So if any of you have read the little box to the top right of this page you will have learned that I’m a recovering hypochondriac. Which is actually code for I take anxiety medicine. This makes me laugh because I had no idea that hypochondria was a form of anxiety. I just thought I was a full blown Woody Allenesque wimp – but with more hair. (Actually that’s not true as my hair is probably shorter than his. Unless he’s bald in which case I definitely have a smidgen more). The medicine helps, but I still have bouts when all kinds of illnesses come back to tease me. Some of which I’d never heard of before, and wish I’d never heard of. I mean vulva cancer. Come on!
I even had to stop reading one of my favourite murder mystery series because the detective’s sister is a doctor and so all sorts of intriguing illnesses are thrown into the mix. Of course I had them all. Even the ones that only men can get because, of course, the doctors could be wrong…
It’s known as hyper-vigilance. I can also have it when I’m in the movie theatre and someone is eating their popcorn loudly. It makes me cringe up inside and it’s all I can concentrate on. I seem to try to make myself as small as possible as if to protect myself from outside noises.
When I learned that it was all a form of anxiety I felt so relieved that I laughed out loud. O.K. and I felt a little stupid for not knowing about it before. Not that I wanted anxiety, but because it explained a lot of things about me. Some things that I’m still discovering. But it means I can now stop in the throes of it all and try to figure it out. Doesn’t always work but at least I know what it is now, and the medicine, however much I hate taking it, helps.
One thing that I’ve always suffered from, and I will say suffer because sometimes is debilitating, is a lack of confidence.
I’m definitely a perfectionist, which I actually like about myself. I don’t think this is necessarily a problem for me or actually the cause of my confidence issues. It can be frustrating, but I think it’s a quality that helps me strive to make things better and to always be moving forward. I’m not saying that this is always a good thing and I could definitely do with spreading the effort around a little more – like in the case of housework for instance.
So here I am – again – in the middle of a mini self-confidence crisis, which no-one can help me with. Compliments (and believe me I’m not looking for any) in my top heavy world of insecurity actually makes it worse.
Right now I’m wanting to literally contact everyone that has ever bought anything from me for in the past ten years to ask to buy it back.
Yep. It’s that bad.
So what to do about it?
I want to answer – to give myself no chance whatsoever to mess up so that I won’t be caught in a mistake and people won’t be disappointed with my work (aka me) – but that’s an awfully small box to put myself in and I actually think it’s impossible so I figure that I’ll just have to ride it out.
Or maybe I could hit myself on the head so that I lose consciousness for a couple of days until it’s all over and I forget altogether what the hell I was worried about in the first place.
But before I try that I thought I’d share the struggle because I know there are a lot of others out there who suffer the same way.
I see you.
We’ll be o.k.
28 thoughts on “Don’t let that mini crisis get you down man… A little snippet about me.”
I was wondering why I had not heard from you in awhile. My own anxiety made me think that I had offended you and you took me off your mailing list. Well, I am not gonna tell you how much I missed you, you already know that. Just know that we artists see the world in a brighter more colorful way and are glad to know someone who is able to express herself as well as you do. I am a recovering therapist myself . Funny……… ha ha. A therapist as impaired as her clients! Well, I am working on that one myself and find great relief working in my studio. I admire your donations to charity and am thinking of doing the same.
Ha. As someone who’s been in therapy for longer than I can remember, albeit I’m taking a break right now, I think that the best therapists are those who know the struggle and are in therapy themselves 😉
I thank you for being you!
Thank you ?
Bless you Deborah and thank you for sharing. Even though you may not feel or think it, you are perfect just the way you are! As I read your “snippet” as you call it, I see a lot of myself as well. Just know that you have inspired me so much, that you will never know! Because of you/your work, I always push myself to explore and do more each day. For this I “thank you” and just say keep on persevering, one day at a time.
Thank you Lauretta. I’m so glad I’ve inspired you a bit. Despite today’s post and the anguish of it all lol I do love making and also sharing 🙂
Anxiety. Just when you think you’re ok, it comes to find you like an unwelcome friend. Reach out to God, your friends, breathe deep in and out. Guided imagery is helping me get thru those tense scary pulse racing times. I won’t take meds. Nope. Fear is what causes it. I’ve never meditated before in my life but guess what I’m doing now!? I sit, bare feet in the grass to defuse. Whatever it takes. Be well. Love your work. I can’t make a darn think right now. But it will return.
Thank you 🙂 I hope you get back to making soon.
I could have written most of this post myself – except I cannot express my thoughts as well as you do. I grew up with little-to-no self esteem, and it actually gets worse, the older I get. I not only hyper criticize what I call my own “jewelry making”, but pretty much everything I lay my hands on. My weight (ugh), my square-shaped face, I cry too much/too little, thousands of freckles in all the wrong places, my hair is too short/too long/too brown/too gray, and man…I am 5′ nothing and shrinking every year… Notice some of those things are out of my hands for changing/improving.
