After the devastating events in Manchester this week it feels a bit surreal to be writing about how hobbies can help us achieve happiness, there are people out there suffering and grieving and here I am talking about how crafting can make you happy… I almost didn’t sit down to write this today.. but then I remembered the people I met at the weekend, people who have also been through extreme pain and suffering, some recently others in childhood and they sat and told me their stories of how hobbies helped them.. now please don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that this is aimed at the people of Manchester, I cannot even start to think what they are going through right now, they have been in my thoughts since the minute I heard the news!
What is Hobbies for Happiness? To really sum it up: a community who care for each other, are there for one and other and who have a common interest.. hobbies. We currently have over 250 members in the Facebook group which is an amazing accomplishment since it only went live a week ago! The members are all of varying ages and backgrounds and are passionate about a whole array of different crafts.
How did you get involved? A little while back the lovely Karleigh of The Mix and Match Planner contacted me, she told me of this wonderful idea that she had and asked if I wanted to be involved from a “sponsor” point of view, this meant that she would feature my business and I would help her to promote the community.
Over the past few weeks we have gotten close and last week she asked me (and some other amazing ladies) to help her admin the group.
Why did you get involved? I never really though of myself as having mental health issues, I have friends who suffer from varying conditions but I never though it was me.. I mean I am a strong and confident woman and live a happy life.. so I can’t possibly suffer from depression.. I am outgoing and sociable… so could never suffer from social anxiety… I love my children and over came so many obstacles to have them.. so would never suffer from post natal depression!! So I carried on with life.. I left my stomach churn and palms get sweaty every time I had even the chance of having to talk to someone when I wasn’t prepared.. I let myself think that I was a terrible mother for not wanting to get up with my babies in the morning..
Until one day, whilst out with a run with my husband (i’d run ahead and couldn’t find Trevor) I felt the familiar shortness in breath and wheezing spreading from my chest that always accompanied these random asthma attacks (even though I have never suffered from asthma in my life). When I retraced my steps and found him my breath was coming in short gasps and I was wheezing loud enough for passers by to stop and stare. As he always manages to do, Trevor talked me down and I managed to get in control of my breathing again, as we walked back to the car I turned to him and said “I’m going to go to the Drs and ask for an inhaler and get tested for asthma”… I think I will remember his reply for ever “That wasn’t an asthma attack, that was a panic attack.” I honestly had no idea that what I had been suffering was panic, of course looking back now it all makes sense.. but at the time it really didn’t.
I then started researching PND, anxiety and depression and found I ticked the boxes! The past 6 months have been particularly hard but I have worked with my Dr and used both medication and CBT to get myself to where I am today. Ready to take on the world again.
So when Karleigh approached me about HFH I instantly knew that I wanted to get on board any way that I could, not just to help myself but to also bring people together in a community where they are free to be themselves and where there will always be someone who will listen!
I am so proud of Karleigh for setting this community up and of how fast it has grown, she really is a lovely person who wants the best for people.
Much Love Michelle xx aka UglyBugPlans