Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hormonal Sewing?


Just this morning a blog post by Julia Bobbin  brought back many thoughts of inspired sewing moments, or should I say binges? She references sewing creativity peaking during ovulation. While my eggs have long since parked their butts and dried up before heading down the Fallopian highway anymore, this brought back a lot of memories.

Do you get times when your sewing madness just binges with a drive that won't let you quit? While I never found ovulation to be my peak sewing time (isn't it the peak for something else?) that week before my period was gang busters! That is when I would shop, spend too much money, cut out too many patterns, and sew way into the night in an estrogen inspired haze that guilted me as soon as I started to flow. TMI! I would get ideas that begged to be realized and a drive that blocked out the dietary and laundry needs of the rest of my family. Call it Positive PMS. Truth is, if I didn't get to express  myself creatively at this time, we got into Negative PMS and you don't want to know what that was like. The good thing was DH didn't take long to learn it was a wise man who stayed out of my way. And I did always come up with some fantastical result that he would be very proud of. And peace was kept in the family. And as long as I was pumping out art in my basement sewing room, I was not going into family meltdown with the other two females in our home, who like in any larger group of women, manage to cycle at the same time!


Another experience I had with creativity that sticks out has to do with medication. Some years back I was in an auto accident and got a second concussion. I say that because I had a third last summer when I banged my face up. Anyway, after that second concussion I experienced something called Post Concussive Syndrome, turning into a maniacal different personality who couldn't walk a straight line or speak a coherent sentence. Luckily DH got me to the doctor fast. If you've had a family member diagnosed with concussion you know they always tell you "watch for personality changes". Well this one changed and went haywire. Anyway, my good doctor prescribed the standard treatment, a run of Prozac, and it helped tremendously and quickly helping to get my brain back in balance. My personality was in balance. Relationships were in balance. Life was in balance. Prozac will do that to you, everything is in good ole boring boring balance. It didn't take long to realize that the excitement/high of creativity was gone from my life. How can you have a high from sewing and creating when everything is always in balance? It's like this really important part of your life has just kind of sunk back into some hidden place not wanting to come out and play at all.

I got over the Syndrome business, got off the Prozac, and felt lots better. My creativity came soaring back like the good old days, especially before the start of my periods, just like the those Positive PMS days always did.

I can tell you that with the Big Meno, that creativity does not go away. I seem to have it at a slightly lower level, not so manic, but it is consistently there, day in and day out, just in case you were wondering about the next phase of hormone induced sewing passion. I like that it is not so maniacal. I like that everyday I feel inspired to sew and create, day in and day out. That is a good, satisfying thing.

Here's my question: have you found your focus and inspiration altered by hormones or medication or anything else? Inquiring minds want to know!....Bunny

16 comments:

  1. I hit menopause at 32, due to surgery, and have been medicated with various substances since :-). I found my creativity peaked, and leveled at a higher than normal level when I a)quit drinking alcohol and then b)retired from teaching junior high. Now, you might say that retiring from teaching junior high led me to the realization that I no longer needed to drink but actually the two were not causal.

    Great post Bunny, and will prompt a lot of thought.

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    1. Congratulations on overcoming the alcohol. You should be very proud of yourself. I have heard many musical artists say how their work improved once they quit their substance issues. Your comparison of the junior high and the drinking did bring a smile to my face, in a good sort of way.

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  2. Very interesting post, Bunny! In years, past I did notice heightened abilities in the days leading up to the start of menstruation. For example, in college, I aced tests on those days. At work, I gave better presentations or led meetings better. I was really jacked up.
    I hit menopause due to surgery at age 50, and since then it feels like my creative energy is stable and more consistent. I really feel good in that area of my life and grateful for it, too. Menopause has been very, very good for me.

    Oh - btw- email me about fabric for window treatments. I can send you a swatch to see if you like it. I'd be happy to send you as much as you need.

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    1. Will do! Your experience is right on with mine. I found that that week before, everything was exaggerated, hunger, creativity, sex, energy, closing sales at work, you name it, whatever was going on was over the top for a few days. Like you, I am very content with where I am now. It is great to not be beholden to something you can't control. I am so glad those days are over. I like my body better now too. Who said all that bad stuff about getting old? I don't even like that phrase. I just prefer to say "aging".

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    2. Well put! It is great to not be beholden to something you can't control.
      I am so glad those days are over, too!

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  3. I'm like a roller coaster: up and down according to the days of my cycle. At my peak I clean like a maniac. The rest of the three weeks I sew, knit or embroider. I'm 46 years old so I'll be in this roller coaster for a few more years.

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  4. I think I've been menopausal all my life - Ha! Still I do my best work at 4 a.m. That's when I'm cutting, stitching, smocking, you name it.

    Lynette
    Puerto Rico

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  5. What a great post! Now that I think about it, I am more creative at that time of the month. However, as I'm in my 40's my mood swings have gotten worse !

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    1. It seems the peri menopausal forties have been pretty creative and moody for a lot of us! They sure were for me.

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  6. Being a teacher I'm definitely more creative in the summer. Well...having said that...let me correct it. During the school year so much of my creativity, energy and patience are spent during the school day that I often don't have anything left for sewing in the evenings or weekends. During the summer I can really immerse myself in a project and work intensively start to finish. While I love teaching, there is nothing like an all-consuming summer sewing project!

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  7. Interesting concept, Bunny. I've never really thought about cycles and creativity. I guess I just assumed it was all part of the normal ebb and flow. I do know many people who resist taking mood-stabilizing drugs because they seem to stint creativity, ie, no more manic stages. I find life much more even these days (in my 60's). My only sewing related emotional events happen when I have to be away from my sewing room for too long! I get a little antsy and out of sorts then!

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    1. Amen to that as I work through this flood mess going on down there. At some point my fun will be cut off but up until that moment I am at it. Like I've said before - if Momma ain't sewin', Momma ain't happy!

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  8. Extremely interesting post.... first of all, can't say that I can relate creativity to the monthly cycles, and without periods anymore (hysterectomy) I'm honestly not sure what my body is doing at almost 48.

    But, the comment about personality changes after a concussion - THAT struck me in a huge way. My teen son had a concussion in spring 2011. He was out of school for a couple of months, it was not a good time, definitely had the post concussive syndrome. While we expected the nausea, bad memory, headaches, etc. I didn't realize that personality changes came with it. He ended up depressed, but didn't know that was the problem and tried to hide it - thought it was chronic sinusitis related, long story - and started cutting. He is now on Lexapro and doing much better, but all of this started after the concussion. Looking back, I wonder if we would have never gone through this living nightmare of depression/cutting etc. if he had never had that concussion. Ok, time to stop because I am starting to cry again....

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    1. Angela, that is really tough stuff. Luckily I flipped out a few days after the accident, not much time lapsed and DH got me to the doc immediately. Sorry to hear about your son and I pray he is blessed with a permanent recovery.

      I couldn't walk a straight line and my speech was screwed up too. The brain is such an amazingly beautiful and complex piece of machinery, isn't it?

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  9. Sigh. MY taste goes totally in the toilet if I am about the paddle the bleak river Menses. Major bad decisions and choices- much plaid, yes, much plaid.

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    1. The River Menses, I love it, LOL!!!

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