Now that the huge reformat, rephotograph and republish every pattern project has come to an end, and now that the new website is live and functioning, I'm finding that what I'd hoped for is happening - I can breathe a little.
It has been a huge undertaking, and one that turned into a much bigger project than I was expecting as life did it's thing, as you'll know. I had time scales worked out, mental deadlines for when I'd be able to sign off and move on, and as that changed and each deadline faded into the distance that feeling of being out of control grew. How could I take on any more projects with such big tasks hanging over my head? And how could I work on such big tasks with life hanging over my head?
It is such a relief to have reached this point. It's probably fair to say than when you've been battling through something for such an expanse of time, you usually only feel relief at the end of it; the expected joy of the new seems to vanish. But I do actually feel lighter. I feel like I'm winning. I'm far from skipping down the lane full of the vigours of youth, but I am winning.
I've suddenly found myself working on a whole bunch of commissions - articles and patterns - and I'm even ahead of deadlines on those. I've let these slip over the last few years - struggling with my own deadlines was hard enough let alone promising an editor something and failing to deliver. I mostly pulled back and and resigned myself to that fact that I really couldn't work at full steam. I say mostly, as I still battled internally and got proper frustrated with myself. And now if I wasn't so tired I'm sure I'd be chomping at the bit.
The current commissions are manageable and I'm trying to be mindful not to take on any more. I may feel a burst of energy but I'm far from revitalised and cautious I must be. Besides, I had to park the 'Turning Heads' project until my brain was up to full speed again, and that's really where I want to be spending my time.
In addition, I noticed that my depression hasn't been as bad this winter. Last winter I was fighting with suicidal thoughts every day, day in and day out. It was exhausting. This winter has seen a few head crashes, each in themselves difficult, and I have somewhat withdrawn from online spaces/industry areas/group stuff in general BUT I've been able to pick myself and get on. I'm even working on some projects and maths that previously the brain refused to entertain. If I'm able to produce something that not only pleases me but makes me feel clever too, I'd say things were on the mend. It can take years to fully recover from a breakdown, if ever, and I didn't really recover from the last breakdown before this recent one took me down. Right now though, I have hope.