat diseases just like depression. Everyone sees me as an extrovert because I love talking to people and am always smiling but in reality, I would love nothing better than to stay home and not talk to anyone much. I could be perfectly happy at home. I know God has a mission for my life and I hope that by going to work and sharing my faith with others and sharing the joy of the Lord, I can witness to others. Even though it is hard for me to get out of bed and go. It always helps when you just get up and go. If you are at home alone too much you get into your own head too much and depression can take over.
    I so feel for you and will pray for you as well. Thank you for sharing this with your readers. It lets so many realize they are not alone.
    We all just have to keep on keeping on and trust in God to help us through.
    Love and Hugs,
    Brenda <><

    1. Hi Brenda,
      I’m so sorry for the struggles you’ve had to face. Your note inspires me to seek God’s mission fo my life and keep fighting every day. God bless and hugs!
      Caroline

  26. Teri Jo Rogers says:

    Bravo for you!!! I tell women who "Don’t want to take a pill the rest of my life" that some of us just have to face the fact. If I had Diabetes would it be different? The fact I need glasses to see I have chosen to wear them rather than hide the fact and not wear glasses and suffer not being able to see. Depression and anxiety is just like the rest of our mortal body hick ups. We can accept we need it and enjoy life. I am happy you got some help. Your story is a mirror image of my story. I still have anxiety in crowds but I don’t hide or run. At least not every time.
    Lets keep hanging on!!!!!!

  27. Hey, you’re singing my song. I’m fortunate that Zoloft has worked for me for over a quarter of a century — and I don’t care who knows it! Depression is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I believe I inherited the tendency, and I passed it on to my daughter, bless her heart. Hers is under control too, with a newer medication. Your comment that medication helps you to be who you want to be (I would add, not someone you’re not!) is spot on.

  28. Eva Patterson says:

    Taking a medicine isn’t a weakness, after all didn’t God create science and medicine to begin with? I am happy you are your better self.

    I also have soul crushing anxiety kept under wraps with medication. I only have one child because my perinatal and postnatal anxiety was just that bad. People probe and make comments. But you know what? I am happy I am well enough now to be a present mother to the child I have. It is enough for me so it should be enough for society!

  29. I very much enjoy your newsletter and the fun projects you share. It’s very courageous and generous of your to share your personal struggle with your readers. I’m sure you’ve helped some of them to feel less alone. We are all dealing with something in our lives and the simple act of reaching out to one another goes a long way. Best wishes to you!

  30. I am surprised at how u r doing all the creative work. I am unable to do anything creative. I am like a robot. My mind is in a freeze. I am numb due to what is going on in my life. Just waiting for something to happen from high up there & give me eternal peace. Good luck to u with your recovery.

    1. Hi Tanny – Hang on and keep trying! I’m certain you will find relief and be able to create again. Hugs to you!!

  31. Thank you Caroline for sharing your experience. It is a generous thing to do, putting your self out there to help others. I can relate to what your saying. I struggled with panic attack and anxiety for some time. It actually runs in my family thru generations. I didn’t want to take medication when it started. I really didn’t even know what was happening. After therapy, many Dr. visits and much prayers I had to accept that I needed medication to help. With medication I feel like myself. There are probably some things I will always be uncomfortable with but I know that God will be with me and help me. I know that there are people who don’t understand mental illness. I do wish that was different. Prayers and thanks again.

    1. Hi Donna – Thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s a comfort to know that there is a way through and ways to be feel happy and normal at the end! xoxo

  32. Oh yes, I can identify, especially with the anxiety in social settings. I do not do well at all unless I’m with a friend who will stay with me or have my husband to stand right beside me. It’s taken three years at my church to feel comfortable going to small events and those don’t mandate small talk. I’ve been raised since birth in the "church" and have a wonderful, close personal relationship with Christ and still have anxiety and depression which have only responded to meds for over 30 years. When a family member made the statement that anyone can be healed if they just confessed all their sins, my Christian family doc reminded me that some healing will only come when I get Home. Until then, unless God chooses to heal my brain, I will be thankful for meds that will make a difference every day. And, fabulous picture!!!

