Last week was tough. I get depressed from time to time; I've struggled with it for years. My "brand" of depression isn't the kind where I think of hurting myself or anything, it's more like I just don't like myself. When I get this way, there's nothing I can do to convince myself that I'm not a bad person or that my "art" doesn't suck. When one of "those" customers comes along at a time when I'm in one of these funks, it's a recipe for disaster and that's what happened last week.
All I wanted to do was pull the covers up over my head, shut out the world and sleep. Avoidance is the best remedy, right? Instead I opened every message from this customer pointing out my flaws and took them to heart. Obsessed over them. Questioned myself. Couldn't sleep. Couldn't create.
Thankfully I have a small group of people to whom I can whine and complain and the remarkable thing is that they understand. They don't think I'm crazy (even when I do) and they don't make me feel worse for having given in to the whining and complaining. They listen and commiserate and offer advice from having been there themselves. The best advice I got was this: every time you get one of those negative messages, just say "thank you" (in your head) for the reminder of how you never want to be and how you never want to make someone else feel.
They also told me to take some time for myself and create just for the joy of creating. I usually find inspiration in my beads and cord, so I pulled a soothing palette with some beautiful turquoise and teal colors with ecru and bronze and spent a few days not worrying about my upcoming classes or the tutorial I need to write.
Things are feeling better now. I'm feeling my creativity return and I'm getting excited for the class I'm teaching this weekend. And I have a new policy: I'm no longer going to respond to negative messages. I'm giving myself permission to ignore them and move on and I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.