I don’t do many personal posts but many of you have been asking why I haven’t updated my blog since January.
Some of you know and some don’t. On February 16th, while we were out of town, my husband had a massive heart attack. We were driving to Utica to go to a huge fishing sale at Bass ProShops. The day was going great, then all of a sudden he said he didn’t feel well, asked me to look up where the nearest hospital was. Then he said no call 911 and he pulled over. This all happened in a matter of minutes, no warning at all. He didn’t have the normal symptoms that a man would have like a tightening in the chest or numbness in his arm. His symptoms we more subtle, the doctors said it was very similar to what a woman would have. He got extremely sleepy and broke out in a cold sweat.
Learn how to spot the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke
Not only were we 90 minutes from our house, I was suddenly all alone while he was whisked away in an ambulance lights and sirens blaring. I had no idea where I was never mind trying to find the hospital. They said I couldn’t follow them since they would not be obeying any traffic lights or signs, time was not on our side and every minute counted. I burst into tears, but one EMT was so understanding and stayed behind so I could follow him.
In the ER his room was a flurry of activity it seemed like doctors and nurses were everywhere, the doctor told me he was having a massive heart attack and they needed to get him to the cath lab ASAP. I barely got to see him before they ran off with him down the hall to the elevators. Again I was left alone trying to come to grips with what was happening and sitting all alone in a waiting room since it was late on a Saturday afternoon. I was able to get in touch with my children who all left their homes in Albany and Connecticut then rushed to Utica to be with me and their father.
Turns out he had 90% blockage in one artery and a small tear that they were able to repair. The doctor’s called it a widow maker and that we were very lucky we were so close to the hospital and that the EMTs were able to get him there in time. If we were home he would have just laid down thinking he was tired and just not feeling well. He probably would never had woken up. We definitely had angels with us that day. He spent several days in Cardiac ICU, my daughter and oldest son stayed with me in Utica until he was released. I told my other two sons to go home so they wouldn’t miss work , my one son’s fiance had school and I needed my youngest to take care of my animals.
When something like this happens it shakes you to the very core. I have been with this man for more than half my life and he is my rock. I had no desire to do much of anything, let alone stamping. Some days it was a struggle to get out of bed and go to work. Every time we were apart I was so worried something was going to happen.
So my stamping took a back burner and during this time I completely lost my creativity. I knew I had to get out of my funk but wasn’t sure how.
I read many articles on how art and crafting have been shown to be extremely therapeutic. One article I found focused on a young woman who lost her brother suddenly. She would have anxiety and panic attacks, what helped her? Knitting.
Another article stated that crafting, no matter what the craft, be it knitting, painting, and even paper crafting help in stress reduction. Although it differs from art therapy, craft therapy can still be extremely beneficial. I didn’t really feel like stamping but these articles inspired me to try. Maybe it could help me too.
I started out by cleaning and organizing my stamp room. I wasn’t quite ready to jump right into stamping. Then I picked some of favorite sets and colors then played a little here and there. Before I knew it it was April and time for OnStage in Atlantic City. Even thought I still had no creativity in me I went. For the first time at a Stampin’ Up! event I had no swaps with me, I just didn’t feel like doing any and that was OK.
I really had a great time with my daughter and two very dear friends. I had so much fun seeing the new catalog and all the products from the new catalog and talking with people I haven’t seen in a while. We stamped and laughed and for the first time in months I relaxed and didn’t dwell on what had happened to Brian. I realized all those articles were on to something, crafting really did take my mind off things and made feel happy again.
With my husband’s encouragement, I came home and got back in my stamp room, a little at a time. Before I knew it I was really enjoying myself and realized how much I truly love stamping and how much joy it has brought me over the years. When I’m in my stamp room, I am lost in my own little world. I watch sappy Hallmark movies and just have fun, forgetting about life for a bit. Stamping really did bring be back from a place I didn’t want to be. I am sure many people can relate to this that’s why I am sharing something so personal.
My hope is that stamping or any craft can help others the way it has helped me.
Yesterday was the first time I had posted on my blog in quite some time, I really had so much fun planning my September Online Class and creating the projects.
I have a lot of projects to share and videos to make in the upcoming months. I am happy to say I am on the mend and have my favorite hobby to thank for it.
If you do find yourself in a place where you might need professional help for depression or anxiety please don’t be afraid and reach out. Everyone needs help once in a while.
Making the world a happier place, one card at a time.
2 thoughts on “Stamping for therapy and stress relief – a personal journey”
Oh my word. You’ve had a lot on your plate and I’m glad your husband and you are doing better. It does shake you to the core and proves how fragile life can be. Thank you for writing your thoughts and steps of your journey. It had to have been hard. Take care of each other and count your blessings. Betty Cox Milwaukie OR
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Thank you Betty! It wasn’t an easy post to write. We do count our blessings every day. I really think his Guardian Angel was there that day putting us so close to the hospital, we were just out in the country with no cell service. It happened as we entered the city. Thank you again for the kind words, blessings to you and your family.