    1. Thank you Jacki – I’m so glad you have found a way to be happy, creative, and keep supportive people nearby! I love what you said about healing. ❤️

  33. Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for sharing and being so open! Like many of your readers, I, too am an introvert, shy, and like many I do not do well in social situations, which brings on anxiety. I can completely relate to hiding out in the bathroom! Although I have been able to cope up to now, I do not discount the possibility of medication in my future. For now, I find that my happiest times are when I am by myself in my sewing room creating beautiful things! Thank you for the inspiration you provide us, not just through sewing but through your courage as well! Much happiness to you!

  34. Thanks for sharing your story. You are probably an example of how sometimes we really don’t know what is happening in another person’s life. On the surface people can appear "perfect" living a life where they "have it all". You’ve helped me to remember that we all have struggles of some kind—that is really just part of life. Caring about others and sharing time and talent are so important and needed in our world (especially with the shaming and bullying that occurs). You are an example of a woman who does that and makes the world a little better each day. Thank you.
    I read through all of the comments and admire all of the women who also shared their stories and feelings. These conversations are so important. I’m glad to hear that sewing is a "thread that connects us".

    1. I agree with you! Let’s stop the shaming and bullying and remember that we can never know everything that is going on in someone’s heart. xoxo 💕

  35. Colleen Sain says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I too struggled with depression and anxiety, especially in social situations. At the worst, I would watch tv, which is depressing itself, in my pajamas until I had to get dressed for an appointment or some other compelling reason. A good doctor, a change in medication and a counselor made all the difference in the world. I highly recommend seeking help for those who struggle. I do believe that while you are struggling and lethargic, there is a part of your brain that is working and dreaming. Creativity makes the most sense. It frees me. I just finished a set of placemats using curves and straight lines. The colors are red, purple, green, and blue – batiks – very bright. I tried a facing rather than a binding and loved it. I quilted them using matchstick quilting technique, another first time experience. It makes me so happy!

    1. I know just how that feels! So glad you are able to find relief through creativity. Your placemats sound beautiful! xoxo

  36. Dear Caroline,
    Thank you for sharing your very personal story about anxiety and depression. The argument with your husband led to you make a very wise decision to seek competent help, therapy, and medication as necessary. None of us should be ashamed when we have a health issue, regardless of what it is. I am very grateful that you are feeling much better now, and can encourage others to seek appropriate help for similar conditions. You are a child of God and He wants the best for you! Thank you, too, for this website and all the other sharing you have done! I just love all your projects! I found you through your Craftsy Christmas tree skirt class and now am a regular follower of your blog. God bless you!

  37. Dear Caroline, It seems as if you were writing to me today. I am Bi-Polar. I also suffer from OCD, depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. That’s the mental side of things. I have arthritis in just about every joint in my body and also my left eye, Fibromyalgia, bursitis, every disc in my spine is now bone on bone and I have had two major back surgeries in two years. Today I am going in for a nerve block on my spine and if that works they will cauterize the nerves to my spine. Because of my Bi-Polar I get a bit of a break from people on taking meds. Before that was diagnosed people were not quite as kind. I have even had people come up to me and say I must not believe hard enough in Christ as I am in a wheelchair. Heavens know what they would have thought if they had known I was on psychiatric meds. Today I am feeling very alone and nervous about this procedure and it has helped to have someone to "talk" to. Thank you for listening.

    1. Hi TerriSue, I’m sorry for all the trials that you have been asked to endure in this life. God must love you and know you are strong enough to make it through. Hugs!

