Like it or not, we tend to have a bit of shame when we think of our stash. Just listen to the self-degrading language we use at the yarn store: "Don't let my husband/wife see me buying these" "I have a special closet where he/she can't see it" "Im going to have to hide this for later". What is wrong with buying yarn? Why should we have any sense of shame for having a passion, and why isn't our stash good enough? We are spending (a lot) of money but not appreciating the purchase when it's over.
For me, Shame is a big word. It's a dark cloud that gets heavy when I feel like I've stepped out of line. I grew up with Shame. It was a close companion. I remember being teased being emotional by my family. I didn't have the ability to realize that they were teasing me and that was how they show love, all I knew was that I was being told that I was being silly, and then I felt a new thing: shame. It soon got bad enough that I developed anxiety. I was super young, think elementary school, and I didn't know that I was experiencing anxiety. I just knew that there were people that made me feel shame, and I couldn't make them happy. I once had a computer teacher that had a reputation for being "hard" I developed ulcers to avoid this class because I couldn't handle the shame. When I would get yelled at by my mother, I would self discipline and make her disciplines harder on myself. If she punished me to cleaning the kitchen, I was on my hand and knees picking up the dust by hand. If we aren't careful, the shame monster can get out of control.
I live with Shame in my every day life. We all probably do. I take too much responsibility for things that aren't in my control, and not enough responsibility for things that are. I am always self regulating and self evaluating. The house wasn't cleaned today: Failure. You didn't play with your babies all day long: Failure. You didn't try to get a job and be worth something: super failure. Shame can be debilitating, because it invites it's friend anxiety over to the party.
So, it's no wonder that I feel shame when I see my stash of yarn. I self medicate with shopping. I spent a lot of money on yarn. A lot. Like got into credit card debt lot. Like thousands of dollars lot. Now, I understand that a lot of knitters understand the need for a well cultivated stash. But when I was in the throes of PPD, getting mail was the one thing that could keep me from going over the deep end. But when that happens, you just dig yourself deeper. I tried to hide the stash from my husband. I couldn't. Eventually the truth comes out. We must all account for what we've done. I didn't only fail myself, I failed my family. I have failed my mom. I have failed myself. Shame keeps me in this spiral of thinking. Forever and forever.
This is a part of the reason that I am working through my stash this year. To examine this shame. To get at it's root and break it's cycle.
Do you feel shame when you spend money on yarn?
Do you feel like your stash isn't good enough and you always need to keep getting new things?
Something we can all do is examine the why. Why do we feel these things? Why aren't are things "good enough"? Where does it come from? How do we fix it?
This week while were knitting in our stashes, I want us to approach these thoughts with some gentle self-awareness. If you feel shame because you have a large stash there is probably a deeper cause. Examine this without self-judgement. Avoid negative self-talk and approach yourself with radical self-acceptance. Feel free to comment here or on Instagram about what you're learning about your shame.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.