Me Made May ’15: here’s to a month of positivity

Me Made May 1

This started out about my now-yearly  blog post about why I’m signing up for Me Made May, but has turned into something a little different. So please, humour me for a minute while I get completely personal on you all.

About 6 months ago, I started taking the pill again. I last took it until I was about 21 and had no discernible issues. This time, I don’t think I’ve been so lucky.

For the last few months, I’ve been struggling with some of the most intense and unpredictable mood swings I’ve ever experienced in my life. At points my mood has been lower than it has ever been before, I have struggled to concentrate at work and I’ve been more negative and cynical than I usually am. When it hits me, it feels like I’m stuck in a pit of despair and just can’t get out.

I sleep it off, try to make the most of a new day but then something triggers the cycle all over again. It’s just not me. I’m the girl who once did a six-hour Karate grading with a chest infection – I like to think I’m tough. Not that people with mental health issues aren’t tough, because my god, they are some of the toughest people I know.

It’s more this debilitating recurring feeling that I can’t do my job, my blog, anything right has shaken me to the core. Whatever has been happening for these last few months has undermined everything I thought I knew about myself and my personality. It’s jarring.

I went to my doctor yesterday, who was brilliant and gave me lots of options including counselling if I want it. Here’s hoping now I’m *officially* off the pill, my moods may get a little closer to what I’m used to. Fortunately, I’ve caught it soon enough before it did any serious damage and I’m already feeling 10 times better than this time last week.

For a few reasons, I don’t usually like writing about this stuff – and you may wonder what exactly it’s got to do with Me Made May, anyway?

What I love about Me Made May is something you find at the core of all good communities: a good idea driven by talented and like-minded people with something to share. I’ve long admired Zoe for starting it and everyone who takes part. I think we forget sometimes just how cool we are for making our own clothes. Sure, sewing’s a lot more popular than it used to be, but it’s really not that common a hobby. We kick ass!

I think celebrating my makes and the community I’m part of is probably exactly what I need right now to pick myself up from all of this nonsense. I know I’m going to be totally fine – I’ve started up yoga, been playing ukulele again (CLASSIC LONDON HIPSTER ALERT) and, of course, I’ve been sewing.

IF YOU’VE MADE IT THIS FAR, WELL DONE. Here’s my pledge:

DSC00417

‘I, Elena of Seamless, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment a day for the duration of May 2015. If it’s not me-made, I will try to make sure it’s at least second-hand. I will endeavour to wear a completely me-made outfit at least once a week. I will also to my best to BE POSITIVE.’

I’m hoping to wear more me-made garments than not, but I need to be a bit more realistic as I’ve had to donate a bunch of stuff that didn’t fit anymore. Nowadays, I have a better handle on what styles and prints I’m more likely to wear and I always find Me Made May a useful way to figure out my wardrobe.

How about the rest of you? Are you Me Made Maying this year?

21 thoughts on “Me Made May ’15: here’s to a month of positivity

  1. kokorimbaud says:

    Hormones are funny little things, with sometimes not-so-little effects – hopefully things will get better now!
    I love to watch MMM from the sidelines, but would really struggle to come up with a meaningful challenge for myself. I make things to wear. I either love them, or I don’t. Maybe I’m just to german – I’ll be watching and cheering as every year, though 🙂
    Can’t wait for the Flickr feed to blow up!

  2. niekemieke says:

    I quit the pill in September for the exact same reasons, it didn’t cure all my feelings of anxiety and depression, but it sure helped a lot. I had never experienced those feelings due to taking the pill before. I’m never going back on it, even if my doctor keeps telling me it’s the best option for birthcontrol. It’s my body and I have a lovely husband and baby already, so ‘accidents’ wouldn’t be an issue anyway. Good luck on the MMM thing too, I’m not sure if I’ll participate officially this year because I already wear so much hand-made it’s not really a challenge anymore 😀 I’d love to see your outfits though!

  3. alexa says:

    Good luck with the mental and physical challenge. I think it’s really brave to have spoke about the problems you’ve been having and may alert others to the fact that hormonal contraception can do really funny things to you,

  4. stripyhat says:

    Oh gosh I had exactly this with the pill, it’s such a nightmare. Well done for taking action and being positive about it – and good luck! You’re completely right about sewing and celebrating just how cool we all are. YESSS! I tend to just watch MMMay happening as I can never think of a pledge that means anything much. But I love it nonetheless!

  5. Beth says:

    OK so by the end of May you’ll be right as rain. Good luck! It’s crazy how a little pill can change you so much. I’m taking part for the first time this year 🙂

  6. susan says:

    Thank you for such an honest and lovely post. People are often too scared to talk about personal issues – perhaps everyone should try to be more honest about how they feel, especially if they are feeling low or depressed. I wish you a fun and positive me made may and can’t wait to see your outfits! I am taking part for the first time this year and am having a panic that i don’t have enough me made garments to wear!

  7. Vanessa says:

    I’m sorry the pill triggered this off but it made me feel better reading that I wasn’t the only one who had problems with it. It’s touted as a fix-all and when one pill doesn’t work, they stick you on another one. I’m not saying it’s all bad, not at all, if it works for other people, good for them. For me, it dulls everything down. It’s like being on tranquillisers. Reading your post reminded me that I’m not the only one!

  8. Béa says:

    Depression is horrible- I hope that you get over it now that you’re off the pill.