As irritating as these insecurities are (to both me and those that have to live with me!), I don’t know how, but I have come to accept it as just part of my makeup and what makes me “me”. In a way, as you noted, it has led me to at least attempt to perfect my craft (“crafts” plural, as I cannot sit still and do nothing, so there is always something going on). But, there is no perfect in my little world. If there was perfection…what in the world would I do next?? I mean, how can I strive to make it better…if it’s already perfect?
I commend you for sharing your feelings “out in the open” – I am not good at doing that (insecure?)
And by the way – there ain’t enough money in the world for you to buy back the jewelry I have purchased from you…just sayin’.
Lol and yet I look at your work and wish I could get mine as nice and professional looking as yours. I guess we’re never satisfied :/ As I get older I really am trying hard to just accept that this is what you get. I am who I am. I get glimpses of what it feels like to achieve this, and it’s very liberating, but it’s definitely a work in progress lol And then, every so often, it all comes back to bite me 🙂
I am sorry that you must deal with this affliction. Since I discovered your jewelry designs about a year ago as a new metalsmith, youhave enriched my life with the uniqueness of your designs, your generosity in sharing your knowledge and experience, and your personal openness. I can wish you only good things. Your post made me remember that one thing that sets art jewelry apart from mass produced jewelry is that it is NOT perfect, but like its maker, is organic, living. Your jewelry is so alive. Please don’t make it perfect.
Thank you so much Jan. I’m so pleased I’ve helped you. I love sharing, but I often wonder if I’m doing more harm than good lol
Hi Deborah! Long time no see! This blog post describes me exactly, lol. I think we have so much in common….except that your jewelry artistry is much better than mine. Oops, sorry for the compliment, I promise I’m not trying to make your insecurity worse! So I have the same anxiety as you about certain noises. Like high heels clicking on tile floor, or the sound of people chewing and swallowing, or even the way people sound when they say words that begin with the letters C or K, you know that “ka” sound. It drives me crazy. There’s a name for this condition, it’s called Misophonia. I never knew it existed, I just thought I was weird and abnormal, until I saw a documentary about it. It’s pretty interesting, I would recommend watching it, it’s called Quiet Please.
I also suffer from anxiety, and have been depressed for quite awhile. I’m a perfectionist as well which only adds to my anxiety. I’m currently in a funk where I have no creative inspiration at all. I’ll go sit in my studio for hours and come up with zero ideas. It’s very disconcerting. Sometimes I feel like maybe I should just throw in the towel and give up on the whole jewelry making/jewelry business thing, but then the idea of working at a soul sucking full-time job for the rest of my life doesn’t exactly make me kick up my heels in excitement. So what to do? I don’t know, except to keep plugging along day after day, hoping that someday I’ll be making enough in my jewelry business to sustain myself financially and be able to travel and do the things I want to do.
Btw, I signed up for the Woodlands Market Street Spring Show this year and was hoping to see you there, but then it got cancelled due to bad weather. I’ve transferred my booth fee to the fall show instead. Will you be participating in the fall show this year? I would love to see you and get to chat for a few.
That’s so interesting about the noises. I’m definitely going to check out Quiet Please. Depression is hard. I’ve just come out of a bout of it and it’s awful. I can’t concentrate and I sit at my table and distract myself with the phone, etc. then it just makes me feel useless as I’ve got nothing done. I just figured that I’m one of those people, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I think that’s why I wrote this post to be honest, just to reaffirm that we aren’t alone. Makes a difference. Your work, by the way, is very unique. I really hope you well with it. I haven’t done Market St for quite some time now. It’s just too hot for me and takes me the whole of the next day to recover! I do miss meeting people though. I may very well come by though to say hey 🙂
I love every one of your blog posts. Every one. I read this one several hours ago but had to keep talking myself down from complimenting your work so I couldn’t respond for awhile. I struggle with these issues sometimes too, and it’s kept me awake waaaay too many nights. And I hugely hate hearing people chew, really really hate that. ?See, no compliments ??
Lol. This made me smile. Thank you for the not compliment. It means a lot 😉
Big hugs. Today you can have some specially spicy snacks coz I made some Dalek and TARDIS biscuits* for the Dr Who private art viewing I was invited to participate in yesterday. And you know those choc ginger parkins I keep sharing photos of? I made some of those, and called them Judoon pats (you might need to google Judoon(!) )
They went down a storm with all the other Whovians .
Anyhoo; I had a fine time, taking my imposter syndrome out for an airing at a proper artist’s show, and I could actually feel the growing of my confidence.
*are you a dunker? these are perfect if you are.
I am definitely a dunker. And love ginger anything. I must admit I wasn’t sure what those dark patties were when I first saw them on your feed, but decided that they’d be good however which way they looked lol Glad you had a good time. I saw your display. It looked great.
Thank you. xx
I think many of us feel we are inadequate in various aspects of our lives. I know I do and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. You, at least, talk about your feelings of anxiety – I tend to bottle them up as though that will make them not “so bad.” Anyway, your notes always help me to laugh at myself and to try not to bottle up but to take a longer look at the source of my anxiety. So, if it helps, you are not alone…we’re all just muddling through as best as we can.
