Posted in Life Mental Health

Quarantine diary / iSewlation / food / April-May 2020

Quarantine diary / iSewlation / food / April-May 2020 Posted on 17/05/20209 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

I’ve been in self-isolation hibernation. How’s about you, friends? My grey matter has regressed extraordinarily, and/or it’s been another Olympian feat of dissociation (more likely). Something I discovered in recent times is that my brain’s reaction to stress or trauma is to pare down to emergency function only. I am a world champion at compartmentalising. It keeps me safe and helps me manage a bit better! It also means I forget Everything Ever, which is a curious side effect of my upbringing. At times like these I enjoy spending time in other worlds like exploring Red Dead Redemption 2, or in watching calming Korean lifestyle vlogs, and appreciating the safe cocoon of home. I’m coping, probably, a bit too well with the enforced separation from other humans. I like curling up in my nest.

I think that all I’ve really missed socially is the….company…..of my gentleman friends. But this is a privileged gripe if ever there was one, so I put it to one side and enjoy the domesticity of life right now.

I’ve been sewing too. Amongst other things, I made two of my planned Make Nine 2020 makes: the Helen’s Closet York Pinafore (in a lovely wine-red corduroy) and the Tilly & the Buttons Indigo smock top (in a lightweight black polka dot viscose). I also made a big ol’ load of scrub bags for our local NHS hospitals, and a supply of washable cloth masks at the request of family.

I also made (not pictured) another of the McCall’s shift dress that was my first make, but in a deep red linen mix material. I also made the Cashmerette Concord t-shirt in a lightweight stretch jersey in black and grey stripes. In all, that’s five makes using four different patterns, which isn’t too bad as far as the schedule is concerned.

I’m all out of fabric in large enough quantities to make any further patterns at the moment, and I’m trying to be more frugal with my cash, so I’ll wait until my next payday rolls around and see what I can do in terms of buying for another project. It’s possibly a bit of a misnomer that sewing your own clothes is cheaper than buying – there are some stunning fabrics out there, but boy can they add up in cost depending on the size of the garment. I’d love to have a go at the Twig & Tale Fernway culottes next, maybe in a nice linen mix in time for the summer.

I’ve also been trying to drag myself back onto the wagon of not-binge-eating, which has been challenging, despite extra time to prep meals that are kinder to my insides. Since I had my T2 Diabetes diagnosis last year, I actually put it entirely into remission for a long period of time, needing no meds or medical intervention. I swung my HbA1c from 53 right back down to 40 in a period of three months. My weight didn’t change much; I had been concentrating on lower carb and higher fat/protein meals and that worked wonderfully for my blood glucose levels. I had also just begun a course of Cognitive Analytical Therapy before lockdown began, and one of the key items on the agenda was my binge-eating behaviours. I actually started my self-isolation slightly earlier than the rest of the country as my (wonderful) boss sent me home to work there a good week-ish before the whole company was given the same instruction. So, my CAT sessions were stopped almost before they began, and I was left alone to manage the whole sorry situation. I took myself off for a voluntary blood test last week as I felt sure my control was slipping badly. The test results confirmed as much, and so I’m concentrating on getting those blood glucose levels down again and my therapist and I will attempt to begin virtual/remote sessions next week 🤞🏻 (I document my lower-carb vegan meal efforts over on my Instagram stories daily when I remember to.)

I have a lot of complicated feelings about this whole business that are so very hard to untangle. I’ve read a lot about intuitive eating in the last few months and I am beginning to realise that the ‘intuition’ part of the process is badly broken for me, resulting in the disordered eating behaviours that are harming my body. This is what I hope the therapy sessions can address in a more formal way. The vast majority of what I’ve read on the topic seems targeted….not so much at folks like me. I would love to put restrictive eating behaviours to one side, but the reality is that they will improve my physical health right now in the absence of my ability to trust my body’s cues. Tough times. Much feelings.

I sure hope that you are all doing okay though, friends. Tell me how life is for you right now. I am extraordinarily lucky to have my income, my safe and cosy home, the best canine companion ever, the daily visits from the birds at my balcony feeders, fresh flowers every weekend, and the ability to keep up to date with my friends remotely. I apologise to those of you I’m not doing a great job of keeping up to date with; I am sending you all the bestest and happiest wishes right now 💚


Follow me:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Mailing list

Like my content?

9 comments

  1. I think I was doing better at the outset than now. It’s my 10th week in isolation. The relaxing of some of the restrictions has just made me more anxious. Things seem really hard, and it’s a real struggle. But I’ve found the blogging community to be helpful.

    1. Funnily enough I think I get better as time goes by, but I am extremely lucky in that I can work entirely from home and there’s no real need to go out. I also worry about the easing of restrictions as I know it means less “the ‘rona is going away” and more “we now have room for you in ICU” 🙁

  2. I’ve been watching a bit of the sewing bee on the telly, and debating whether to drag out the sewing machine and attempt to make something. I hate shopping, and was wondering maybe if DIY is the answer! Where do you go to find nice patterns? Sending you good vibes through the ether for continuining lockdown, a way through with the CAT on pause, and sorting out the blood sugar.

    1. Thank you! And I really highly recommend starting with DIY sewing, mostly as it’s a way to get better fitting clothes and also when you find a good pattern that you love, you can use it again and again and again. I like https://thefoldline.com/ for searching out patterns both from the “Big Four” longstanding pattern companies (McCalls, Simplicity, New Look, Burda) and indie designers. It has a searchable database with reviews linked to patterns so you can see how they look on different bodies. You can also Insta-hashtag search a pattern maker/name to see how it looks on people too, and envision it in different fabrics. I started with a really simple beginner-friendly dress and moved on from there. Tilly & the Buttons is a popular indie designer with really thorough instructions and some beginner-friendly patterns 🙂

  3. Your sewing is lovely!
    And I shed a little tear at how cute Vulpe touching noses with her friend was.
    I am doing my best. On leave from work as I live with my parents who are over 70, and being a vet is just too much exposure to people coming in and out of the clinic (our clinic never went to curbside). But at least in my state we are doing OK. But they are easing restrictions and that is terrifying me about a second wave, as many people seem to be acting like everything is back to normal and aren’t following guidelines about distancing in particular. So I watch and wait.

    1. I agree about the second wave scariness – I mentioned in another comment but it’s because many people seems to think this means “the virus is going away” whereas what it really means is that there is room in hospitals for the second wave now 🙁

      It sounds like you are doing the sensible thing and I hope that you and your parents are doing okay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram