Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Where were you?" "What happened?" "Are you coming back?"

I've had messages containing those questions and others a lot lately so here I am trying to answer them.

My name is Mikki and I have MDD (Major Depressive Disorder).

What that means is I'm prone to severe depression, it doesn't mean I'm bi-polar or have a chemical imbalance.  I've been called sensitive (often overly but that's always by someone who has been completely insensitive to justify their behavior)...I am regular sensitive! I've also worked very hard for the last 30 years to live life with a higher awareness. It makes life tricky. Also when I get depressed I get agoraphobic which does not help matters.

I'm not on drugs....prescribed or otherwise. They don't work for me and can take a depression to the end of the road for know the one that ends with an obituary.  What's always worked for me (because I never had any other option) is solitude....withdrawal. Reach out and talk to people does not work for me...I know, I've tried it.  Once while sitting looking at a pile of pills I was about to take I reached my 'best friend' and when I told her how I was feeling (not easy) she told me she couldn't talk because there was a pair of shoes she wanted to go buy and hung up on me. Another time while waiting for MRI results to tell me if I had a brain tumor or not I reached out to a "call me if you need to talk, I mean it, I'm here for you" friend who after 3 minutes (while I was crying) took another call and forgot about me.  And we won't even mention family because that would make your hair curl.

So you can see why I'm not jumping at the chance to reach out and talk.
Obviously I'm doing better or I wouldn't be writing this.

The "What happened?" question is easily answered.
I trusted someone who, knowing my past with people letting me down, told me "I'm a true friend, I will always have your back" and then promptly wasn't and didn't...and then some!  I'm the poster child for 'No good deed goes unpunished'.

It pushed me over the edge of the cliff I was standing on. I had once again let someone into my life who just wanted to use me. That shakes you to your core when you're attracting the last thing you want.  You realize that your judgement of people sucks and fear of people sets in. You try to just get on with life but it eats at you from the inside....this thing called depression, when not acknowledged starts to shut you down. My beading suffered....I started making really stupid mistakes. My videos suffered the same thing. My tutorial writing also. And that just served to make the depression bigger, deeper, longer.

I had to do a lot of soul searching to find the trigger points.  I come from a family of goes back generations on both sides. I was born an empath.....and the abuse began bringing with it mental illness and I became a very high functioning schizophrenic (I worked very hard on that and was pronounced 'cured' at 40).    I was also born a problem solver, hence being able to overcome schizophrenia, but it's not easy and one of the things you do to solve the problems is keep drawing them into your life till they are fixed.  So because some level of my psyche wants to solve the issue of dealing with narcissism I keep attracting them and I don't know how to stop it other than not letting anyone in close, drawing the line at helping people very closely around me.  

I have to change myself....that's my only area of control.
Writing this is kind of my last 'being open' thing I want to''s an explanation of the change in me and my work. And as I type I argue with myself that I don't need to explain myself.  I am me and that's good enough. I have to give what I have to give, and if it's not enough for someone, well, as a few people have said "not my circus, not my monkeys". 

Am I coming back?  Well....yes. But differently. How differently...I honestly don't know.

Writing tutorials or trying to was making my depression worse...there's nothing like failing at something that used to come easily to worsen depression and make you feel worthless. And complex beading went down the drain one point it took me six attempts to make a simple peyote tube....and I was beginning to hate beads and all their associations.   Try not to stress when that is going on AND it's how you make your living!  I was in the "Pit of Despair" having my life drained out of me a year at a time (see "Princess Bride").

I had to stop pushing myself. I had to fall in love with beads again (not there yet).  So I decided to make some finished jewelry using one of a kind collection of cabs and donuts.  Simple things with clean lines and technical beading. 

I was binge watching "True Blood" (the bottom design is called "Fangbanger Pendant") at the same time which made me play with the 'tusk' or 'fang' gemstones I'd bought in Berkeley. This is a bead shape I have fallen in love with and as I only had the five and couldn't find any anywhere online it made me think of the polymer clay stash I had.  So along with adding a "Finished Jewelry" section to my store I'll also be adding a "Polymer Clay" section. 

I am a little addicted to making 'fangs' right now and there will be a large variety (many one of a kinds) in my store but I have some other designs in the works too.

I'm hoping that the polymer components will get me back into writing tutorials that use them but I also hope people will use them for their own designs. My stomach still pretty much turns to stone and I still feel like throwing up when I think about writing but I know at some point I'll get past it....sooner rather than later I hope.

I have closed the Bead Mavens blog as I need to focus on my own business/life but it will stay up so everyone can access the info and freebies. Everything is I work, how I look (I'm now a blonde), how I design and what I design.  I'm beginning to feel myself again although I'm now Newme (no! not Sarah), still compassionate and kind but not fairy blood to a vampire.

I have learned one major thing.....when someone says "I have your back" I think I'm getting this:

But I'm probably getting this:

I will survive!


  1. Great post Mikki, so happy to see you working through this. You know yourself better than anyone and you know what is best for you. We all see the 'talk to someone' PSA's but unfortunately people to talk to are few, and by nature humans are unreliable and selfish and their reactions can make thing worse. Take your time, sending lots of love your way. xx

  2. I don't think there's anything I can say to make things better, so I'm sending you (((hugs))) and hope for a positive, happy future. Also, those fangs are fierce! Gorgeous! ((hugs)) again. ~Val

  3. There are no words to make it better. You've said it all. It's good to see you resurfacing and I love the new direction you're taking. I'm a "trust no one" (except my children) person. Anyone who feels the need to tell me they have my back is just a manipulator, If they truly have my back they won't need to tell It's good to see you're endeavoring to overcome your past.

