When obsessing goes overboard

The image above is of my latchhooking project. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever done – I’ve been working on it for a month, and have at least another month of solid work to go. The day the image was taken, I had done 7,921 stitches and had 8,010 stitches to go. It’s HUGE.

I tend to obsess over my crafting projects. I know that I do this; I am prone to obsessing and I find it very pleasant to get consumed by a project for a month or two until I finish it. That said, until yesterday I did not know just how obsessed I get.

I actually haven’t written much for my blog in that time. I have either written off-the-cuff posts about things that were pressing right then or relied on pre-written posts in my slowly dwindling pending folder. The reason for this is that I’ve been latchhooking. All my “creating stuff” time is spent on that project.

Yesterday* was supposed to be different, though. See, my hands have been hurting. Constantly. For days. I had decided that it would be prudent to take a day off to give my hands a chance to heal.

It didn’t work.

I fidgeted, I flailed, I twitched, I browsed the internet, I watched TV, and eventually I picked up my project and started working. Over 400 stitches later I realized that I had done the opposite of taking a day off. I realized that my obsession seemed to be a wee bit out of my control. I had even kept putting it down, talking about how I meant to take the day off from it, and then picking it back up again.

The reason I am writing this post instead of working on my latchhook more is that last night Nee took it away from me,** because seriously my hands need some time off. Even typing hurts. I washed the dishes today, and that was downright painful. Yet still, it’s challenging for me to think about doing anything else. Even the act of writing this post is kind of a cheat – I’m writing about doing latchhooking, and about thinking of latchhooking.

All of which is to say, apparently I will obsess to the point that it will become an actual detriment to my health. I am 34 years old, and I still sometimes need someone to help me take care of myself, because overcoming an obsession to do something is incredibly challenging. My desire to work on my project is greater than my desire to not be in pain.

This is really quite an interesting learning experience here. I guess at some point I’m going to need to think up some strategies for balancing an obsession to do a craft, and taking care of myself.

Follow up: Ok, today is Wednesday. I am still not latchhooking. My hands are mostly better, but there is still one specific spot on one finger that continues to be painful. I’m thinking I’ll start back up again tomorrow, and anticipate getting consumed by the project once again. Hopefully my hands won’t complain too much.

* I wrote this post on Monday, but am posting it today.

** consensually. Nee does not try to dictate what I do with myself.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “When obsessing goes overboard

  1. Tricia Corley

    I have similar issues. Especially with collecting things. I get very obsessed with the whole whatever it is that I’m doing. Look at my nails, I do them 2-3 times a week. I don’t think that’s very normal. Sometimes I do them daily.

    As for dealing with your obsession, you’re not a failure as an adult to have help with this. I have help with all my collecting instincts. And my nails. It helps.

    (and I’m still very tired from working all weekend and my reply is so much less than what I want to write, but I just can’t make works go…)

  2. That’s an amazing rug–absolutely beautiful! I hope your hands are better soon. Moderation is really hard to master!