Thank you for your candor…I, too, suffer from extreme anxiety. We can hold each other up, or down, whatever the case may be.
I totally understand that “I want to buy the stuff back that I made before “ thought. Years ago I used to make these angels and my mother-in-law still has hers and put it out every Christmas. It kills me to see it , it’s so awful. I finished a ring recently , one of my first pieces, And I’m going to send it to one of my dear friends with a note saying I will send you a new one in a year please compare . hopefully I’ve progressed a lot;). She is someone I trust ;).
Ha. I have loads of pottery that my fried took out of my trash can and still refers to them as her treasures. lol. All I see is my mistakes and bad choices…
FORGIVE me in advance for the following rambling message – it’s been a while since I commented??. I’ve been involved in a cross-country move for the last few months and have had to put my jewelry-making urges aside – I have avoided your blog for MONTHS because I KNEW I didn’t have time to get distracted (which is TOTALLY what happens when I start looking at your videos!!!!). I had to focus on getting the house sold, packing, moving, buying the new house, unpacking, etc…but for a while now, your blog and creations have been like an addiction – if I look at your videos, it creates an inescapable desire to make something similar…don’t know if you plan it that way or if you have a secret spell you’ve cast over your followers, but that’s what it does to me personally…so when we finally got to Montana and I finally got our things in order in our new house, and I finally got everything half-way organizes in the shop where I do my things, I decided NOW is the time to open up my favorite jewelry making blog and I was nervous that I’d be bombarded with tons of missed videos…only to discover the only video I missed was from May 30th – So I technically hadn’t missed a ton!!!!! At first I was sad…because I know from reading your previous blog posts that you tend to go through differing stages of productivity with your art…I told myself you’ve NOT been sad or depressed or in a funk or any of those other things I know I go through…you’ve just been concentrating on your paintings or your pottery or maybe even family time… I do stained glass and quilts and sewing and various crafting as well so I understand the pull projects have on you…sometimes I want to do so many things it exhausts my mind so I just lay in bed for a few days looking online at all the things I can possibly create…without getting one thing done…which leads to guilt for wasting the day… and usually leads to a lot of purchasing of craft-related products that I just KNOW I’ll use immediately (haha) and so in… so hopefully you’ve not been like me, and just have been busy, because a few months without a blog entry from you is a little concerning. When I read that you have issues with confidence, I at once feel your pain and am also completely dumbfounded that the person I look to for SO much inspiration could POSSIBLY EVER feel that way…I guess if we could all feel inside the wonderful things people really feel about us, we’d all be over-confident…it’s hard for me to look at your wonderful creations that I aspire to and understand your lack of confidence in your craft…it makes me realize no matter how other people can put someone on a pedestal, it doesn’t change the feelings that person has inside themselves. I know you hate praise, and I completely understand the cringy feeling it gives you if you’re anything like me, but I still have to tell you my feelings of complete admiration at basically everything you create. I can’t help it…at the risk of making you uncomfortable, we all have people we look up to, and for me, you are at the top!!! I can’t explain the feeling I get when I watch your videos…I watch and re-watch and just KNOW if I follow everything just so, I will end up successful! Sometimes I LOVE what I end up making, and sometimes my stuff ends up wonky and it’s frustrating, but either way, it so satisfying when it comes out right!! It’s a feeling of triumph to make some little thing that I never knew was possible!!!! It’s given me happiness and purpose and motivation and confidence and a constant urge to do more more more!!!! Now, if I just had the time and money and patience to match, I’d be AWESOME??. Anyway, it’s been months since I visited your blog and commented, but I’ve thought about you and your endless beautiful art sooooo much – it’s always in the back of my mind when I’m just doing the mundane chores we have to get done – gives me something to aspire to and look forward to…hope this all makes sense and comes through the way I mean it to?
Jill, that’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever read. Thank you so much.
It’s funny but I’ve been thinking about the blog recently and if I should post another video, but then I think about all of the great jewelry makers out there and how daft some of my show and tells must seem to them 😉 I definitely get excited about sharing though. I love the idea of inspiring people who, like me, never thought they could be good enough at something and so never tried. It’s so great to hear that I’ve inspired you.
I’ve been packing also. The studio is being renovated and we’re going to move into it when it’s finished so that the house can be renovated also which means I’ll be sharing my space with my husband until after Christmas. Fortunately he realises that I’m still going to be making and there isn’t anything he can do to stop me lol
I post a lot of things on Instagram now if you want to keep up with snippets of what I’m making – @coldfeetstudio.com – I guess you could say it’s the lazy man’s blog lol
Jill thanks again for encouraging me 🙂 You actually sound a lot like me and I appreciate you sharing.
I was wondering if you’d consider doing a little tutorial on your leaves and little stamped embellishments the next time you’re working on some. Your pics make it look so simple – yours are so polished and pristine, but when I go to attempt them, they end up goofy looking?…