  38. Joyce Ireland says:

    You sweet, brave lady, good for you!
    I’ve suffered from depression all my life (extra rough during the teen years) and just a few years ago I took a huge step and gave up all grains completely. Read "Grain Brain" by David Perlmutter, MD. I had tried various meds on and off over the years. Worked for a while, then something would show up needing me to change it. I’d think I could handle it, for a while, but then I couldn’t.
    Grain causes stuff to happen in some people’s brains – details I forget. You must read about this in his book. I’ve seen references elsewhere since. Really worked for me. When I slip up and eat something and fall back under that depression I get even more resolved to eliminate ALL grain again. Nothing tastes better than coming up and out of that depression.
    I so enjoy your site – such delightful and impressive work you do here! Thanks for all you bring to us.

    1. That sounds fascinating! I’m going to look up that book in my library – thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you have found a solution that works. Hugs! 💓

  39. Always Medicated says:

    Caroline, you have almost everything it takes for depression and anxiety. I too am creative, shy and will be on medication for the rest of my life. Throw in maternal childhood abuse and genetics I have everything depression needs and have dealt with it since childhood. A wise psychiatrist told me that, including me, many of his patients are Type A personalities and you probably are too. I’m gradually coming to terms with the ‘everything must be perfect all the time’ belief he talked about and that has been very hard to deal with. I’ve always described sewing as my therapy and if I didn’t have sewing well……… I don’t even want to think about that. I look at my meds as my siblings view their insulin – necessary but not fun. You have gotten thru the worst part and for the people who question you the response of ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ will give them something to think about!

  40. Donna Garber says:

    It’s never easy to admit to our shortcomings, issues, or deepest, darkest secrets. Just know that you aren’t alone. People who know me, know my struggles, but my everyday co-workers and acquaintances have no idea my daily struggle. They only see the happy go-lucky, energetic person I work hard at portraying each and everyday. The medications help, but not totally. We never know what battles the person standing next to us is facing. That’s why we have to nice to everyone we come in contact with. Keep doing what you are doing. We all love your projects and I can only hope to sew, etc as well as you when I grow up! LOL! Never be afraid to reach out, even if it’s on here. This blog can be a sort of support group for all of us. Thank you for sharing. It’s so hard to show our vulnerabilities. <3

  41. Liz Littlejohn says:

    I want to thank you for sharing, I am fighting Ovarian cancer and never had anxiety till I started going thru it. I will say I am very Blessed and not complaining, I am glad you shared it shows how strong you are and by that you help other people. If it wasn’t for people sharing, others may not get help or feel better for what they are going through. We all have our battles with something it doesn’t mean we are weird it just means we have to learn how to deal with them the best way we can. I look forward to your newsletter daily and enjoy quilting , sewing, knitting and crafting of all kinds. I love your tutorials , thank you for what you do, it brightens my day.
    thanks Liz L

  42. Good for you for asking for help and talking about it. I was diagnosed over 20 years ago with clinical depression and borderline obssessive-compulsive disease. Yes, disease, just like diabetes or cancer or whatever. The obssesion feeds my depression so not a good comibination. I finally asked for help because I had 2 young children and was seriously thinking about suicide. I felt worthless and that I was a burden on everyone and they they would all be better off without me. I battled my depression for about 5 years, trying different medications and attending what I thought were worthless discussion sessions. After 5 years, I was able to quit all the meds and face the world. I have been happy for 15 years, not totally free of depression (no one is!), but able to deal with it by myself. My mother-in-law recently moved in with us so I may need meds again… but at least I know the signs, I know to ask for help, and I can help myself.
    NO ONE SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED about having depression!!! It’a a real sickness, not something we do to ourselves.

  43. Hats off to you caroline. You gone through all this and still so much positive inside. if you still feel disturbance, you can try yoga and meditation.

  44. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I too struggled with those issues for many, many years. Now, a support group, a therapist, medication, exercise, eating better (well……) all help me to manage my emotions. Most of the time I can manage them; sometimes they manage me!