    Great MMM pledge- good luck with it. I’m MMMing and just starting to panic about how little I’ve got available to wear from tomorrow!

  9. Squirrely Girly says:

    Thanks for sharing your struggles! It’s always so encouraging to read other people’s honest report of tough issues like mental health (esp. driven by the pill). You’ve inspired me to participate in MMM, too – props for your positivity 🙂

  10. Meris says:

    Your pledge is empowering and a wonderful reminder about this larger community. I don’t think we’ve interacted much, but I have enjoyed following your seamless pledge and all of your sewing adventures. I’ve had my own struggles with depression, hormone wonkiness, and not feeling like myself. Please reach out if you need more people to talk to.

  11. maevef2014 says:

    Ugh the pill😣 it either works or it doesn’t. I tried it last year for 6 months and quit after developing chronic insomnia / anxiety. Doc didn’t think it was related!! So back to dealing with my raging hormones on my own. Great being female. Great pledge. Must come up with my own this weekend.

  12. Amanda says:

    I had depression a few years back. I am fine now but can tell if things are getting too much and I might slip back so I now change things when I start feeling that way. Hope you can put it behind you and feel yourself again soon.
    I don’t have a blog but using my twitter n instagram I am going to have a go at MMM just hope I have enough stuff I’ve made!

  13. steelyseamstress says:

    Thanks for sharing such a personal and thought-provoking post. When I started reading it I was wondering where the connection with MMM was, but you are so right, self-esteem can be such a fragile, but important thing. Good luck with MMM! I’m taking part too, it’s so cool being part of this community!

  14. Laura says:

    It sounds like you’ve had a really tough time of it since going back on the pill, but it’s great that you were able to talk to your doctor about the best steps forward from here – I hope you feel much better soon. I went back on the pill about a year ago and it has been an interesting experience – positive, in that I don’t spend a day or two a month lying on the bathroom floor crying because the pain is making me sick, but I’m definitely not on such an even keel mentally now. Only time will tell what I decide to do, but I really think it’s great that you’ve spoken about it here – sometimes it feels like you’re the only person going through something and it’s nice to hear that you’re not.

  15. suzy says:

    So sorry you had this experience! I had something similar when I tried a different brand of pill – I had happily taken one brand for years and then tried a different one when I moved to the UK. All of a sudden I had greasy hair, gained weight and had the most crushingly low moods. It took me a little while to work out that it was the hormones, because I’d just moved countries and was blaming different food / circumstances. I changed back to my previous brand and was back to myself within a couple of months. I hope things settle down quickly for you too! And a month of being positive and kind to yourself can only help.

  16. Maimy says:

    Hey, I just found this blog and I wanted to jump in here because I used to have horrendous hormonal problems – depression, mood swings, acne, 2 weeks of PMS each (6-8 week) cycle, and the WORST periods — doctors only seemed interested in sending me to therapy and putting me on the pill, which I felt was missing the point.

    Then at the beginning of last year I found a book called “Womancode” by Alisa Vitti, it’s very American-self-help-y but I’ve been following the basics of the dietary advice since I got the book, and I feel like a different person. I have so much more energy, stable moods, much clearer skin and a steady cycle that is no longer debilitating. I really recommend giving it a read. If nothing else, take a daily B vitamin complex supplement, that alone made a huge difference to me.

    Anyway, Hope that helps someone, ’cause I’m always wondering what my life would be like if I’d made these changes years ago instead of suffering and slowly falling apart! xxx

  17. Sarah says:


    I had a really terrible January and February feeling some of what you've described – feeling rubbish at everything, doubting whether my boyfriend even liked me, feeling whale-like, general bleakness. In my case I think it was brought on by forgetting to take my pill and catching up and all that jazz. I'm back on track now and have been ok these last few months, and I've returned to the gym so I'm getting good gym hormones(or whatever it is).
    Glad you've taken some decisive action to look after yourself & hurrah for Me Made May! 🙂

  18. Mandy says:

    I am 50 now and still having periods. I had two spells of the pill, one when I was young aprox 19-21 2 years and another spell after I had a baby in my early twenties. The first experience was fine, no problems at all. The second was awful and I didn’t stay on it for long. I lost my libido completely which was not really great and not the point at all (that is a well known effect of the pill and one women are just meant to put up with apparently). I felt rubbish and so completely different to the previous experience as well as when I was not on the pill, that it was clear that I was not prepared to stay on it. I really didn’t last long on it at all, it was just too much to take.

    I love not being on the pill. it has allowed me to fully know my body and its cycles. I know when I am ovulating and I know my moods. In fact for about twenty years I have had no moods! I used to have hideous pmt, really really bad (nothing to do with pill as I was off it by then) but I changed my diet and it completely went. I used to feel literally like I could jump out of my skin, so on edge was I and so irritable and bad tempered. I never have any pmt at all now not for many years and not a ghost of a menopausal symptom although I must be peri menopausal I would have thought. Only eating wholegrains is the main thing. Also vegetarian and mostly low sugar/no sugar. Eating mostly only natural sugars in fruits. Have occasional cake but wholegrain, not like cardboard but delicious! I eat brown rice and pasta. I love what I eat and my weight maintains while eating a lot and I feel vitalised and energetic. I am full of beans because I do eat lots of them. I am glad I never went back on the pill and think it is a cosh on the female body and not good for us, also a form of control.

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