Friday, October 09, 2015

The Speed Bumps of Depression

Last night I felt my happy mood from earlier in the day shift and change. It was like a light going off. I felt the darkness settle in and suddenly I felt sad. It's one way I know that I'm going to face a bout of depression. I recognize the symptoms and signs and prepare for the oncoming onslaught of feelings.

This summer I shared that I suffer from depression. You can read more about it HERE. While I have had it for many years, I had not officially shared it in a way that even most of my friends knew I suffered from it. It wasn't that I'm embarrassed by it. It's more that I don't want people to treat me differently because of it.

It's so interesting that by sharing sharing my experience with depression I would be forced to face it head on in a way that I have never done before. For a good solid month after sharing my feelings with the world, I suffered through a cycle of grief. Something about acknowledging that I will likely always have depression and anxiety in some form really hurt. It's not the life I had planned for myself. It's something that affects my life nearly every day. It's not fun. It's not pleasant. And knowing that it will likely always be there in the shadows is in and of itself: depressing!

As I thought through how often depression has affected moments in my life, I began to realize that there is rarely a time when depression doesn't affect how I choose to live, what I choose to do on a daily basis, what I find I can cope with. It's definitely changed who I am. And while it certainly doesn't define me, it certainly is a part of me. I admit I cried about it quite a bit.

I am a strong-willed person. I want full control of my life. I want to be happy. I like being around happy people. I don't like excuses for not living. But sometimes I'm not happy. And sometimes I can't bring myself to do something that if I were feeling better I could probably accomplish. Realizing that depression has seeped into every aspect of my life and in some ways shrunk of my circle of living bothered me.

But isn't admitting you have a problem the first step? Pretending that I don't have it certainly wasn't making it go away. Aknowleding that it's there, and realizing that sometimes it's going to affect what I do is important.

Thankfully I have many, many, many days without full-blown depression. Of course I constantly weigh and balance what I can do based upon my depression and anxiety, but I would say most of the time I am happy.

But one of the things I hate about depression is how it affects my momentum in life. Having depression is much like driving down a highway with hidden speed bumps.

Article on coping with depression.

Imagine going full speed down a highway. Suddenly out of seemingly nowhere you hit a speed bump. Your car shivers to a stop as it tries to adjust to the bump in the road. Your car sputters and stalls depending upon the size of the speed bump. You might even come to a complete stop with no forward movement at all. You work and you work to get the car started again. Sometimes it hiccups, coughs, and starts up again. And sometimes it sits idle for days. When your car finally begins moving again, you realize that others heading to the same destination are quite far ahead of you, and you feel as you may never catch up.

Depression is those speed bumps in life. I can be in the middle of an incredibly productive and creative week. I'm on top of the laundry, meeting the kids' needs, crafting for work and depression will rear its ugly head. And like hitting a speed bump in the middle of the freeway, I may idle, come to a complete stop, or simply have a small hiccup in my week. It's the starting and stopping that is utterly frustrating.

I once had an misinformed person tell me that I was lazy. I believed it for a long time. I thought perhaps there was something fundamentally wrong with me as a person and that those times of idling or stopping were because I was somehow "bad." Not true. That isn't the real me. The real me is involved, in constant motion, and goal oriented. It's only when I'm suffering from depression that I might appear to the outside world to be stuck.

Learning to cope with these speed bumps has been a challenge. Sometimes I can pick right back up where I left off. I have learned to do menial tasks when it hits so that at least I am accomplishing something. I may save the creative or more involved tasks until I am coming out of my stall or have left it completely behind.

I joked with my husband a few months ago that if I didn't have the speed bumps I would be an incredibly successful and productive person. It was a funny comment at the time, but it also wasn't. Learning to cope with things that get in the way is something we all learn. Whether it's a loss, a change in direction, or depression, we all have to figure out how to work around and through tough things.

I am determined to keep my "car" in working order so that when a speed bump does occur, I can more easily restart my engine. And when I do stall, I give myself permission to rest and recover knowing that it is highly likely that within a short time I will be back on my journey again.

So while speed bumps are going to appear, I am working towards making sure they affect me less than when I first realized I had depression. Now I'm much better at coping with what's coping and what I'm currently dealing with. And frankly that's a good place to be.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Hello Winter: A Winter Paper Crafting Project!

It isn't even cold yet here, but I'm already thinking about the changing of seasons. Today I thought I would share a fun winter paper crafting project that you can easily recreate. Here's the project that I'm sharing with you today:

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

To create this project you will need:

* "Hello Winter" Collection Kit from Echo Park Paper
* Milk Carton digital or manual die cut shape
* Digital or Manual Die Cutting Machine
* Wet Adhesive


1. The manual die cut "milk carton" shape I used required that you cut two of each of the shape. I did this from a variety of the patterned papers found in the "Hello Winter" collection:

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

2. Use the score lines on the die cut shapes to create the sides of the milk carton by folding each scored line.

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

3. Fill the cartons with candy or other items and then glue or tie shut.

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

Here's another look at each of the boxes I created. You can see that I decorated each of the boxes with embellishments and stickers that coordinate with this paper collection:

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

Hello Winter Milk Carton Treat Boxes designed by Jen Gallacher. Complete tutorial and supply list at

Suggested Products

Click the photos to learn more about each product. Affiliate links have been used where possible.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

World Card Making Day Card Round Robin

Did you participate in all the festivities on the Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine blog? It was a day filled with inspiration and fabulous prizes. You can find all of the blog posts HERE. I participated with other SCT Magazine designers in a fun and inspiring Card Round Robin. One designer provided the first piece of inspiration, and then she created a card based on that inspiration. Then each of us in the Round Robin only got to see the card the person before us created. Here's a look at the inspiration that started it all:

Read HERE to see how each of us was inspired! This is my version of the card. Be sure to check out the other designers' projects.

Card inspired by a round robin. Click here to learn more:

Card inspired by a round robin. Click here to learn more:

Love this inspiration? Be sure to check out the latest Card Idea Book from SCT Magazine HERE "Creative Cards Volume 1."

Card Idea Book:

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

50% Off the Entire Jen Gallacher Store!!

Save 50% off all scrapbooking workshops, Ebooks, Printables, Tutorials and more at: (sale ends 10/31/15)

Save 50% off all items in my Jen Gallacher store HERE

You can download any of the following items and save 50% off their retail price:

* Self-paced Scrapbooking Classes
* Ebooks
* Printables
* Tutorials

Here's a peek at just some of the items on sale:

Start shopping HERE now!
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