North Star November {Choose One FREE!}

fall foliage

North Star November

This is the first post in my North Star November series….a soul centered discussion about depression.  Each day this month, I’ll be sharing a piece of my soul’s journey, along with a free pattern to thank you for taking part in such an important conversation!  Keep reading Day 2 by clicking here.

Life is filled with cycles. 

From the cycle of the seasons to birth, growth, and death which we all experience.  There’s no escaping the highs, lows, and cyclical nature of life.

The return of Fall is a time when these cycles become especially apparent around us.  Tree people stretch their long yellow arms toward the heavens, and Earth’s natural energy slowly starts to recede back into her deepest of souls.

As life’s energy begins to become less busy, and more subtle, it’s easy to start feeling a bit lost.  Fall is a time of big, meaningful questions, authentic reflections, and of letting go.  It’s a time when, rather than run away from the impending darkness, it could be of value to lean deeper into this discomfort.

We tend to guard our hearts against the ever present cold by cozying up in our safe spots.  If only we can sit closer to the fire….perhaps the cold nipping at our backs won’t leave frostbite there.

What if we opened up instead?

What if we too recognized our cyclical nature, and rather than run from the cold, we broke open to embrace it with our warmest of hearts?  What if we invited the cold in and asked it to stay for tea?  Would it find a cozy nest in our warm space or would it travel through like a wandering gypsy…grateful to be given space for the night?

In this time of transition, I invite you to break open with me.

Tea cup

Let’s Break Open Together.

I invite you to recognize the dark, to hold space for this deep mystery and through it all to find your North Star.

There is always a light in the darkness – we need only look for it along the way.

Each day this month, I’ll be sharing a small piece of my soul’s journey with you.  I’ll also share a free pattern with each of these moments of self actualization.

My goal is to break open…like the seed that must surrender to the winter before blooming in the spring.  To sit with the darkness and to watch a slow, cyclical transformation occur.  To recognize that there is always a North Star…and to share this deep sense of connection with you.

Will you join me?

Let’s start the adventure with one free pattern, no $ limits, from my shop.  After all, this promises to be quite the journey….we could use a really strong start.  Thank you for joining me in this really important discussion!

Can you please help?

Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other big life topics can be really hard to talk about.  Often times we end up struggling through these normal situations in a very lonely way…simply because we’re too ashamed to talk about them openly.

Depressed Woman

Depression Awareness

Through my own struggles, I’ve seen first hand how having a connection to someone in the same situation can be the difference between giving in and going on.

My goal is to bring more awareness to these topics and to helpful resources available in the battle.

Can you please share this post and help spread the word?


In Order to Get the Free Pattern:

*This offer has been extended through 12/3 at 11:59pm (MST).  Please read and follow all instructions carefully.  No refunds will be issued for incorrect use of coupon codes.*

Free Knit or Crochet Pattern!

1. Help spread the word.  Let’s get more voices involved in this important conversation!  Please share with anyone you think could value from this series using the social share buttons at the top of this post.

2.  Fill out the form below.  I’ll email you within 2 hours with the free pattern code.

3. Check your email for the coupon code.  You should receive a coupon code from [email protected] within 3 hours of filling out the form.  If you don’t see it, please check your Spam/Promotions folders as my emails sometimes get hung up there (be sure to mark me as a safe sender if you find it there!).

4. Visit my Ravelry shop.

Choose one pattern (NO PRICE LIMIT!!) and hit the “Add to Cart” button.  To the left of the “Checkout Now” button, you’ll see the option to “Use a coupon code”.  Select that option and enter the coupon code you received via email.

 **Be sure you’ve selected the correct version of the pattern you’re getting (I write both knit & crochet patterns) and that your order total is deducted before check out.  I will not refund or exchange any orders due to improper use of these codes.  

One free pattern per crafter please.**

These codes are good through 12/3/18 at 11:59pm (MST) – Don’t wait!

Head over to my Ravelry shop now.

190 Comments On “North Star November {Choose One FREE!}”

  1. you are an amazing woman for sharing your journey through this difficult time in your life. My son deals with extreme mental health issues and it’s been hard on me as his mom to see him struggle. I have also dealt with depression since my teenage years. I believe that speaking out helps cleanse your soul and sharing your story with others may help them find the light to ease their darkness. Thank you so much for sharing <3

    • Thank you so much for those kind words! You are so right that sharing and speaking up on these tough topics helps us to heal and move forward. Much love to you and your family as you travel through your son’s mental health journey <3

  2. Oh mama, this really hits so close to home, esp with our babes being just a few weeks apart. I cried reading through and so many likenesses abound. I can’t wait to share in this journey with you, because for me, I just recently began my own for many health concerns that have gone far, far too long unchecked. May we each find healing and growth in our journeys! *hugs*
    P.s. I FINALLY finished my Amy MCAL….I will try to remember to post it soon

    • I’m SO glad this is coming at the right time for you. And I’m really honored to be able to journey along with you! Sending my hugs as you travel this healing path…it’s a hard journey, but oh so worth all the struggle along the way <3 P.S. Can't wait to see your Amy!!

  3. Melody, I will be following your journey through this critical time. I wish more experiences with depression were openly shared, especially with our young people so they can recognize what depression does to one and know that they don’t have to be alone.

    • Exactly! Depression makes us feel very scared, vulnerable, and alone….yet so many of us are struggling with it! Sharing our stories is how compassion is created. Thanks for your words of encouragement <3

  4. Thank you. More needs to be said about depression especially, and all mental health issues. I’ve had low grade, “there’s a medical term for it, but I don’t remember it” all my life. My adult children are both suffering right now. It stinks.

    • I think mental health issues are more prevalent than anyone cares to admit. But if we all stood up and spoke about them more, I think the world would be a more loving place. I’m sending love for you and your family during your journey <3

  5. Thank you for this. I know how scary these feelings can be, and you’re right it’s much worse to suffer alone.

    • You’re welcome! Talking about it is a truly healing process, though it somehow makes us feel a little squeamish inside….feeling alone is by far a worse feeling <3

  6. This is such an important topic to talk about. The more we talk about it, the less it will be stigmatized. Thank you for speaking up!!

    (as an aside, it looks like steps 2 and 3 have slightly different info–one says that you’ll email the pattern within 2 hours; the other says within 3 hours. just wanted to let you know!)

    • Thanks Kerry! You’re right – the more we talk about it, the less people will shy away. And thank you for the note about the difference! I’ll fix that 🙂

  7. I’m going through a very deep depression at this time due to loosing my mother and also my health.
    I really don’t have anyone to truly talk to. I’m told you have to be stronger etc…. I really need this at this time thank you for doing this I truly appreciate the openness and knowing I’m not the only one.

    • I am truly SO glad to hear that this comes at the right time for you. I don’t believe in being stronger to get rid of depression. I believe in feeling our feelings in a safe and loving way so we can let them naturally move in and out. I hope these posts can help you even just a tiny bit in that process. Sending so much love your way throughout this journey – please reach out if you need to talk ([email protected]).

