Hello, my name is Jessie and I work from home. Well, I own my own business; I am a freelance and independent knit and crochet designer, and a blogger. I am also the mother of twin girls. Oh, and I have major depressive disorder and social anxiety.

This is not what people want to hear when they ask you to introduce yourself and say a bit about what you do. It is not even what they hear. This is what they hear:

“I am a stay at home mom who likes to knit and play on the computer and I like to whine, I am overly dramatic, and I don’t really like people.”

My life when dealing with people in “the real world” ~  people outside of my business ~ is a constant struggle against the elephant in the room: Their perception of what I do and how overly dramatic I am. I don’t have a 9 to 5, I have a when I wake up to when I go to bed. If I am not taking care of my kids or my house (not that I take very good care of my house) I am working. (here is one of many great articles about working from home)

People see me volunteering at the book fair and they say things like “it must be so nice to not work so you can do this.” Um, no. I do it because I love helping the kids, but I DO work, and when I take off work to be at the school, NO ONE is working my business. It is on pause. When I go on vacation, there is no one to cover for me. If I stop, my business stops.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE what I do. It is my passion and I would not change it for the world. (speaking of passion, here is an awesome bit about following your passion) I just wish that people would understand that it does not make me lazy, that I do work as much as they do. I am not looking for pity, I am not trying to say I work harder than most, I am just asking that you don’t assume that I am “playing with yarn and hanging out on Facebook all day.” Go take a look at my Facebook group. Yes I was on there after 11pm the past few nights. HELPING someone with a pattern. A mother who has only ever made flat items such as blankets before, and who is trying to make a dress from one of my patterns for her daughter. I am honored that she chose my pattern, and I am thrilled to be able to help her improve her skills and make a dress for her daughter. If the only time she has to talk to me and get the help she needs is 11 pm, then 11 pm it is. I don’t know if she is in another country where it is a more day~like hour, or if maybe she is so busy the rest of the day that is the only time she has. I don’t care. I just want to help her. It is part of my business and it’s part of who I am.

Speaking of eleven. I have major depressive disorder. I am not just dramatic. ALL my emotions are set to 11. All. The. Time. The only exception is when I am on meds, and then they are ALL set to 2. Not just the sad emotions, but the happy ones, the giving a crap ones, the loving my family ones. All at 2. This is why I try to stay off meds. I know the signs that a cycle of depression is coming, and I know ways to fight it. Sometimes I win. Sometimes it wins. Then comes the meds. And the 2s. I am currently fighting. My normal everything-at-11 goes to overdrive. I feel like everything I say and do is wrong. When someone says or does something nice to/for me, it is all I can do not to break out into tears of joy. When I say or do something wrong (or that I perceive as wrong) it is all I can do not to crawl into bed for days. Not that I would sleep. I went to bed at 1 am last night. I would like to say that I cried myself to sleep, but I did not. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore, and they I just lay there. Thinking about all the ways I had messed up during the day and during the past few years. Thinking about all the ways I could, and probably would, make things even worse. Thinking about how freakin’ crazy I was for thinking these things when I have a great family and my business is really growing. The last time I checked the clock it was after 3 am.

Eleven.
All.
The.
Time.

And when I am fighting like I am right now, I really see the bad everywhere. People treating me like I have “normal” emotions doesn’t help. They get so mad at me because I react differently than they do; but they don’t understand that it is not in my control. Even when I know I am reacting wrong, I can’t fix it. Not when I am at this point. I can just fight. Try to pull myself back to my normal eleven. Back to the point when I don’t turn every comment and every look into people not liking me. Back to the point when I don’t think every nice person is just trying to be nice to me so I will leave them alone, or because they pity me.

I’m sure this sounds like a pity party. OK, I’m not sure. It’s hard for me to know what is real and what is me being “dramatic” when I am at this point. This is not my intent. I just want to say this because I know I am not alone in these…issues. Maybe some people reading this are in the same boat and now feel a little less alone, and a little less crazy. Maybe some people reading this have people in their lives in one or both of these situations and understand them a little more now. And maybe it helps a bit for me to share.

I am fighting. I will continue to fight. I will win and I will get back to my version of normal.

Or I won’t and I will end up on meds for a while again. I am really trying to avoid that as I worry what 2 will do to my ability to run my business.

Here is the last time I shared about this.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog…

Jessie-At-Home

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10 Comments

10 Comments on Eleven; and the elephant.

  1. I love you and I accept you for exactly who you ARE… I am here whenever you need an ear or a shoulder.

    You’ve brought your business so far in the last year!!! You have two amazing kids an fantastic husband and good friends. Just remember that when the going gets tough. YOU ARE FANTASTIC!!!! xoxo

  2. Jessie I am extremely honored that you mention me in this blog and I greatly appreciate your help with the pattern so that I can make something special for my little girl and you’re right you don’t know about me you don’t know if I’m in another country but I’m not I’m right here And idk you suffer from depression which causes me not to be able to sleep and be up late nights and early mornings and truly truly grateful for you helping me and now I understand who you are a little bit better

  3. Hi, I sure relate to A LOT of what you wrote. I suffered a lot from the 11’s. All. The. Time. So I went on meds. And, like you, I was at a 2. On everything. On my kids birthday. When my dog died. it didn’t matter. So I went off my meds about 2 weeks ago. I can feel the 11’s coming back. I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle it though. The guilt and self-condemnation (that I’m so positive everyone else feels for me too) is horrible. I rarely go anywhere, but if I do, I sometimes randomly throw up. It’s crazy. But now at this point I can feel things. I’m sorry that you are going through this, but just know that there are us out here that understand. I too work at home, take care of kids, barely clean my house, etc. So I relate to ALOT. Just the anxiety/depression really made me feel like I know exactly what you mean. …… Stacie

    • Stacie ~ going off the meds can be the worse! Last time I had horrible withdrawal. It took a couple months of total crazy, like more than normal crazy, but then the crazy went away and I was so much better. Better than before the meds, and better than on the meds, and WAY better than withdrawal from the meds. People don’t realize how brave you have to be to go on meds, and how brave you have to be to go off them. I hope what you are feeling now is just the withdrawal, and that you will even out back to your brand of normal.

  4. Jessie I just figured out why i like you so much. We walk down the same road. thank you for sharing this I needed to read this I am having such a hard time right now. And I just feel like no one understand or cares. and I can do anything right no matter how hard I try. Thank you for being real

    • Brenda, I like you a lot too! Keep fighting, we can both keep fighting together. I hope you know I care. It always gives me a smile when you test for me.

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