I am Alyice (u-lease) and I used to own a small homebased business until my seasonal depression and anxiety made it difficult for me to keep it going.
You see, all my life I wanted nothing more than to be that stereotypical 50’s housewife portrayed in television shows like “I love Lucy” or “Bewitched”. I wouldn’t even have minded being Caroline Ingalls, from “Little House on the Prairie”, if it meant I could still have modern luxuries like a running toilet, washing machines, and a functioning kitchen. And, thanks to a very understanding husband, my Prince Charming, I got to be that.
Even when the entrepreneurial bug beckoned me, and I started a homebased freelance business and online magazine, I was still able to put that business on the backburner any time it interfered with my ultimate dream of being a 50’s housewife and mommy.
Then my children grew up and moved on with their lives. And there I was, in the second half of my life, with no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life or who I wanted to be. On top of experiencing the "empty nest syndrome", life wasn’t being so kind.
Eventually, seasonal depression turned into everyday depression; followed by an anxiety that was sometimes so debilitating I couldn’t even leave the house. As a result, my business suffered and had to be closed.
Meanwhile, my husband suggested that I start creating for the pure joy of being creative... no business goals, no high expectations. I didn't believe that it would help my depression, let alone my anxiety, but I listened.
Every time I felt a panic attack coming on, I gathered my craft supplies and got lost in the act of creating. With each piece I created, I began to find myself again. The stress became more manageable, the anger outbursts lessened, my self-esteem increased, the irrational fear that had been stifling me for so long began to subside, and most importantly, I began to find my happy place—a place outside of being mom, wife, and entrepreneur.
With my newfound confidence, I began gifting my art to anyone who would graciously accept my art. I even mailed my art to distant relatives and long-lost friends.
A few years later, I thought I was ready to start another business. I even went as far as getting a local business license.
But, I wasn't ready.
Every time I set out to move forward with the business, anxiety would cripple me. The anxiety got so bad that I even stopped creating art.
After 3 months of not being able to get beyond the "idea phase" of the business, and realizing that the idea of a business was causing me distress, I asked to cancel my business license.
Today, I do not have depression, but I am still working through my anxiety.
And thanks to my husband's very astute observation, I continue to use art therapy to heal my soul.
If you'd like to see my art, you can find me:
P.S. If you came here looking for The Dabbling Mum online magazine, it closed down back in 2015.