  45. Deinya Mautz says:

    Creativity pounding at the door? In your sewing/craft space? Leaking out from all those magazines with good ideas which won’t be started or completed? From too many sewing/craft emails etc? Too many requests for quilts that you would like to make for a cause or friend? Too much fabric which is really clutter (not the good stuff)? It is so easy to become overloaded by requests and "I should really do this" projects" that the fun part takes a back seat and a sense of never ending obligations intrudes on one’s sense of relaxation of sense of well being while working on projects or activities that truly contribute to our own well being. Possible solutions: 1. Reduce your magazine subscriptions. I eliminated all my subscriptions, including some on-line-and now subscribe to only one. Yes, it is expensive and some things are way beyond my abilities, but I enjoy the articles which include historical information and wonderful ideas. I also save money !!I also subscribe to a non project quilting magazine which highlights quilting communities and individuals throughout the US. As this magazine does not have projects to do, I can simply sit back and enjoy the content, with hopes of some day visiting each of the highlighted communities. Developing the courage to say, "Not at this time" to requests for gift or charity quilts can be difficult, but by carefully selecting only one or two causes/organizations to receive my quilts, I am continuing to participate in the quilting community without being overloaded and do the type of quilting I truly enjoy. Removing "quilting burdens" relieves anxiety of too many deadlines and unmeetable expectations as well as the depression of not being a quilting production queen. Get out of your room and take a walk, enjoying the wonderful already made quilting in your back yard or favorite quiet retreat.

    1. Now about fabric overload: gather up every bit of courage you have and really sort through your stash, whether it is fabric and sewing supplies or craft materials. If you really really love it or know what you are going use, put it in the necessity pile for supplies such as scissors, thread, and sewing supplies. Same with craft tools. The second pile is a small "maybe" pile and the third is a disposable pile. If the items are still usable, invite friends with similar interests to come "shopping" at your home for items they might want. If stuff is left over and is usable, donate it to you local quilting/sewing/craft guild or other organization which can really put them to use. Simply donating them to thrift stores only continues the acquisition rotation without first determining if a local group can use them. Remaining items can be given to charitable thrift stores such as Hospice, local missions, etc rather than for for-profit stores. Again, this is a way to contribute to the general good without adding to the acquisition overload cycle.
  46. Caroline,
    Thank you so much for sharing your battle with depression and anxiety. I live with these issues as well.
    The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful doctor, familiy and friends to enable me to fight for the joy! I now understand more about my childhood and the suffering of my original family and ancestors. Through Jesus, I have been able to seek help and be open about my depression with the hope of changing the future of my decedents. Out of the bad, can come something truly awesome for the glory of our Lord. I am trying to be more like him everyday!
    I found you as I am working on your Christmas tree skirt and you are a wonderful teacher! I am not a perfect quilter, however my mind is so calm and relaxed while I am working a sweet project like yours. My husband told me this morning that he is so happy to see me sewing and humming away!

    Thank you Caroline for all you are teaching us! You are a blessing!❤️

    Michelle

  47. Thank you for sharing your journey. Many people resist medication for depression although I far say they would take insulin if they were diabetic. I have struggled with depression for over 50 years. I have taken medication for around 35 years. The newer meds are so much better! I seriously sought help when my daughters were in their teens. I hoped that I would be a role model teaching them to reach out for help as I believe we have a family history of depression, including suicide. They have both sought help and have managed their mental health issues quite well. Again, I thank you for speaking out. It pains my heart to see anyone suffer when there is help out there.

  48. Thank you for your honesty re depression and creativity. I am one of those people, too! Your candor can help so many more of us.

  49. Melissa Jeanes says:

    Thank you so much for this article, I too suffer with aniexty and depression(PTSD) and am very creative, but when I get home I am so tired that I don’t go to my sewing room that much to create, I have not been talking to my therapist long, and I have had to increase my meds, for now, I do feel better, but still get sad.. I believe it was meant for me to find your site, Thank you for the inspiration.

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