This topic is only vaguely related to my hobbies. I’ll try to make it come to a full circle in the end, but no promises! I’m in a kind of melancholy mood and I wanted to write about it.
I have anxiety, though I feel like everyone has anxiety to some degree. The level of my anxiety can range from simple everyday worries, to full blown panic, to a constant sense of unease or general wrongness. I have social anxiety as well, where I’ll type something or say something and then endlessly think about what I’ve said or typed when it’s too late to take it back… and then I think “Whhyyyy did I sayyyy that????” /cringe /derp /facepalm /g2gkthxbai4ever. So awkward. … times infinity. This is probably why a lot of my hobbies are solo hobbies (crocheting, reading, blogging, doll collecting and appreciating). When it comes to hobby-related stuff, I start to doubt my enjoyment of the activity and its value to me.
I’ve struggled with anxiety probably my whole life. I say “probably” because it’s really hard for me to say when it all started. Until a few years ago, I always assumed that the way I was feeling was normal, because how would I know otherwise? Since then, I’ve learned a few ways to deal with my thoughts (cognitive therapy really helped), and now that I’m able to recognize the feelings and thoughts for what they are, I also recognize that there are times I need to force myself to move despite my body telling me that it’s a good time to shut down (I have an awful relationship with sleep. When I want to sleep, it eludes me. When I want to stay awake, BOOM. Nap time.).
Understanding that a lot of what I’m anxious about doesn’t often make sense (or at least the degree of my anxiety doesn’t make sense), and willing myself to do anything isn’t always easy. However, for me, the first step towards getting away from my dark place is doing something I generally enjoy, even though at the time it might not seem worth it. Sometimes, a distraction (whether it’s petting my furbaby, or redressing my dolls) is enough to recalibrate the brain and put things into perspective, at least for a little while.