Now I just find that thinking funny. I had no idea at the time, of course, but it would turn out that I'm a good beader. I've been complemented and given awesome opportunities for growth in my skills. What I've discovered is that beading has many benefits; even more than those I discussed in my
Beading My Way To Wellness
The I Did It Factor
Does it ever feel like you're losing to a chronic illness, watching your ability to function drop? Sometimes I feel that way. I've found that beading has been a safe environment in which to challenge myself and promote growth. It's always great when you can say "I did it! I really and truly did it!"
I've had a few bracelets that really challenged me. I wish I had pictures of some of them to show, but you'll have to trust my descriptions of them for now. If I get pictures, I'll add them to this entry.
This first bracelet wasn't actually a beading project, instead, I was creating stamped leather. It has the words "peace calm" on it with a star in the middle where you might expect the word "and". It's been stained blue. Stamping leather involves a hammer like instrument and it was definitely a challenge to stamp it well. If the pressure wasn't applied evenly, it would make portions of the letters appear fainter or not appear at all. At one point, I wanted to throw down the tools in frustration, but the occupational therapist wouldn't let me. She knew that if I finished the bracelet, I'd gain a confidence boost because I'd done something difficult and succeeded.
And you know what, dear reader? I did it, without injuring my finger with the hammer-like thing I used to stamp the letter tiles into the leather. And I did feel more confident, it was a project I might have said I couldn't tackle but I did and that bracelet is an excellent reminder of that.
Trying on Emotions
I have several pieces of jewlry which inspire emotion. Maybe it's my affirmation bracelet, my peace and calm bracelet, my "power necklace" or a necklace I wore to an important meeting which was successful, but whatever it is, it helps me evoke positive emotions. That can be important when you feel sick. Sometimes we forget that we are all truly beautiful and our chronic illnesses can never, ever, take that away. And on a bad day, wearing a bracelet to feel better isn't a bad idea, it's less messy than make up would be, but still affirms your beauty. And knowing that you're the one who made it can add to that feeling.
Distraction from Pain
I find that the rhythmic quality of beading is incredibly relaxing. I put on my favorite music, whatever fits for the day, and sit down with a good project. If I'm feeling really bad from the migraines or the RSDS/CRPS, I may only last short bursts at a time,. Those short vacations are the anchors I need to keep away from self-pity and despair.
So for me, crafting has a lot to do with helping my quality of life; even though I'm not necessarily making anything that helps with my chronic illnesses as a medical device.