  8. I think it’s wonderful that you’re doing this. I think too often depression, especially post-partum depression still isn’t understood or accepted and talking about it is the one way we can see we aren’t alone.

    I’ve dealt with serious depression on and off since I was a teenager and was preparing for some nasty post-partum because of my history. Luckily, I’ve been managing really well for the past 3 months! But I believe that’s partly due to having been able to build up a strong support system of friends and family ahead of time that I’m comfortable talking to and starting to see a therapist when I was extremely stressed during my pregnancy.

    In the past, before I had a better support system in place I turned to the anonymity of the internet to help me find my voice and share my troubles and it was incredibly helpful! I hope what your doing not only helps you but others who may just be starting on their journey to peace. Stay strong, Momma!


    • Thanks for sharing a bit of your story Cora! The internet is a wonderful place to help develop some connections when we don’t have any available close by. So happy to hear you’re handling these past few months well….support systems are huge! Many hugs to you <3

  9. I think this is a wonderful thing to do.
    I’ll be following along with you.

  10. Dear Melody, I would like you to take a moment and accept my virtual hug and the love I’m sending right now.
    Thank you for sharing! ♡

  11. Take care and know you are not alone.

  12. Depression is a topic that is hard for most people to discuss, let alone admit that you have. I have struggled with it in the past. Thought I was s over it for many years, then I retired and lost contact with so many people, that just didn’t have the time for me, as they. Are still working and so busy. Please remember the older population. We can get so lonely, and feel that no one cares about us. Just a smile, a phone call saying, ‘hi’ can mean so much and help us fight the depression that loneliness brings. Can’t wait to see more of your posts Melody, and the comments of others.

    • Wow! I never considered how retirement could bring about a loss of your sense of community. Perhaps that’s why so many people struggle with that life change. Thank you for bringing your input to the discussion! Sending many hugs and much love to you on your journey <3

  13. I lost my sister, and the father of my daughter in law, to depression. They are remembered with fondness, but sadness as well.

  14. Know you are not alone in your struggle. Thank you for being so open. Mental health is still so stigmatized & it takes all of us speaking up and out to change that.

  15. Depression is such a hush hush topic. I’m so happy that you’re getting the word out. I suffer with depression and anxiety. It’s always good to find someone you can talk to openly about it. It’s not about being stronger or sucking it up. It’s about banding together to help everyone who is need of help. Sometimes you don’t even realize what is going on within your own body let alone how to describe it.

    • Exactly! Awareness of what’s happening in your own body is the first step on the healing journey….and it’s often the hardest step!

  16. Thank you for opening this dialogue. I have been on medication for depression for a large chunk of my life. Two of my siblings and my father also suffered from depression. What is heartbreaking is seeing the struggle my adult daughter has with the disease. We must all work to remove the stigma of mental illness.

    • Yes! Definitely talking about how prevalent this issue really is is of huge importance. Sending many hugs and much love for you and your family during this journey <3

  17. Hello Melody 🙂 Rarely do I comment on anything – from blog posts to social media. I enjoy reading to help lighten my moods but fear that attempting to get involved with a conversation my darkness will pull others down into my hole. While similar, I’m opposite. I’ve suffered depression for a long while now, but mine is actually worse in the spring and downright horrible in the summer. (I suffer from cronic depression and SAD) Now that cool weather is finally coming to middle Georgia, I’m finally perking up a bit. I feel like I’m coming alive even if just a bit. During the fall and winter I feel as though mother Earth is not pulling her energy into herself, but rather, letting us borrow it and when spring comes again, all too quickly, she’ll need it back to start everything growing again. I love how beautifully you’ve articulated everything and that you are spreading this over a month. Looking forward to reading more – it greatly helps. While we may know that we are not alone, the more it is discussed / talked about / wrote about, the less alone we feel in our struggles. Thank you for sharing your struggles and thoughts. If you want or need to talk or just vent, my email is listed.

    • Thank you so much for your words of support Melody (love your name by the way, hehe)! I’m glad to hear that the cycle of the seasons is bringing light and happiness back into your world right now. I’m glad you’ll be along for the discussion. Many hugs your way <3

  18. Nancy Gillard-Bartels

    Very sorry if you’re struggling. Please know that through your patterns (even the Little Bitty ones) I’ve experienced much joy this past year.

    I’m wishing that you will find peace, joy, and comfort in something each day.

    • Thank you Nancy! I’m really happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying the patterns. Thanks for your words of encouragement!

  19. I have struggled with depression since I was a preteen. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer & given 6 months to live when I was 11. PTL he lived for 5 1/2 years! But that didn’t stop the depression from causing me to question my abilities, talents, etc all my life. All it takes is someone in an authority position over me (a boss or boss’s boss, a spouse, an associate, etc) to cause my self esteem to crumble.
    I’m now 66 – and still struggle with depression. Retirement – that “dreams can come true” time of life – brings with it a whole ew level of issues that can cause the depression to, once again, rise up.
    As parents, bosses, learned individuals, etc we are looked upon as smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable people, but that’s not always true. Thus the depression sets in. We want to please others, but don’t always have the time (even when retired!), physical ability, and/or mental stamina to accomplish what we feel is all important.
    Thank you … and may God wrap His loving arms around you as you navigate the dark tunnel ahead. Wondering … is that a ray of sunshine or a silent locomotive I see in my future? Know that there are hundreds of ythousands of people out there feeling as you do. Alone. Misunderstood. Ridiculed.
    Together we can lift each other while those around us lift us out of these dark times.

    • Sending many hugs your way Nancy! I can see how retirement could be a real struggle with changes in your community connections, expectations of being the elder, etc. Self compassion is something that so many of us struggle with….we can’t be everything to everyone. Only ourselves. Sending many hugs and tons of love to your throughout your journey!

  20. Thank you for opening up.
    When I recognized my mental illness 30 years ago, up until recently, it’s been forbidden to admit and discuss.
    Depression, suicidal thoughts and mental health were taboo. Thank you for inviting me. I am a survivor. Blessings and well-being to all afflicted.

    • It’s funny how our culture has made it the norm to hide these things. I’m glad you’ll be along for the journey! No more hiding for us 🙂

  21. Hi Melody, Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Depression is no joke. Due to chronic migraines and the loss of my mom, I experienced this during the past year.

  22. So glad this is in the forefront in so many discussions everywhere. The more we know about it and share our own struggles, the less scary it is. Thank you for doing this.

  23. I don’t personally suffer from depression. But, I have a daughter who does. I am hoping by following you and your journey this month to gain some insight into her life. And, maybe, hopefully, find some small nuggets of wisdom to help ease her struggle.

    • I am so glad to hear that following my journey may be helpful to you and your daughter. I love that you’re educating yourself so you might be able to help. Way to go!

  24. My daughter has the same issues when she was younger. It continues to this day. I never knew until she started to share as an adult. I hope by following you on your journey, I can better understand her journey.
    Thank you so much for allowing me to follow.

    • I’m SO glad to hear that following my journey might bring more understanding to what’s going on with your daughter <3

  25. With shorter days comes a sadness we all experience. I dread winter every year. Trying to stay above it is a real struggle.

    • Indeed! As the world starts to sleep for winter, it affects our souls in a big way. Being aware of the change is the first step in learning to handle it 🙂

  26. I’m so glad that you’re doing this series on depression. I had postpartum depression after I had my daughter in 2015. My daughter was 3 months old when I noticed that I was having the absolute worst scary thoughts and suicidal thoughts.

    My scary thoughts were like horror movies that involved my baby daughter getting hurt by my own hands and they disturbed and terrified me so much (if you are disturbed by the thoughts, then you’re not going to act on them). I couldn’t look at knives, blankets, burp cloths, stairs or bath tubs without it triggering a scary thought. The suicidal thoughts were very disturbing.
    I couldn’t leave the house because going out just felt so impossibly difficult to me – so I just stayed home as much as possible.

    I went to my family doctor and told him what I was experiencing and he said it was normal and that I didn’t have postpartum depression. I went through another week of hell and then ended up calling a place that helps women with Postpartum depression. They met with me and told me that I did have postpartum depression. They sent a letter to my doctor explaining my symptoms and I finally started on my path to recovery. After the scary thoughts were gone with help from medication, the depression revealed itself. Therapy was a roller coaster, but after about a year I was finally back to my old self again (maybe even better than I was before).

    • It’s amazing how when you really get diligent about wellness, things do start to turn around. It takes a lot of time, patience, and commitment – but the road to recovery does exist! Thanks for sharing your story. So important to keep the conversation going.

  27. Thank you Melody, we tend to ignore mental illnesses of which depression is one of the demons. We HAVE to talk and get more people talking, as silence and keeping it all inside is as bad. So let’s talk and crochet, teh two go together like a horse and carraige.

  28. My hubby struggles with depression, it’s not a thing I would wish on anyone. But it’s there and we should be able to talk about it freely. My heart goes out to anyone dealing with this. My heart goes out to you Melody. Love and hugs to all.

    • Thank you Cinda! Love and hugs to you along your journey with your husband as well. Being the support system can be equally demanding <3

  29. Lovely! So glad you’re doing this!

  30. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. I lost my brother 10 years ago to suicide, my husband and father of my 3 children 8 years ago to suicide and my Mom, who was my best friend, October 10th to suicide. Mental health is so important!!

    • Kim – I am sending so much loving energy your way. Mental health is so much more important than many people realize.

  31. Melody I have had chronic depression since I was a teenage kid. I have lived with the ups and downs for 50 years. I take antidepressents daily and have many times contimplated suicide. As most people with this I have good and bad days too. I hope that your struggle is a shot one and that with your sharing and kindness that others are inspired also….

  32. thank you for tackling this important area of wellbeing. Earlier this year I took an intensive two day course Mental Health First Aid for People who interact with Youth, from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. 5 years ago we lost my nephew to suicide, and as a volunteer with both Scouts and Girl Guides of Canada, I welcomed the opportunity to gain training to possibly help the youth I work with. I’ve already had occasion to put that training to use. Keep the conversation going.

  33. Thank you for being so open about your journey. For me; ptsd and depression started 21 years ago and has plagued me my entire adult life. I hope you have a good support system in place while you take the necessary steps to heal. I am so thankful you have decided to share your journey with your followers, it is so important to know you are not alone. I hope you find the comfort and healing you deserve. Love and hugs.

  34. I’m a survivor of deep depression. Luckily, I spent 3 weeks in a local stress center, then turned my life around. I realized I have a purpose and worth in this life, though I am plagued with those old feelings now and then. There is always light if you just hang in there.

    • Absolutely! Sometimes just being with feelings until they move on is the best we can do. I’m glad to hear about your journey, and that you’re on the upward side of it all now.

  35. I have struggled with depression since i was six years old and lost my father to the same heart disease that i have,my mum blamed me for his death because i was being bullied at school so he was fixing up this other place after work so we could move, soon after we moved in he died in his sleep and the same day was shipped off to my older brothers house,i wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral and didn’t go home til i was 14 yrs old and i must say i found it very strained relationship with my mum,i always felt like i had to earn her love which i have tried to do til the day she died September last year,i lost my brother when he was 19 to a drunk driver when i was twenty one on his way to work mum blamed me for his death too because i lent him my full face helmet because it was raining really hard because i had just come home in it from work i was working nights at the time,i have had numerous suicide attempts but someone has always found me in time so i have learned to bottle things up, but the worst was when i lost my partner to cancer four years ago in October, Pete was my soul mate we went everywhere together,we had the same taste’s and a passion for dog’s,we were together for nearly thirty years and rescued tons of dog’s and for the first time in my life i was so happy i could burst,then he died and i have nobody all my friends disappeared and i haven’t seen my family what’s left of it either since i buried him, it’s just me and my dog’s, it’s very lonely,i lost three years after he died because of a breakdown,i have been trying to get my life back this year but depression hit again in October and i am trying to get myself back together again and get back to work but it is so very hard when you have nobody to talk to,i am sorry if i have gone on and bored everyone.

    • You certainly haven’t bored anyone Eve! Thank you for sharing your struggles. It sounds like you’ve had a really rough go of it for a long time. I see how much you’ve struggled. I’m sending love and hugs to you and I hope you’ll follow along this month and find some useful resources or at least a sense of connection – we’re all here together!

  36. I struggled with depression for many years. Went through 2 really bad marriage’s ( Abuse, mental, physical, and emotionally).I am a survivor and a fighter. I got divorced from both marriage’s.I prayed and prayed on what to do and I decided that I was not going to let depression win. I had a good friend and she knew what I was going through and she helped me. I remarried a wonderful, caring and loving man and he knows all about my past struggle with depression and he is always there for me whenever I need him. Depression is a world wide problem, and needs to addressed more than it does. Thank you ever so much for inviting me too!! God bless us all here and people everywhere who have suffered or are suffering.

    • Love hearing about your journey through life and where you are now. So glad you’ve found a good, supportive man. I’m glad you’ll be along for the journey!

  37. One last thing’ Never ever give up hope!!! Together we can help one another!!

  38. Thank you for sharing your journey on this matter as I’m finally after 30 yrs of not being able to get treatment for this due to not able to afford or qualify for state insurance I’m going to be able to see about getting help this month with many issues that I have with anxiety and depression that I’ve been suppressing inside and hopefully with the right treatment and/or medication then I can start feeling like myself again that’s why I had turned to doing crochet to help me deal with stress.Take care of yourself and am looking forward to reading more of your postings of this subject and your journey.

