As I sat down this afternoon, to finish off some Ms Midge orders, I felt really bad. I felt bad because usually I have a reasonably quick turn around on orders. Most of the time I let customers know that it will be around two weeks from order to delivery, and I can generally get orders sorted within a week - just to surprise everyone! But lately, things have been very slow, and for that I feel like I need to give a little bit of an explanation.
Sure, the heatwave here in Melbourne set me back a bit. Our new house does not have air conditioning downstairs, which in turn means sewing in my little room starts resembling an episode of a fitness program - with sweat in places I don't like to sweat!
But I have also been dealing with some other time and mind consuming issues.
I've mentioned briefly in past posts that my gorgeous sister has a mental illness, and although I don't tend to bang on about it (because hey, let's face it, it's her story to tell, not mine), there are times I would like to shout from the roof tops. Scream to anyone who will listen. Instead, I tend to internalise things.
What I will say is that being the only child of three who doesn't have a mental illness, is not as easy as you would think. For me, it has been heart breaking, frustrating, infuriating, sad, confusing and mind boggling. There were times when I couldn't be around my sister. I had to separate myself, as a way of protecting myself. Because I would get so overwhelmed by what she was going through, that it would inadvertently bring me to my knees, which would then affect my own family. I have explained this to her, and thankfully, she gets it.
I try to understand. I try to put myself in her shoes. But I can't. A few weeks ago, I went and saw "Silver Linings Playbook" at the cinema. I had no idea what it was about, until after I had bought the tickets. I cried on and off throughout the film, and then sobbed the whole drive home. And afterwards I dropped past to see my sister, to let her know that I'm trying my hardest to understand and to learn more about her mental illness - but regardless of my lack of understanding (because I don't think anyone can truly understand unless they themselves have a mental illness) I would ALWAYS HAVE HER BACK......
Which brings me to the here and now. I'm currently advocating for my sister. I'm making calls, sending emails and sitting in meetings with her. I'm speaking for her, when she can't speak for herself. And I'm crying with her. Crying for her. Crying all the time. If I had collected all the tears I have shed these past few years, I could break droughts.
What I want most right now is for others to see what I see. To see the amazing person who has been flattened by her demons. To see that although on the outside, she portrays to the world a wild, whacky and weird woman - on the inside, she is fragile, determined, a little bit broken and a little bit weird, but most of all she is WONDERFUL. And to see that she needs help, support, love and understanding - not judgement.
What I want you to know is that people with mental illnesses have families, they have people who care for them, advocate for them and are frightened for them.
I'm struggling a bit to keep my head above water. I have diagnosed myself with "sad-sack-itis" - something I find myself dealing with when I'm dealing with too much other "stuff". So the Ms Midge sewing has taken a bit of a back seat these past few weeks, and will probably unfortunately remain there for a little bit longer. I haven't forgotten about my lovely customers! I HAVE ordered some beautiful Autumn/Winter fabrics with the hopes of making lots of yummy warm outfits for your littlies! And I will be listing them for custom orders in small quantities. There will be no mass production lines or mini collections like I used to churn out! I'm hoping you will stick around and see what I can produce!
A special BIG thank you to those of you who have ordered this past month and have been very patient and understanding. I really do appreciate it!
Soooooo..........onwards and upwards! I'm hoping that by sharing this little piece of me, it will help lift a bit of the burden I'm carrying, and lift the old sad-sack-itis far far away!