Hello everyone! I thought I’d introduce myself. I have a fear of being in the public eye, so I never share many personal things on the internet. I’ll share a little bit for now so you can get to know me.
I’m Shelby and I’m 25 years old. My plan wasn’t to start a business or be an artist but things kind of pushed me in that direction. When I was a kid and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d always say ‘my dream is an artist or writer but realistically I’ll probably be a nurse or something’. How boring and sad.
The worst experience of my life so far has changed my course for the better. At 19 I had to leave college and quit my job because of sudden mood swings and crazy symptoms. I tried to keep other jobs but my issues kept getting worse. I’d had 7 jobs by the time I was 21. I knew something was wrong but had no idea how to tackle it. A week after my 21st birthday I got my first diagnosis that sent me down a totally different path than I had planned for myself. Bipolar type 2.
Most people consider it the ‘milder’ type of bipolar, but it still wreaks havoc. So began my four year journey of unintended self discovery while I wallowed in my chair with only a crochet hook and yarn.
Every time I look at what became ‘my chair’ in the living room, I’m overcome with deep nostalgia and memories over what I know was a time of total transformation. I would never go back to that time if given the choice. It’s not good memories. The cushion sags on one side from worn out springs where I sat – all day every day, and often all night – in a depressed, soul searching stupor.
Medications, side-effects, and a horrible battle between drug-induced fatigue and insomnia ruled my life for a while there. When I could muster up the energy I did what brought me the only sliver of happiness I had then: I created. Painted, drew, crocheted, crafted. I did it all, experimenting and trying new things. I just thought it was an outlet. I had no idea that I was perfecting skills that I would use a few years later.
Very slowly after medicinal trial and error, therapy and a whole lot of praying, I came out on the other side. I became stable when many others never do. I’m not sure if it was luck or anger fueled determination that caused me to become stable. Things went well for a while until mid 2019 when I knew that my problems weren’t over.
A whole array of things that were previously covered up by uncontrolled bipolar began to reveal themselves. Eye issues, high blood pressure beginning at 23 years old, hair falling out to the point of wearing a wig for a while, pre-diabetes, hot flashes, mild fevers, a different level of fatigue, sore joints, sun sensitivity, muscle weakness. I could go on and on but there’d never be a blog post long enough to cover it.
In March of this year, 2020, my symptoms got understandably worse from stress. I began to see specialists and in April I tested positive for hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s an auto-immune disease that attacks the thyroid causing it to malfunction. Even though it’s just my thyroid that technically has the issue, unfortunately, symptoms for all auto-immune diseases are very much the same in most cases.
After that diagnosis everything seemed to come together. I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and gallstones. I had surgery in July 2020 to remove my gallbladder that had been causing me pain for months. After that things got much better! I had already started to change my eating habits to an anti-inflammatory diet in April so by the time I had recovered from my surgery I had discovered a lot about my body.
While all this was going on in 2020, my business was unknowingly being put together. I decided to write a few crochet patterns to see where it went. That turned into great crochet community friends, then a growing instagram following of crafters, which turned into a site.
In the beginning I didn’t think of what I was doing as a business. Then I joked about it being a business. Then almost overnight it hit me that it is a business. The same day that I realized that was the same day I had finally begun to see the path my life had been redirected. The darkest time I’ve been through had steered me toward the life I really wanted. Creating every day and putting little pieces of who I am into art to send to people everywhere. I still struggle and I’m still seeing specialists to determine additional diagnoses but I’m in such a different headspace than I used to be even before I was sick. Creating is my purpose.
Now that I have been somewhat revealed I’ll step away from my podium. Even if this goes nowhere, I’m going to be happy with getting this far. I hope you enjoy browsing my site, my greatest accomplishment in so many ways, and find a little happiness in my pieces.