    • I’m so glad you’re finally getting some needed help this month! Super glad to hear that this comes at a good time for you too. Sending you love on your journey <3

  39. If you had any idea how timely this is for me personally right now…

    Thank you for creating this open discussion. I’m looking forward to working on these feelings and talking with others who “get it”.

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am also one who can relate and though it saddens me to know others are suffering it also helps to know I’m not alone and there are people who truly understand.

    • Talking about it can bring so much connection and in turn so much healing. I’m glad you’ll be following along! Sending much love and many hugs your way <3

  41. I’ll be upon this journey, blessed be, depression tries to take away the beautiful soul but can never become the happiness of the North Star!

  42. Wow! What a really great article! So much more needs to be done about depression but stories like this truly help to bring awareness. Thank you so much for sharing! You WILL break open and you’ll see that light. At first it may just be a tiny glimmer of light…but one’ll be a full on lit up world! You got this! I speak from experience and it does get better.

    • Luckily I’m on the upward trend now. The light certainly does start as a glimmer and continue to grow and grow! Thanks for your words of encouragement.

  43. Thanks for sharing this my daughter has bipolar and suffers a lot with depression

    • Sending much love to your both! Mental health issues (all of them!) are SO tough. Many hugs to you and your daughter <3

  44. Melody,
    I want to commend you for your commitment to this. If more people were open about communicating their experiences with mental illness I feel like a lot of the stigma would be removed. I’ve been in the “Screw it, I don’t wanna be here any friggin’ more!” boat more times than I can count, and I’ve been hospitalized for it more times than I want to admit. Being Bipolar 1 sucks. A lot. :/

    I’ve shared this with one of my BFFs that I’ve known since elementary school via email. She’s not allowed to have access to social media as part of her treatment plan right now, but can receive email and visit blogs, etc with approval from staff during her shared computer time. I’m sincerely hoping that this along with my words of understanding and just being there for her will help pull her out of the pit she’s in right now, even if it’s just an inch or two.

    Thanks once again for undertaking this courageous project.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Cyndi! I hope your friend finds value in it (let her know there’s no need to share on social media to use the free patterns if she’s a knitter or crocheter – she can still get them!). The act of simply being with someone throughout their times of trouble is HUGE! Kudos and hugs to you <3

  45. Thank you for starting this discussion today. I’ve suffered with depression most of my life. This week is often difficult for me because of the time change and the resulting darkness and dreary rain where I live. I’ll be here.

    • So glad that this comes at a good time for you. I hope you find some helpful bits along the way, and I’m sending lots of love and hugs for your journey <3

  46. Like so many here I had a hard time getting doctors to take me seriously. I’ve dealt with depression since my pre-teen years. Suicidal thoughts have come and gone since I was 13. I finally found doctors who listened and took me seriously and gave me the help I needed.

    Unfortunately this is something that runs in my family. My middle daughter committed suicide almost 4 years ago. My youngest daughter received inpatient care for suicidal thoughts/depression. My sister also takes meds for anxiety and depression. Our mom just this week started on medication for chronic depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD. She’ll be 75 this month and this is the first time she has been serious about taking her meds. She has been of the mindset that taking meds means you are weak and you just need to suck it up and be strong. She actually told me that she was afraid to take medication because she was afraid if one pill made her feel better then two would make her feel twice as good and she’d get hooked. We told her ‘that’s not how this works’. It took her coming close to a nervous breakdown to see that she really needed help. She has a wonderful doctor who is working with her on finding the right medications, and new friends who are getting her out of the house so she doesn’t isolate so much.

    Mental illness is still such a taboo subject and people are scared to talk about it because they think the general public will think they are crazy. Just like cancer, diabetes, and lots of other illnesses, mental health issues are not contagious. Unlike those physical illnesses, we just don’t see the public support that those things get. There aren’t many 5K’s or raffles to raise money for mental health awareness. It’s going to take people like us being brave enough to break that stigma. We have to tell our stories, the good and the bad, to let others know they are not alone and they don’t have to harm themselves (or worse) to get relief.

    • Thank you for sharing your story! It seems depression has affected you and your loved ones in many different ways. Thank you for being brave enough to help spread the word and break the stigma. I’m honored to have you along for the journey.

  47. So timely!
    I, too am retired, but busily so. I volunteer and attend regular activities weekly and most of my acquaintances would be very surprised that I suffer from depression. My Dad, bless his soul, also struggled with it.
    Fortunately, my son and daughter do not, but often don’t remember that a quick phone call would mean the world to me. I lost my dear husband to cancer nearly 24 years ago – we were 48. He was my rock, my rescuer, the love of my life.
    I happily join the journey to keep on keepin’ on!
    Thank you Melody. We’ll be just fine!

    • I’m glad to have you along for the journey Linda! I appreciate that you shared your story, and I’m sending lots of love your way.

  48. Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing this platform. Most I know are affected a bit but some are really hit hard in the fall/winter. Big hugs to you!

  49. I work as a nurse on an Adol unit which deals with all kinds of issues but mostly depression. Thanks for sharing

  50. This is a good thing you are doing sharing your experience.

  51. Thank you so much for this. You are so right it is very hard to talk about it. I suffer from bipolar disorder topped off with anxiety that is almost crippling at times.instead if dealing with people and their attitude towards me I tend to hide

    • It’s hard to let emotions work through us rather than hide from them. Awareness is the most important first step, though, and it looks like you’re working on that even by recognizing old habits and patterns. Good job! Sending much love your way for this journey <3

  52. I have struggled with depression for years. Having support is a life saving resource. I look forward to your daily posts. Thank you being so brave! Sending you and yours much love.

  53. Thank you for your generosity of spirit, Melody. Few of us get through life without being touched by depression at some time. November is a difficult month for me, as I grieve the loss of my daughter each year. In addition, as a result of a traumatic brain injury, I now have PTSD, anxiety, and depression. At the beginning of this year, I was untreated and in a very dark place. I’m thankful to be doing better now, and grateful for the support of the family and friends who stood by me and saw me through it. We can be that support for each other.

    • Glad to hear you’re on the upward trend now. It’s been a tough year for so many! I’m sending love and hugs your way.

  54. Once I mention to people I suffer from depression, more times than not someone stays they have it too. It’s the next thing where stigmas should be ripped away: we’re all better for the conversation and the honesty. There’s a sense of relief–oh, I’m not alone… which when we’re talking about depression is absolutely essential! Cognitive behavioral therapy was (is!) a godsend for me. Medications helped me be able to focus on the things I wanted to change to become a better, happier me. I try things that scare me in order to have a “FACT” to point to. I did that; I can’t deny it though my brain wants to put me down. Love and peace to all of you. You’re not alone.

