My Not So Secret Diary

Small Businesses

Small Businesses Sobriety blog by Claire Hatwell called My Not So Secret Diary, writing about sober living in Cornwall SoberMe Etsy Shop Addiction and Recovery Gifts
Years ago I ran a fused glass business. It ran fairly successfully and I made all kinds, from coasters and small bits to large custom sets of awards. I enjoyed it, but I’ll admit, I did find it stressful making things for others, not the things I wanted to do myself, but the things where others had an idea of how they wanted them to be. It was lovely to be able to create something I had thought of and then for someone to buy it. It felt good and made me feel like I had a purpose. It was at a time when I was beginning to fall apart, and so having this little pretend world where I could exist made me feel better.

I associated creativity with ‘before’ the end and for a long time I couldn’t set foot inside my workshop because I didn’t have wine to take with me. I know that isn’t a good reason, and it was probably more of an excuse than anything, but everything had changed so much it felt too hard.

Craft/making/designing - whatever you want to define it as makes me feel vulnerable. Before, I had my wine induced coat of armour, but after, I had to learn it was okay to try things, and they didn’t all have to work out. I found it easier for a long time, not to try, rather than to feel like I had got something wrong.

Then of course, about a year ago I started posting my writing and finding that people I didn’t know liked it. It was nice to feel it wasn’t just friends and family trying to be kind to me. Gradually I began to let myself get creative again. I let myself explore what I liked and what I didn’t, only now I find, I am doing it more for myself that anyone else. It’s a wonderful bonus that other people like it. It’s empowering. It makes me feel good, but now I see that it’s important that I enjoy it first and foremost, for me.

I was sitting with Katie recently watching TV. Finally now that Stanley has got into a slightly earlier bedtime routine we can catch up on scary things he can’t watch. We were interrupted by my phone letting off a loud, ‘kerching!’, that sounds like a till and always makes me smile. It’s the noise Etsy makes when someone purchases something from my shop. It’s funny how much the small things matter! That noise means that somewhere in the country (or the world) someone has clicked and bought something. Little do they know how much it means to me or other sellers like me.

The simple things are good. Life is good. It changes, and we can stay stuck in our rut or choose to change. I’m glad things are working out, I’m feeling more positive and more hopeful, than I’ve done in a long time.

Thanks for reading,
Claire x