Monday, July 09, 2007

Fighting the Black Dog

 

(If you are looking for Alston Hall entry, scroll down to previous one - and keep coming back for updates. I'll remove this rather odd comment in a few days, but it need to be here just now, honest!)

I was really interested in Ginger Nut's campaign and thought I would share my own story - using knitting to fight depression. If you want to read more about how this is being done, click the image above.

Now, while I don't walk in to a crowded room and declare 'I'm a knitter and a bit of a nutter!' sorry - I just couldn't help it - alliteration, rhyme and stereotyping all rolled into one ;0)

Let me start again - While I don't walk into a crowded place and announce that I have been both psychiatric nurse and patient, I never shy away from the subject should it be appropriate.

I guess that it was writ large in my stars that depression would find me sooner or later - I'm not going into details here - and when you add becoming a mother for the first time hundreds of miles from home, to an unhappy marriage, the result is unsurprising. The only surprising thing is that I managed to hold it off for so long.

Not so strangely, I think, I depression finally caught up with me at a time when my life should have been easier - child just at school, I'd qualified as a nurse, starting a part-time degree. But I think this is often the way - somehow, somehow, you keep battling on while you have to. Once the pressure is released - bam! Hits you right between the eye.

I'm going to scroll on a few years here and you'll find me at home, having just been discharged after my second admission. I'm still appalled at that. Discharge PLAN? Had anyone at that place even HEARD of the notion? And what about patient actually being FIT for discharge.....

Boy, it was tough. I was so lonely. In so much emotional pain. DIdn't know what to do with myself. Then I had the faintest glimmer of an idea - I could knit, couldn't I?

You must be bloody joking! If what you expected was a tale of how knitting salved my injured soul, you've come to the wrong place....but don't go just yet. Hear me out. In my mind at the time (which was such a bruised and battered place, let me tell you) people who knitted were Sad. Lonely. Pathetic. Ergo, if I knit I would become Sad. Lonely. Pathetic.

What I didn't see at the time, what I couldn't see at the time is that I already was this person. I just couldn't bear to admit it to myself. If you have suffered in the way that I have, you will understand the emotional pain which is so intense it becomes an actual physical pain deep within. My mind just couldn't take any more, couldn't admit what I was actually feeling.

So knitting didn't help me fight off that depression. Not one little bit - if you want to know how I did succeed, you'll need to tune in to a future episode. But what I do know now, is that knitting right here right now is part of my master plan. The plan that keeps me well, off the tablets and out of hosptial. Sure, I have my moments, my days when I am blue. Sometimes it's deeper than that and I have to take action. Knitting, and just as importantly, the knitting community, is part of that plan. Not the only part, but an important one nonetheless.

Tune in next week folk, for another rivetting episode of 'How India keeps out of the Funny Farm.' ;0)

EDIT: I have had to hide the comments for this post becasue I accidentally published an email that I didn't mean to - feel free to add any comments regarding this post on another one.

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