    • Love this comment Jen! Lots of valuable suggestions here. Glad you’ll be along for the journey! Love coming your way <3

  55. Have shared your video on my Facebook page – so important to have these conversations. Thank you for bringing light on such a difficult topic xxx

  56. Thank you for this series of posts. I’ve been treated for major depression disorder and anxiety since early 1985 (I was a freshman in high school.) This time of year is the hardest. The low light, the holiday expectations and all those people around you having fun just make the depression worse. Throw in the anxiety over being in large groups and of being around happy people (I hate shopping at Christmas time!) and you get to feeling very unwanted. The only worse time for me, a childless mother-wannabe, is Mother’s Day. This is such an important topic. Please keep talking about it to help remove the stigma. Thanks!

    • Sending you tons of love during your journey. This is definitely a hard time of year for everyone as the light starts to fade and the Holidays are right around the corner. I hope that you’ll follow along and maybe find a few useful pieces of info. along the way 🙂

  57. Hi! Thank you for the free pattern! I shared your post via FB from the link at the top of your post, but the share count did not go up from 0. 🙁 I asked my FB friends and family to please go and read your blog post and help others to become more aware. I also posted that depression, anxiety, and other similar disorders are sometimes very difficult to see and/or acknowledge, but we all need to learn more about these invisible health problems and help however we can. We deal with these issues every day in our home in addition to other chronic diseases. Thank you for speaking out and encouraging people to talk about their own journeys. Blessings to you and yours!

  58. I just opened my email..I know I missed the date..I love what you are doing and have battled depressions many times throughout my life it’s a dark topic that many try to fight alone..there is power in others when you let them in and learn to draw from the the strength and love they can offer

  59. Beautiful patterns

  60. Hi Melody, I have been enjoying your blog (and patterns) for a while now and like it very much. You are a gifted and sweet person. I have been “afflicted” with some depression here and there throughout my life’s journey (I am now 70) – when I was a young teen, it was due to severe acne; when I thought I would never meet “the right person” in my late 20, after I had my twins (born 3 mos early – lost one after 5 hours and the other is now 40 but has severe eye damage), and a few times during my marriage, once when my husband and I couldn’t find work ANYWHERE for either of us, and another when my daughter moved away for college. Sometimes, I seem to go into a blue period for no reason. Through it all, I have learned that if you are patient, if you are faithful, if you continue to believe that it will get “better”, it eventually does. Who knows what brings it on? I still have down times that may last a couple of days or a couple of months. I do have some “back-up” antidepressant, but try not to rely on that. I, too, want to give you a virtual hug. Rest assured that you are a deserving, inspiring, and special person. I look forward to being with you on this journey of the heart.

    • Thank you for such a kind and uplifting comment Susan! I too believe that faith and a feeling on connection to the world and those around us is very important in the healing journey. I’m so glad you’ll be along this month <3

  61. I have struggled with depression for years. Thank you for the discussions about this. I have sought treatment and been better for long periods of time. Then the depression hits you in the face. Besides medicine you need to take care of yourself with exercise, a diet with plenty of color for the nutrients needed especially Omega 3 fatty acids. They really help both depression and pain.

    Crochet and knitting have helped me so much through the years both with the craft itself and finding supportive craft communities. Thank you again, all of you.

    • Yes you are absolutely right! Diet and exercise (I know, I know….) are really important. I’ll be sharing a list of some helpful natural supplements I’ve been using that I’ve found to be very helpful towards the end of the month. Thanks for your great comment. Hugs to you on your healing journey <3

  62. Melody, what an amazing gift of sharing your journey with us as well as allowing, no welcoming ours in return!! Thank you! I’ve discovered holding onto our pain simply magnifies it, almost creating a tighter, harder, more potent form of the hurt. To the point of self-harm. To share means just that. Sharing any burden lightens that load. But it also frees us from the shackles of the pains, hurts and burdens that otherwise consume us.
    I’ve struggled my entire life with emotional and mental health. I am the daughter of a hippie who married an USAF pilot during Vietnam. He adopted my older brother am me when I was 2. We moved around quite a bit until landing in Selma, AL. Dad flew 3 tours leaving us with our mom. Sex, drugs and rock n roll. In our case, more likely ALL cases, alcohol as well. She slept with any- and everyone who came in the door. When I was between 4-5 I started being raped and molested. In my little heart I HATED what was happening to me, yet my only role model showed me that that’s what girls were for. So I never said a word. Finally they divorced and gave us 3 kids the choice of who to live with. We all said dad. He was a believer and took us to church, disciples us yes, but it was night and day to our life before.
    Yet I had this ickiness inside. Gregariousness only externally, cowering mass of shame and fear inside. Then to make matters worse, I physically developed much sooner than was average for the 70s! Age 9 I started my period, was 5’6”, as well as having a C cup bra. By age 11 I was 5’8” with DD bra. Girls weren’t friendly and I never trusted boys to like ME versus the physical me.
    When I was 16 I discovered a verse in scripture I Corinthians 10:13 “No trial has come upon you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, He will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear, but when you are tested He will provide a way for you to stand up under it.” To me this meant God trusted me with the struggles in my life; trusted me to use them for good and His glory. The depression wasn’t gone but I was more positive.
    This went on, with ever increasing depression since I desired romance but was overcome by my own fears, till I was 21! Then I finally broke down and told my parents.
    I have shared, I have been in and out of therapy, and go thru periods or seasons, of joyful contentment as well as loneliness and depression.
    It isn’t something I personally think is ever just healed and done. We all have those things that are like triggers to set off the beginnings of doubt and fear. My son’s dad and I have been divorced for 21 years and yet every rare now and then someone will say or do something that is an instant reminder of that abusive time… Something like this anyway.
    Our support systems need to be those we trust ourselves TO, not just with who we are.
    Holy Hera!?⚡️I didn’t mean to write a novella. This is obviously a topic close to my heart! Thanks for listening and sharing!
    Hugs, Valori ?

    • Hugs to you too Valori! Thanks for your open, honest comment. It’s amazing how past experiences and conditioning from our childhood makes us maintain certain beliefs about ourselves that simply AREN’T TRUE! Bringing awareness to those beliefs and then reforming them has been key on my healing journey. I appreciate all that you shared and am sending many hugs your way <3

  63. Want to clear a room? Just tell the people in the room your lonely and feel a bit depressed. Even if they don’t leave, they distance themselves from you as though it is catching. It makes you feel like you are abnormal. At the very least, you have broken all social rules.

    • I know that feeling….but I’ve also had the reverse reaction many times. When I’ve started to openly speak with people about my struggles and depressions, I’ve had so many people return the conversation and feel inspired by my honesty. It’s hard to put yourself out there in that open, honest way, but it can help to create some real connections in your life. Sending you hugs and love during this journey <3

  64. I want to say thank you, for opening up and sharing your story. Influential people that can do this honestly and openly really do contribute to removing the stigma of mental illness. I am a survivor of childhood trauma, leading to depression and PTSD. I was diagnosed 10 years ago, and have been in various forms of therapy to help me cope since. I found hypnotherapy to be VERY healing, and less traumatizing.

