I have clinical depression. I have been struggling with it for years but a couple weeks ago I had what my therapist called a “crying episode”. I call it a depression attack cause I think that describes it better. Basically it is a stretch of time where all I can do is cry, I can’t think or do anything else, even talk really. This inspired a new embroidery piece, pictures and description below.

This is the pattern I drew on paper first, to give myself a guideline for the piece.

I traced the pattern onto the fabric with pencil, the picture of that didn’t really come out, then I backstitched the outline in the correct colors.

I used chain stitch to create the texture of the hair. I wasn’t sure about using chain stitch but I couldn’t come up with a stitch that would give me a better hair texture. I was trying to think of something that would be a bit fluffy, but I couldn’t find a stitch like that. The chain stitch worked pretty well though.

The black is the depression. The central swirly bit is the overwhelming ache that is the biggest part of the depression attack. The jagged lines radiating from the swirl show how the ache spreads and takes over the whole body, and the whole person. The texture of the black lines turned out a lot more jaggedy and less smooth than I originally pictured, but I like it this way. The jagged edges seem more right than smooth lines.

I considered adding lines around the outline of the person, partly just to fill up the background, but decided not to. I have a tendency to make pieces overly complex, and I plan to make a custom sized frame for the piece that won’t leave a lot of empty background showing, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

After I had recovered some a friend (whose blog I will link to once she starts one! hint hint) sent me a link to make a bracelet with a reminder that “depression lies”. I printed the bracelet on paper like it’s intended but wanted a more comfortable one that would last longer so, with help from my mother, I printed out another one on fabric. I also printed one for my friend who sent me the link, which is what is in the picture, cause she needs the reminder too.





One response to this post.

  1. As a fellow sufferer of depressive episodes, and a stitcher, I think your embroidery captures the essence of depression wonderfully. “Depression lies” is such a good thing to remind ourselves of too.


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