For the betterment of my mind

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Three months is a long time to spend in hospital and it messes with your head. Since coming home in January, I have faced a deeper type of depression than ever before as I try to reestablish myself. I will likely always be susceptible to pain in my abdomen from the damage my pancreas took. I will likely always live with the fear of the return of the indescribable pain that sent me back to the hospital. But in the more immediate future I am dealing with the frustration of waiting for my gall bladder to be removed. I have heard nothing from the doctors since February, despite my efforts to the contrary and this is amping up the fear that I will end up in hospital again with the same problem. It also means that despite increasing discomfort in my back, I won’t be going to the osteopath to get it sorted (it was immediately after my last appointment that this all started and though I’m not saying the treatment was the cause, I do worry that it shifted something that acted as a catalyst).

Logically, I know that I’m giving this all too much space in my head but emotionally… well, it’s not great. I find myself staring for hours at blank walls on bad days and there are more of those than ever. I find that often, any positive event is followed by a disproportionately low period. My ability to focus and concentrate is sporadic and very short. And worst of all, I find it difficult to enjoy my crafting in the same way which takes away most of my personal productivity.

I’m working with a therapist on CBT but I’m not sure, in fact I’m fairly certain that now is not the best time for this. I am already vulnerable and unsettled, and the trigger is something that I cannot resolve on my own.

I don’t know where I’m going with all of this, or even what it all means but I’m hoping that venting here will help me some.

I have a new long-term project. A friend in my knitting group showed us a crocheted blanket she was working on and my friend G and I decided to get the kit and make our own. She’ll need some crochet lessons but it’s a simple pattern repeated several times on every row so the paper pattern is really only needed for the colour order. It’s this pattern/kit by Attic24 (I have no affiliation with Wool Warehouse but can tell you that my order with them was a smooth transaction and arrived quickly).

I’m 2 rows in but have crocheted as much as three – I missed a stitch at the beginning of the first row but didn’t notice until I’d reached the end and I’m enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. 200 stitches is a lot more than I usually work with.

Things I’m trying to do to regain some control over my scatter brain :

* daily journal/planner that allows me to record mood, craft/education, tasks, cleaning and eating/medication.

* limiting the number of projects I work on for any given craft. For example, in my work bag I have 1 knitted shawl (Solar Flare), 1 knitting design (a headband and it’s variations), 1 art therapy colouring page, 1 large crochet project (ripple blanket). This is enough to keep me entertained and give me some choices but doesn’t overwhelm me (and some days, just choosing which coloured pencil to use is too much).

* going to therapy

* going to my knitting groups

* spending time with my friends outside those groups.

It probably looks like a pretty regular sort of plan to most of you. It’s a lot of hard work for me. Trying to rein in my attention is exhausting.

Day 195

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There are 1052 rows in the pattern for the iconic Doctor Who scarf that Tom Baker wore. This is the scarf I have been knitting for my husband. It is so very late but guess what I just cast off?! Tomorrow I start the epic sewing in of ends.

I posted Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ a few days ago. When my husband is more familiar with a pop song than I am, I know that it’s been too long since I last listened to the radio. This is not the first pop song gone viral that I missed. Yeah, I missed Carly Rae Jepson too. If you did and still haven’t heard ‘Call Me Maybe’ let me remedy that.

Day 194

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Didn’t feel like knitting but as with praying, it’s when you least feel like doing it that you are most in need of doing it. I have been struggling since coming home from the hospital with being on my own.┬áThis shows in many ways but one of the most blatant is my withdrawal from crafting.

That being said, I can offer no visual proof of actually knitting my trapezoid tonight because the battery on my phone has finally given up and is refusing to charge. And so, I am without a camera.

Tonight is Melissa Etheridge for no other reasons than that I love this song and her voice is incredible.

Day 193

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And I’m exhausted. Visitors have returned from whence they came, my house is somehow cleaner than when they arrived and I have a cold because both my husband and my visiting son brought one into the house this week. I hate having a cold. You aren’t really sick but you feel like crud. The sinus headache is the worst part for me.

Got my knitting done though and added another section to my husbands Doctor Who scarf. I have 9 days. I may yet get it done…. maybe.

I have 3 days left of the current blanket plan. Can you believe I’ve been working on this for so many days? Me neither.

day 193

I really, really, need to sew the ends in though. Every piece has 2 ends so right now I have 386 ends to sew in. Putting in a couple of hours a day will have it done in a week, I just have to convince myself to do it and I can’t watch tv while I do it because I have to concentrate and watch what I’m doing, which is why it hasn’t been done yet.

It is very gratifying to see others using this technique after seeing the blanket and asking how it works. One of my fellow knitters has made a blanket out of large squares big enough for a single bed and is now using up odds and ends of baby yarn to make a blanket with mitred-squares for a neighbours baby. This is why knitting groups are making a comeback, as much as the social aspect. I know that there is often very little knitting actually happening at my knitting groups but there is often discussion of projects or techniques or yarns. Or worse, the showing of completed projects that lead to adding new projects to the ‘I need to make this’ list.

I have an unhealthy love of catchy pop tunes (there’s a lot of ABBA in my childhood) and this one is one I love the lyrics and the video. She’s got fans doing the dance! It’s a dance I have managed to resist actually learning but there are many I haven’t resisted. I love to dance even though usually my moves are more Molly Ringwald in ‘The Breakfast Club’ than Pussycat Dolls (and given my size, that’s probably not a bad thing).

Anyway, music is a Thing The Brings Me Joy and ‘What doesn’t kill you (makes you stronger)’ by Kelly Clarkson is on that list.

Day 192

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Photo catch-up!

Grey trapezoid was day 190, red square was yesterday (day 191), and the pink trapezoid is today.

day 190-192

I almost forgot this again today. I have been enjoying the company of my son and mother-in-law and working on my husband’s birthday present. There’s a lot going on this weekend.

I’m trying to think of things that aren’t my mental health or this blanket to write about. One of the things I was considering, other than the discussions promised at the beginning of this blog, was how to correct your gauge, and why it works the way it does. Is anyone interested in this?

Looking back over the last 2 weeks of posts, it is glaringly obvious that my music tastes are somewhat eclectic. It gets worse today. Not sorry ;)

This piece is very appropriately called ‘The Typewriter’ and I first heard it as part of a collection called ‘Wagner’s Rinse Cycle’. It was a collection of ‘musical oddities’ – songs played on obscure or improvised instruments, songs that are meowed instead of sung – pieces that are singular in the musical world for one reason or another. You’ll see why this one was included immediately.

I’m particularly fond of them ‘tuning’ the typewriter to the orchestra.

 

Day 190

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Too tired to muck about with photos today but rest assured that the knitting was in fact done. The other trapezoid was added around yesterdays small square. It is in considerably fewer shades of grey than that literary affront.

Straight onto the song today because it’s live Led Zeppelin with the very awesome ‘Kashmir’ – another of those songs that gives me happy shivers, particularly live versions. Also, I love Robert Plant’s hair! And his voice and the sound they achieve with this very complex piece of music. I love it when rock bands show their talent goes beyond being loud.