    • I’m glad you’ll be here for the journey, Heather. And thanks for the note about hypnotherapy! It’s been something on my radar that I would like to try at some point. I’ve been doing meditative therapies, though, which I would imagine are very similar. You’re right in that they’re a gentle form of self care <3

  65. I’m so sorry you have been going through this. It is difficult. Good for you sharing this private time. You are helping a lot of people realize they are not the only ones suffering. And more importantly maybe somebody will realize that that’s their problem. My mom use to take care of women with this issue and because of the era it was very difficult for them. People like you make it easier. Good for you. Thankyou for doing this.

  66. I do not suffer myself, but my husband had a stroke in February 2018 at 35 and now suffers from anxiety and PTSD. We have gotten him a dog who we are training to be a service dog as he has harsh reactions to the meds for these conditions. It is very hard to find him a support group of people who get it. There are some weeks I get burnt out being his lifeline but no matter what he needs he knows I’m here to help him! Thank you for making this post. More people need to become aware of these issues and it helps others know they are not alone in their struggles!

    • Being the support system for someone deeply depressed can be just as trying and difficult as being the depressed person. I know my husband has been through a lot this year. I’m sending both you and your hubby much love and many hugs during this difficult time. I hope things continue to improve <3

  67. Thank you for your generosity. Hoping the dialog reaches many. It will be a comfort to those who think their struggle is without compassion from others, once they realize they are not alone.

  68. I too have been struggling with depression, once over a guy, yes I know, that sounds dumb, but its true. Then, over some bad choices, like almost dying in a domestic violence situation, he tried to choke me to death, then the latest, almost dying due to health situations, numerous surgeries, including emergency surgery where I was given a 30% chance of living through that, and some other life situations, on disability, nor able to work, etc. Now my only daughter is suffering through it along with anxiety, sometimes it just gets overwhelming. Going through a little of it now, but fighting on. Sorry, didn’t mean to flood you so much with so much right now, i just sometimes feel like sitting and crying and i hate feeling like that. But anyway, i thank you for starting this conversation.

    • Sometimes we all feel like sitting and crying Cynthia. And it’s totally ok to feel that way. I believe that sometimes in order to help emotions move on, we have to learn to compassionately sit with them. To let ourselves really experience them. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I’m sending so much love and hugs on your journey and I hope that you’ll find the open discussion to be a form of “sitting with” these tough feelings <3

  69. Thank you for your kindness. My family is strewn with mental health issues. My town is trying to help the community who have mental health issues and have started a craft group which I go to as a knitting and crochet mentor. It is helping people that’s didn’t realise how crafting can. November is a difficult time of year for me so I really appreciate what you are doing.

    • Sending lots of love and hugs to you during this tough month. I hope you find the daily blog posts help to brighten your spirits at least a bit <3

  70. Melody,I struggle with depression because of pain. I 3 different arthritis and I cannot take any medication because my liver is damaged from all the medications I have already taken. So I’m in pain 24/7, needless to say I sometimes wish I wouldn’t wake up. I dont think of ways to get rid of myself but I do wish God would end my misery. A lot of people don’t understand why I would feel this way,but only God and I know what kind of pain I’m in. Thank you for letting me talk about this here.

    • I’m sending you so much love and many hugs for your journey, Yolanda. Physical pain can cause great mental anguish as well. I hope you’ll find a few useful pieces of info, or at least find great support here throughout this month.

  71. Depression is a toughy. Some people don’t understand how one can bring themselves down into such darkness… and others feel like they would be a burden if they told someone they were depressed. Thank you, Melody, for taking time to reach out for yourself and to raise awareness within the community. It’s a struggle that many try to face alone. Just know that you are not alone. We are here for you and for each other. Don’t stop believing that things are going to get better. Much love and many thanks for your kindness and generosity.

    • Thank you for those kind words Wendy! It’s true that it’s so easy to feel you must struggle alone through these types of mental health issues. I hope to show people that open discussions about them can lead to more compassion and great healing.

  72. My comment seems to have disappeared so I’ll try again.
    I’ve dealt with depression my entire life because of genetic connections and childhood trauma as well as being an empath that I discovered only a few years ago and I’m over 50. It’s been a long hard journey that I would not have survived without Jesus. I was looking forward to joining your group but I haven been able to work for more than 30 years so I can’t afford an extra $10 a month. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I’m happy to see that you are helping each other. I will pray for your group to continue to help those who struggle with this debilitating illness that still so many people aren’t willing to accept as an illness and feel that it’s something to be embarrassed about. I’m completely cut off from the world except my husband and Jesus. But it’s ok because even though I have many days that I can’t get out of bed, I don’t have dangerous days now that I know Jesus is holding me. It’s been almost 20 years since i’ve contemplated suicide even though I still get as low at times as I always have. I know now know there is always hope and always a reason that God keeps me here.? sometimes I need medication and sometimes I just need light therapy and to burn frankincense resin. The thing that helps me the most is large doses of vitamin D. Frankincense opens up the passage ways in the brain to let things move about as they should. Although I admit it gets lonely sometimes, after 53 years of being almost always depressed at some level, I’ve learned to accept that it is the thorn that won’t be taken from me. However, being an empath, I hurt for other people who are struggling and I’m always so grateful to see others getting together to help and encourage each other. I pray that your “ministry” will be a huge benefit for many. God bless you for your efforts.❤️

    • Sending many hugs and much love your way Kim! Luckily you don’t need to be part of the paid group to join in on this discussion. Thank you for your heart centered comment <3

  73. I have struggled over 30 years with these mental health issues. Ever sins my first boy was born. Now I’m 51 years old and since 5 years I can talk about it end was diagnosed with a Bipolair Disorder. NOW all makes sence. My love ones knows but it’s stil difficult to talk about it with people who don’t understand but I keep trying to explaine. Love from the Netherlands

    • Being open and honest with people about these issues is the first step in my opinion. I’m proud of you for talking about it even when it’s sometimes difficult. Sending many hugs and tons of love to you on your journey!

  74. Beautiful, dear Melody … one reason I am SO thankful to be a part of the crochet community is because of wonderful women like YOU! I have been struggling for the last year to deal with circumstances that surround me and have caused deep feelings of being alone and without hope. Sometimes, even when the grief and despair are OBVIOUS people do not respond well, using words that are unhelpful if not downright cruel, or just ignoring the hurt because they do not know how to deal with it themselves. Sometimes they are the people closest to us. I have made the most wonderful friends through this community and THEY have been the ones that lift me up in prayer, in encouraging words, in just checking in to say “I’m thinking of you. I haven’t forgotten.” God bless you for this dialogue. May He lift you up and hold you close, giving you the peace that passes all understanding. <3

    • I believe “being” with someone in whatever state they’re in, and not trying to change them is what compassion is all about. Depression can sometimes make people who don’t understand it (or haven’t experienced it) uncomfortable. Discomfort makes us act weird. Discussions like this bring awareness to the need to simply hold supportive space for someone struggling. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  75. Dear sweet Melody, This has been a really hard year for me! My best friend committed suicide this summer, just a few short months ago! I find myself now struggling to understand and I miss her so much! I can’t begin to understand what she might have been going through, this was not her first bout with attempting this, but it was her last! Her daughter, my god-child also struggles with this! Bless you for your struggles and I will keep you in my prayers as we all struggle together to ultimately bring this subject to the forefront and out into the open where it truly needs to be!