  4. Mikki, it takes true courage to write what you just have. I only know you as a designer and buy your patterns, but your openness about your depression and the people who serve no good is so right on. I hope the days will continue to get better...blondes have more fun they say....grins. I look forward to getting some fangs, they are beautiful. Please take care....I moved my target to my forehead....I like to look people in the eye when they want target practice. Have a very nice evening!

  5. Keep on keeping on, Mikki. Your work is totally inspiring. And your business sense as well. I look at the number of tutorial sales you have on Artfire and I'm amazed. We all need people like you in our lives.

  6. I guess I am not help, because I am reaching the bottom myself. Just want to let you know that the world craves Mikki Ferrugiaro and we are ready when you are :)

  7. Keep on pushing your way back, Mikki. It will be worth it in the end. I've been in your shoes and I understand how difficult it is to get back up. There are a lot of people who are rooting for you, who want you to succeed, whatever you choose to do.

  8. I was just thinking about you last night, mikki!..I hadn't seen you on fb, and was hoping you were okay. I'm glad for you, now, and that you're continuing to recover. I'm not a close enough 'friend' to say much else..but I do think about you and hoping for the best for you

  9. Very brave of you to write about your issues. I have some understanding of what you're going through having been/being in a similar place myself.

    I adore the fangs and pieces you've shown.

    Keep on keeping on. One day you may find someone to talk to who 'gets it', unfortunately there are a lot of people around who don't.

  10. As another Lynn said, keep on keeping on...wherever that takes you. Peace and hugs.

  11. g-d speed Mikki (and Aurelio), two of my favorite and brilliantly talented designers. I guess with extreme talent comes other extremes. Thinking of you...

  12. I have never read a better description of severe depression. I can totally relate! Because you are a smart, savvy, talented ("and dog gone it, people like you!") individual, I believe you will be able to make sure the demons keep their distance! And if that means you have to let some things go to reduce stress, then by all means, let them go! When the bad thoughts come into my mind, I picture a large red STOP sign to keep me from going there. I wish you success! Peace!

  13. Also, Mikki, you don't have to create tutorials for everything you design. You are an artist! Like a magician, you do not need to explain the magic. Feel free to design without the need for the paperwork. If some one asks, just say "No", no explanation necessary. "No" is the most liberating word in any language!

  14. Am so glad to hear that you are coming through the other side now and wishing you all the best! Glad to see you're a True Blood fan too and I love the pendant! Take your time and give yourself lots of T L C ! Sending lots of good wishes from Norfolk, England! x

  15. Oh Mikki when I read this post I felt as if I had written it myself. I also suffer from Major depression - reactive (not endogenous) and I tend to allow myself to be used over and over again. I never seem to learn the lesson. I know all about the agoraphobia too, so so terrible, and the panic attacks. I survive by shutting myself down a lot as well for my own protection. I have a couple of very good friends who have always had my back and I know I am so very lucky to have them. I am so unsure of making new friendships, I just can't trust anyone. Take care my facebook friend. I really enjoy your posts and looking at the incredible things you make. If it helps I am told that most really creative people suffer from depression, the "black dog" seems to be always stalking us. Why did we have to be given a gift just to have "payback" with the despair of depressions. Take care lovely lady , you are so very brave to have written this post. I don't think I would have had the courage to do so. Blessings.

  16. Thanks everyone for the kind words and support.
    Depression is a very common thing today but not spoken about much though with the death of Robin Williams it's gained a platform. His death hit me hard as I was struggling at the time and I thought 'if he can't handle it with a loving family, world appreciation and financial security how on earth can I?' But I think it must be worse to have all that and still be depressed. I was surprised that so many people were shocked at his depression, surprised that he felt that way. Had they never actually listened to his comedy? Looked in his eyes? Because I always saw it....even in the Mork days. Maybe it takes one to know one.

    One thing I feel strongly about in life is that things not be hidden. I grew up in home where things were never felt like an elephant graveyard, I could have skied moguls in the living room so much was swept under the carpet. Nothing gets better when you ignore or hide it. And this totally suits the people who behave badly....they will tell you indignantly and accusatory that "it's between you and me" because they don't want the world to know who they truly are. And that leaves you carrying the burden. I just wish everyone would stop carrying the burdens and let honesty in....or out.

    It seems we, as a society and individually, tiptoe around the un-nice so they won't turn their un-niceness on us, so we don't rock the boat because we all know hatred has the bigger voice and the harder fist. We live in a Dystopian society....there are zombies all around us. They may not be the zombies of the movies but you can recognize them by the addictive cell phone use that renders them unaware of their surroundings. You can groups of the right now lined up at stores for the iPhone6...gotta have, gotta have. To be an aware person in this current society is incredibly depressing and the 'bravery' or 'courage' is not in talking about it but continuing to live in it.

  17. You are very forthright and strong. I've enjoyed what you've created in the past and I'm liking what you're working on now.
    Do what works for you and know that others care, and hugs.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing your pain and steps toward recovery with us. I think I've been in denial about depression for a long time and still tend to stay in the closet with it. I also have a long history of giving and fixing and being used then dumped. Usually by people I genuinely loved and regarded as close family. It really hurts and takes a toll on one. I haven't been around much either, and certainly haven't done much in the beading department. I'm glad something nudged me into looking on your page tonight. Hugs and honest, good wishes.


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