Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Am Not Perfect, But I Am Enough, And So Are You

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Some days I walk around feeling an incredible weight on my chest- but maybe it's not really a weight- sure the feeling is heavy, but maybe it's more like a pressure or a squeezing. So lets start again...

Some days I feel like my heart is being squeezed- but not a good squeeze like a hug at the end of the day, a squeeze that makes it hard to feel like you have the ability to breathe, or stand up straight. 

I fear that if I stop to consider the painful feeling in my chest it would swallow me whole.  So I don't stop- I go through the motions. I wake up, exercise, eat, go to work, smile, make small talk, but every moment is hard- every moment is filled with the deliberate intention to keep going. No matter how hard I try to keep smiling it never makes it any easier to breath around the pain in my chest.

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 But some days it's worse, some days I don't feel anything. Some days it's a struggle to even think about getting out of bed, some days the act of smiling and functioning makes me want to run and hide in the bathroom or turn around and go back to bed. Some days I wish I could cry because that would at least be better then the empty feeling inside. These days are worse, these days I would often rather feel pain then keep on feeling empty. These days are the days I have to move a little slower, work a little harder to try my best to take in the moments I should feel grateful for. These are the days I remind myself to ask for help, to be ok with talking about it.  

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Depression is not a new companion of mine, but in a way I think it is one that has changed its face many times. When I was a teenager he was self absorbed- fed by feelings of loneliness and the feelings of being misunderstood. In my early 20's he developed more complexity as the notion that my depression and self injury hurt the people around me just as much as it hurt me. Now as a mother my depression has taken a new face once again- one that is a little harder to manage. 

Cordelia's Halloween Birthday PArty

Life is much more complex as a mother. It is an awe inspiring, heavy responsibility to mean soo much to someone soo little. My first spell of depression as a mother happened when she was about three months old. I felt like a failure, the despair was soul crushing, I felt unfit to be part of something so perfect and precious. I resisted getting help because I felt like it was a great flaw in my being and I was irrationally petrified that someone would see me as unfit to raise my little girl and take her from me. 




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I have great fear about how my struggle with depression- and anxiety, affects Cordelia. Will I really be able to teach her to be healthy and happy when I struggle with it so much? The feelings of self doubt and guilt over moments you feel you might have wasted can eat you alive if you don't fight them. 

At the end of the day I know I am the only mother she has, and I know that I can keep fighting to be the best mother I can be. And I am lucky to have such a strong supportive partner to keep reminding me of this.  

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The alternating periods of pain in my heart, and feelings of numbness come and go. Sometimes for weeks or months at a time, and I don't know the answers to how to make things better. All I know how to do is keep going, keep coping, keep fighting.  I guess the point of me writing all of this- of sharing all of these feelings with you, is so I can say that we are all struggling, we are all doing the best that we can, and it's going to be ok. 

In a world of social media it's easy to only share the good, the pretty, or the funny- and to leave out the real struggles we each are going through, but I think that we need to spend more time talking about the way things really are. Depression is your mind telling you the same lies over and over again. Depression tells you that you will never be happy, that you will never be good enough, or strong enough, that you will never just be enough. When we think we are the only ones struggling  I think we begin to believe these lies. I am taking this time to say- I am not perfect, but I am enough. And you are too. 


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Bella Sunshine Designs, Coffee Shop Dress

Bell Sunshine Design Coffee Shop Dress

I had the really great time pattern testing for Melissa of Bella Sunshine Designs  - and I am really excited to tell you all about it! In fact, I am about as excited as Cordelia is in this picture. 

Bell Sunshine Design Coffee Shop Dress

When I saw the call for testers for the Coffee Shop Dress my mind started whirling with all of the possibilities that this dress offers. As I sat down to pull fabric I had  the hardest time deciding on where to start because I had pulled fabric for at least four different dresses! (I can't wait to go back to make the others) For my test dress I decided to go with two little flower prints in rust and orange- I'm itching for fall, and this just felt totally fall-ish to me. In the end I also love it because it reminds me of Felicity- and who wouldn't a dress that looks like our favorite fictional Colonial girl. 

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The Coffee Shop Dress can be made in sizes 12 months to a girls 12, giving it a great size range. It is designed for woven fabric and perfect for that lace trim you have been hording forever (or is that just me who hoards sewing notions?). The dress can me made with short or long sleeves which is great too- I don't have a ton of kids sleeved patterns in my stash so this was great to add to the collection. 

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I love a versatile pattern but to me the best part of this pattern is the instructions. An easy chart is included telling you exactly which pages need to be printed for your size and view- allowing you to save paper and ink printing! There is also an option for printing in layers so you can print just your size- making it a lot easier to cut out.  Sewing this pattern I learned a great new way to attach lace to a hem (it looks soo much cleaner then the way I was doing it before) and another great way to sew the lining inside of the dress (I love learning new things, don't you?)

BSD coffee shop dress

And if my rave review isn't enough to convince you- it's also on sale until the 26th! Check it out here.