    • I’m sending you big hugs Joy, and I’m sorry to hear about your loss. It is difficult to understand if you’ve never been there…but hopefully discussions like this one will help to bring more understanding and help us all to become aware of resources. Thank you for following along and participating in the conversation!

  76. Hey Melody, Thank you for approaching this and bringing this to light. In April 2015 I had to retire from my job of 13 years due to a physical disability. Talk about a roller coaster of feelings, depression, worthless feelings. I can’t do all the things I could do 10 years ago because of this disability. I go to bed wanting to die from the pain and not being able to do a lot of things. I see my adult children going here and there with their children and I want to cry because I can’t do it anymore. I love my mom so much, but when I talk to her about this, she will tell me, it’s life, deal with it. Seriously? HOW?!
    Then, add into the fact that my disability check is about a third of what I was making, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Depression is something that is so real, even tho I did not fully realize it until after I had to retire.
    I look forward to riding this journey with you and all the other ladies on here!

    • I’m so glad you’ll be along for the journey, Renee. I hope that through these posts you might find some helpful resources and support. It’s difficult to feel alone during these struggles. But you’re not alone…we’ve got your back. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  77. Thank you so much for talking about depression! It’s an important topic and the fact that you’re having a stitch n’ bitch with the entire world to talk about it is amazing! Please keep up the great work!

  78. Hi Melody!
    Thank you for opening up your life and experience to depression to your fans. I’m hoping this will help others going through depression as well.
    I have had mild to medium depression off and on since my ex-husband asked for custody of our daughter back in 1986 because his divorce lawyer recommended he do so. I’m fighting it now due to the sudden passing of my husband of 26 years. My daughters and their families are living with me now, which is both helpful and stressful at the same time. One of my daughters moved in with her family a month before my husband died, which I know was part of God’s plan so I wouldn’t be alone. I’m making myself get out of the house more and am becoming involved with the senior community in my small college town. I also have cyclical depression during late Fall, Winter, and early Spring. I have learned staying busy and being around or in contact with friends during these times help.
    Today is a good day for me. I’m signing up for a paint class tonight at a local eatery and plan on going with or without my local Bestie! I know God is leading me to step out of my depression and comfort zones and I’m trying to embrace my new changes in my life.
    Again, thank you for opening up and sharing with us.

    • Thank you for sharing your story! I hope you’ll continue to follow along and leave awesome, inspiring comments like this 🙂 Much love to you!

  79. Thanks.

  80. Bless you, Melody… Bless you! What a voice you have. What a platform! WHAT A HEART!!!!! I want you do know, that I will be praying for you and everyone you touch… you are a blessing!

    • Awww! Thank you Marge! That is truly heart touching. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement more than you know.

  81. I have been on medication for over 12 years now. After I got my remarried, accomplished my degree, started a great job, and bought a home I thought that I could just go off of those meds because I was feeling fine. Well a few months after I couldn’t even pick up a hook and wondered what was going on with me. My mental health provider said that I have a chemical imbalance and even if I am feeling ok I will be on this med for the rest of my life. Depression isn’t about always feeling sad, it is also about your body’s ability to balance hormones and chemicals. Keep your head up and know we are all here and we all care❣️❣️

    • SO true! Sometimes our body chemistry simply throws us into this place. Awareness about what’s going on and the ability to move towards helpful resources makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing this helpful comment! I hope you’ll continue to follow along throughout the month.

  82. Melody I really enjoyed your post. You are so true that talking to others helps. My husband deals with depression on a daily basis he says I’m the one that keeps him together. I had dealt with it before I met him 13 years ago after not being able to work no more do to back problems at age 34 with 3 young boys and so much. I call him my ANGEL! It is hard especially around this time of year for a lot of people. It is great you are doing this. I have tried to reset my password to log in and it still won’t so hopefully this is ok. Sorry about changing the subject. You are truly an amazing person

    • Thank you Amanda! I’m so glad you found your angel, and I’m sending hugs and love to you throughout your husband’s journey with depression too. Hope you’ll continue to follow along throughout the month.

  83. You’re very brave to be sharing your story; so thank you. My daughter suffers from depression and I constantly worry about her. Thankfully, she recognizes it and sees a counselor when needed. She also has a great group of friends around her.

    Stay strong and take care of yourself.

    • Awareness is a huge key in battling depression. I’m glad your daughter knows how to support herself in much needed ways. Sending hugs to both you and her on your journey. I hope you’ll follow along throughout the month <3

  84. Thank you for sharing, Depression is no easy feat.
    I have suffered depression since I suffered abuse as a young child. It isn’t always easy to open up and get the help that is necessary, especially here in the UK, mental health awareness is not as recognised as much as things like cancer and heart disease.
    Brightest Blessings to everyone xxx

  85. Eve, you did not bore me…I will think happy thoughts for you. My dog is my only friend so give your dog a good hug!

  86. Dear Melody,
    Thank you for being transparent and sharing your experiences. I have a small gap but mental illness is very prevalent in my family. I seem to be the sounding/grounding person. The one they call to talk them off the edge and calm the inner voices. I would never not be that person but it can be draining at times. I am very lucky to have a loving and supportive husband that helps me close my gap. And crocheting is my anxiety reducer. Thank you again. I will be checking in and reading your posts as it will help me better understand when I get that next call or the next visit.

    • So much love and good energy going your way. Holding space for someone who is facing mental illness is super important and hard to do. Good for you! Glad you’ll be following along.

  87. Thank you for addressing this topic there are soo many that need to hear they are not the only one.

  88. Bless you Melody for talking openly about depression. As women, we communicate. Men don’t. I have been through numerous losses over the last 3 years. I thought I was managing, but I was’nt. I am finally seeing soneobe for help. I take it one day at a time. Hugs

    • I’m glad you’re finally getting some help. Communication is so key to growth and healing…. Much love and many hugs to you as well!

  89. I, too, have suffered with depression all my life. I am 73 yrs old. I have been going for therapy for 4 yrs now but the depression has not gotten any better. Now, for the last few years, I am unable to help the problem with knitting or crocheting. I have started dozens of projects and after a few rows I put that away and never is it seen again. I keep buying yarn tho just in case I ever get motivated.

