Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Many moons ago when I went to social work school, we were taught that no emotion is bad. If you feel depressed, it's just one feeling. It's normal. And it will pass.

But what if it doesn't pass?

In today's pharmaceutical-happy world, prescriptions are handed out like Dum-Dums at the bank drive-thru. Some folks actually need the medication. Most, I would argue, do not.

My wip is, in part, about a girl trying to help jerk her grandmother out of a depression. And it's got me thinking about home remedies and other creative ways to deal with the downs in life that inevitably follow the ups.

For me, there are two things that work:

1. Service to others

Depression really is a self-absorbed condition. It's exacerbated by this woe-is-me, let-me-wallow kind of attitude. And the quickest way to release oneself from that egocentrism is to focus on someone else: volunteer for something, sign up to help in the church nursery, make a casserole and deliver it to someone recovering from surgery. As soon as your focus shifts from yourself to someone else, you start to feel better.

2. Get crafty

This doesn't have to be all quilts and crochet and scrapbooking, although those work great for me. Any kind of creative, DIY projects will work. The key is to DO something. Here's some out-of-the-box ideas from Popular Mechanics. And hey, March is National Craft Month! So go to Hobby Lobby. Try something new.

Right now I am working on quilt 4 of my 2011 Quilt a Month challenge. (see above pic) I wouldn't be nearly so far along if my friend Pat hadn't cut so many squares for me. (All my quilts have at least a little Pat in them!) And you can expect to see some of this self-help philosophy in my wip. There will be no prescriptions, that's for sure. I'm excited to see what happens!


  1. I love this! I agree with you -- there are clinical forms of depression that require medicine... but sometimes what someone needs is a change in perspective and a few new, positive habits. The latter has always seemed to help me best!

    Creativity and service are my two favorite ways to get out of a funk as well. :)

  2. Four down and eight to go... that Christmas quilt has to be done before Christmas 2011 and if you're keeping it... think big for your bed.

  3. Great post! I didn't know it was Nat. Craft Month. I made a nine patch lap quilt for my second grader's teacher since they are studying colonialism and make quilts in class. In the school library we are also making origami cranes for in order to get donations for Japan. I agree with you - doing for others and making stuff are both great strategies for raising one's happiness!

  4. Irene,

    Yes, I agree with you. So much of it has to do with having a balanced life. Service and creativity are two big pieces of the puzzle. Today I spent some time organizing my sewing room and also finished an apron. Planning to work on a couple quilt projects this week. I feel so much better when the creative juices are flowing. Good for you - a quilt a month challenge. You are off to a great start!


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