cubes and black holes

I found this little cube stool thing on one of the zillions of facebook sales pages I scour every single day as a major work avoidance strategy I occasionally look at. I’m going to use it in the new room so it can be sat on if required, but I couldn’t let it remain beige and plain. As you may have noticed, I’m like fully into more of a groovy boho vibe if you know what I mean, so it had to get jazzed up.

cube 1

Finally sewed the seams this morning! The colours don’t show too well but they are lilacs and different shades of grey, all cut from upholstery swatch books.

cube 4

cube 2cube 3

It’s not 100% perfect but I’m happy with it for now, may get around to edging the bottom with something or topstitching the seams a bit later on.  At least it’s another tick on my to-do list. That list is supposed to keep me focused and busy, but in the last couple of weeks it’s felt more like an albatross round my neck.

One of my lovely blog readers recently commented that she guessed I was always an upbeat, positive kind of person. I haven’t been able to get this out of my mind because that is the absolute opposite of what I am really like, and it strikes me how well some of us hide behind our facades and manage to fool others. My mind is often restless and disturbed, and sometimes I don’t even have that – I just have a black hole where creative thoughts and emotions and initiative are supposed to be. It’s a zombie-like state, a symptom of depression, and can vary in magnitude. Sometimes it’s minor and passes quite rapidly and doesn’t get in the way of doing basic stuff, and other times it’s worse and I can barely function. It’s almost impossible to engage with other people, to find words,  and absolutely nothing gets done – no work, no reading, no nothing. I had one of these wonderful ‘episodes’ recently and it lasted about 10 days. I had to cancel social outings with friends, put off running errands, and try and switch off the voice in my head that was constantly telling me what a useless waste of skin I am. It sounds so extreme, doesn’t it? It’s not really that easy to explain, except perhaps to someone else who is familiar with the joys of that particular roundabout. I’ve started referring to it as “brain flu” because when I get flu or a bad cold or something similar, I don’t put myself under the same kind of pressure to recover. I just endure.

I suppose what I’m saying is that none of us can ever really know another person or their reality, and how they express themselves through their words or demeanour is sometimes just a social pretence. Most of the time I feel like a fraud because I wish I was naturally positive and well-balanced but, left to my own devices, I’d fold in on myself like a little house of cards.


18 thoughts on “cubes and black holes

  1. tgonzales

    Good Morning Jill: Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts. I can totally understand how you feel. People always tell me how cheerful and positive I am, but really I’m a mess inside. I procrastinate sometimes so much that I can’t get anything done. Love and Hugs sent to you dear Jill.
    P.S. That quilty cube is the bomb-diggity!!!!

  2. Gwenni

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful creativity with us Jill. I love what your are doing in your home. Thank you too for sharing your thoughts and feelings about depression. 💜

  3. Rainbow Junkie

    Sorry to hear about your struggles. I am struggling with a food related anxiety at present and have decided to try CBT. Years ago I had some counselling for GAD and I did find ways to turn off some of my inner voices, or rather to replace them with positive ones, which really helped.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Googled CBT (because I wasn’t familiar with the acronym!), and it is definitely one of the things that can help at a particular level. I believe that good counsellors can be of enormous benefit and have had one or two myself over the years, although I have to be above a certain level of functionality to help myself via them. If I’m below, say, 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, I can’t even get to the counsellor! On the whole I’ve learned to live with myself as I am for nearly 30 years and I’m not trying to whine on and on about this, just explain myself. People suffer from far worse things, often totally unexpected things they can do nothing to combat, so actually I am grateful that I can get (and afford) help and that I have friends who understand because they’re in the same boat. It’s the sort of boat that more often feels like a raft or just a plank of rotting wood, but even that is better than nothing :) I really really hate losing time to it, though, especially work time.

  4. Gail

    Really appreciate you sharing your depression feelings with us, Jill. It helps me a great deal to understand it. Love your cube.

  5. katechiconi

    Dear girl, does it help at all to know that when you’re able to enjoy and use your creativity, you brighten the day for the rest of us? I’m so glad you felt able to tell your blogging peeps about the bad times, it does make us feel more like friends and less like spectators. I love your cube, topstitching would be nice… whenever.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Friends, yes, gosh I hope so! We all have different personalities, I just wish mine wasn’t always directly related to the level of serotonin I have in my system…. BUT it seems to be under control again, since around Tuesday, and I’m “good to go”.

  6. nanacathy2

    Love the cube, very bright and cheerful. Sorry to read how hard life cane be for you at times. We all try to put a happy face on when we blog, with varying degrees of success, it’s how we cope with life. I was told the other day how calm I am, they just don’t see the paddling going on under the water! I think that given the events of recent times you are doing amazingly well. xx

  7. The Little Room of Rachell

    Yes ditto Cathy, you’ve done so well. I think your plan of keeping creative and busy is a great way to keep moving forward.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about ‘head flu’, it’s important, I think, to talk about it and for those of us who don’t experience this it’s a real insight into how you feel. We need to read about what it’s like, what to say or do, what is helpful and what is definitely not. The numbered scale of how you feel, and it being less than a certain number preventing a trip to the counsellor for help is reminding me of a conversation with a friend this week.

  8. Bestemor

    Jill, this is a great post; I simply assume others are writing with a focus on keeping things positive, because I do that a lot as I don’t like to dwell on the difficult times. I think a lot of highly creative people suffer from more drastic ups and downs than what seems to be ‘average’. At least, all the creative people I know well go through that. I have no idea why, really.

    I love your cubic stools and the covers you made for them. Now i wish I had my Mum’s upholstery swatch books. She had several, but they were given to one of our creative friends who actually had time to do something with them. A great idea for the future, though . . .

    Take care of yourself. I have no advice (amazing, eh?) but I’ve stopped worrying about the times I struggle. Sometimes I just binge-watch series I like, other times I read a lot. More often, I day-dream . . . I suspect we all find ways to cope that work for us.

    Much love ~ Linne

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      What you do is probably the best thing of all – to stop worrying about the struggle times when nothing productive is possible – going to tell myself that I’ve done what I can to combat it, and any down-time will just have to be endured until it passes in its own sweet time!
      I was attempting a description of the mind-state, as objectively as possible. I regret the work-time that gets lost in the black hole but regret is rather pointless in the end, isn’t it?
      Wishing you a great week xxx

  9. magpiesue

    Jill, I can’t help but recognize they symptoms you describe as brain flu. They mirror almost exactly what happens to me after I’ve encountered toxic fumes somewhere. I’ve also come to the conclusion that those same toxins affect my hormones and those hormones can be the cause of deep depression. I’ve lived with the diagnosis of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities for over 10 years now so I feel I have some authority to speak on the matter. Messed up hormones can really mess with your mind. Should you ever feel the need to reach out please feel free to email me: magpiesews(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Meanwhile, good job with the cube!

  10. mlmcspadden

    Great idea for the stool, and it really adds a pop of color. And thanks for the thought of the depression and thoughts that you fight.


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