    • My crafty motivation definitely goes hand in hand with my mood. I too have a hard time working projects when I’m depressed. Recently I’ve started trying to use that time as a bit of a meditation. I’ll talk about it more in another post soon….but I’ve found that to be helpful 🙂

  90. Thanks for give us the opportunity to talk about difficult moments we have had and have, it helps to dilute the pain and make life more easy to live.

    • Thanks for joining in the journey! It’s so healing to me to share the space with everyone, and such an honor that so many have showed up to join the conversation!

  91. I’ve dealt with this too long myself, sometimes to a point where I can’t see it in others due to where I am.

  92. I want to say thank you. I have fought depression since 14 and I’m now 39. I’ve had post natal twice and really dark years of despair. Luckily I’ve been on antidepressants for about 5 years and I feel good. One day I will be antidepressant free again. Sharing is important so you don’t feel so alone at the darkest point in your life xx

  93. Thanks for bringing this issue out into the open, Melody. I have been there so many times in my life, and know that crochet and knitting have saved my life many times; giving me something totally positive and creative on which to focus. I am finding it hard at the moment, because my concentration is affected by my fibromyalgia, making crochet and knitting, more difficult. Keep going, you will reach the other side; depression is like a lake, which is deep and wide but unmeasured. When you are at your low moments, close you eyes and picture yourself reaching the shore.

  94. Thank you for sharing your story. I have dealt with depression for a very long time. It is now compounded by other health issues. God bless you for your caring heart.

  95. I am glad that people are finding online communities in which to share their story. Often with depression it is so difficult to make the effort to go out and be with others, even though you know you should do it.
    I can not stress this enough: if you have health insurance that covers counseling (even if it only pays $25 to the therapist, like mine did), TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! While talking with others is great, a good therapist will help guide your thoughts so that you are not just reinforcing your bad feelings. They will act as a check to help you see that, while your feelings are valid, you can respond to them in a more positive way. It helps retrain your brain. It’s not that different from retraining your brain after a stroke –if you were just left to flounder on your own, you would not regain as much function. I saw a therapist when I became extremely depressed during Graduate School, and along with a good anti-depressive drug regime, the talk therapy helped me become functional much more quickly than drugs alone. This effect has been supported by good research, but unfortunately some insurance plans just want you to take the drugs without the additional therapy.
    It is worth the time (hard to do when depressed, I know) to find a therapist who understands your challenges. For those who deal with a chronic health issue, there are professionals that help with that. Post-partum depression is a different set of challenges, as is grief after the death of a loved one.
    I can tell you that, in my case, Life DID get better. It took two years, but I was able to finally feel normal and finish my Dissertation.

  96. I think it is wonderful that this is being talked about. For so many years, any kind of mental health was hidden, and not talked about, like it was a dirty secret, and those suffering from these problems were unimportant or second-class.
    Now, it is in the open and there is much more help for people.
    My daughter suffers from depression. It has cause her to doubt herself, and hide away. She would have (and still does have horrible panic attacks, and severe bouts of depression. There were days when she couldn’t leave the house, or even get out of bed
    She was very fortunate because the company she worked for was wonderful!!!! She managed a bookstore. There were two gentlemen that were her direct supervisors, They really, truly cared for her. They were very understanding and supportive. And the staff of her store were also understanding and supportive. When she had really bad days, the staff was there to pick up the pieces and hold her together and take the burden of the store.
    Her insurance coverage was fantastic and she was able to find a couple that does the Bio-Feed Back Therapy. This has been amazing!!! She is learning to deal with the bad times and has fewer and fewer.
    About a year and a half ago, she reconnected with a man that she had known when they were children. A month later, he proposed and they were married in March. The love and support that he gives her is so wonderful!!!
    She still has bad days, she probably always will have bad days, but they are fewer and farther apart.
    But being able to talk about it, and knowing she isn’t alone makes a big difference.

  97. I just discovered this today. Thank you for this discussion. This is like a lifeline for me. I am a southern gal living in New England now and winter is brutal on my moods. I’m constantly searching and discovering new ways to survive until spring. Huge thanks and the patterns are a nice gift too! ❤️❤️

  98. I hope this is where we leave our email
    Totally appreciate your continued generosity

  99. Hi Melody – ” I want to hear about your refocusing techniques!”
    Sometimes I write myself a note or a list regarding what it is that I am attempting to accomplish – so that when the flood of thoughts fill my mind or I’m hit with multiple rabbit trails, I have a visual reminder of what I am “suppose” to be accomplishing. The note brings me back. If it’s not a note it can be an item. Sometimes its a self imposed discipline that says “you can’t leave this, whatever, until it is finished or brought to a certain point or a certain amount of time has been spent on it. That keeps me from getting distracted by something else that can wait. Discipline plays a part also when I realize I am off point either by someones need or something unavoidable. Once it dawns on me – I make the decision to get back on track as opposed to continuing on with either the distraction or engaging in yet another distraction. Whether it is my thoughts (wondering off) or someone or something needing attention, I’ve learned that in order for my life to have order and my days to be productive, I have to “refocus” and this can happen several times a day. Some distractions can be what I would call legitimate – in that they could be a productive activity but also ones that could wait. Refocusing helps me to get a task actually completed as opposed to two or three tasks partially finished.

    So keeping a visual of what is the task at hand, in front of me, has proven to be quite profitable.

    I hope this hasn’t just been a college of jumbled ramblings but a bit of profitable insight, instead.

    Love and Hugs, rae

    • Hey Rae! This makes great sense….I’m also a big lister and visual person. Someone recently mentioned hanging reminders about calming techniques for those emotional spiral moments around the house….I thought that was a great idea too, and something I may try at some point too. Thanks for sharing! I agree that refocusing is really important….especially when those negative thought trains take off with us. It’s SO difficult to pull yourself out and refocus, but SO necessary.

  100. Hello, I just found this through a raverly group. My 18 year old son died suddenly in my arms, since this happened I have dealt with severe depression. I took up knitting which has helps me refocus. I saw someone above say how to clear a room, talk about a child passing the room will clear in a hurry. Talking also helps me a lot, so I am glad you are discussing this issue.

    • Sending big love and hugs to you. I can only imagine how trying this time must be for you. I’m glad you found the blog and I hope you’ll read through the posts this month and continue to follow along <3

  101. I’ve had generalized anxiety and chronic depression most my life, as well as c-ptsd and ptsd. I only realized in the last few years that these were my constant companions and how much they had affected me. I’m on meds that work now, regular talk therapy, EMDR to lessen the ptsd triggers. The meds allowed me to actually do CBT. It’s a challenge.

    I’ve been under more stress than usual since Sept this year, which has exacerbated my usual “bad cycle” that happens in November.

    Thank you for doing the blog. Mental illness is too stigmatised and invisible, and the stigma complicates what should be open, compassionate discourse. It’s a little easier for women (at least there’s the misogynistic “crazy female” trope to fall back on), but really hard for men.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. November is a tricky time for so many people…it’s been filled with ups and downs for me this year too. Sending love and hugs your way!

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