Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quilting--My Therapy

Warning:  Very personal post below :o)

I would consider myself to be a naturally happy, positive person.  I've always tried to see life for what it can be instead of what it is sometimes.  When I had my first child, I tail-spinned into depression like I've never known before.  I cried all the time, not just from hormones.  I had severe anxiety whenever my husband went to work in the morning...I cried every morning.  I had no desire to leave the house, much less get out of my pj's for the day.  I loved my little girl, but I was on the edge of disaster.  I think the only thing that kept me from drastic measures was my church, my family, and my faith.  It got better, but was so easy to lapse back.  It was in this time I taught myself how to quilt.  It was my therapy.  It kept my mind busy and off my struggle.  With each new project, I got better.  Creating something beautiful had a healing affect on me...and I couldn't get enough of it.  Most of the quilts I have made have gone to others...I think I have only kept 3 of the 50-ish I have made.  I just wanted to make them, to keep busy.

After the birth of my second child, the depression returned.  Thankfully, this baby was easier, so the depths I reached weren't as deep, but this time they never left.  Varieties of emotions swept like waves....failure, guilt, inadequacies, isolation, shame for feeling all those things when God had blessed our family so much.  I struggled just to keep myself going to work and church.  Four months later, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor and required surgery within 2 weeks.  He did well with the surgery, and his recovery was going well but I was tail-spinning again.  I was ashamed most of all.  I couldn't talk to anyone because I was afraid of being dismissed.  My husband was so patient, too.  But I had trouble even talking to him about the depths I was reaching.  I felt most alone in a room full of people.

It was at this point, I decided to get medical help, without shame.  I couldn't face the demons on my own anymore. My husband has had 2 more brain tumors/surgeries since then and those were some difficult days.  He is well now, but I always expect each MRI to bring bad news of another tumor, another surgery, more radiation.  Sometimes, I feel as if we're living on borrowed time, just waiting.

It's 5 years later, and I still struggle, but it's getting better.  I still have my days that every ounce of determination can't get me out of bed for reasons I cannot express.  My faith in Jesus, my church, my dear family, and wonderful friends have been so supportive through my struggles.  And quilting is still my therapy.  It is a way for me to focus my attention off my depression.


  1. I love you, friend. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I'm sure you're not the only one Shanna. I had a quick browse through your blog. I would love to see more of your quilts......do you have photos of some of the many you have given away?


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