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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Knitter With Chronic Depression

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I cried all the way to work today. Thought all the negative thoughts we are not supposed to give in to at any point, that life is so hard, I just want to sleep and cover my head with my pillows. And yes, even that I wish I wasn't alive.

(To clarify here, no I am not suicidal. I have wishful thoughts, when life gets hard, but with my two beautiful daughters, there is no way that I would ever give in and toss in the towel.)

Chronic depression sucks. There are so many words for what happens when the feelings that are inside you all the time start to overwhelm you: drowning, blanket of nothing, black clouds, swamp of sorrow (thank you Neverending Story for that one)...  But when it overwhelms me, it's more like my ability to punch through the dark clouds inside me and feel both positive and negative emotions is smothered.

So you may be asking the screen why I'm writing about this so much in a blog about knitting (and sometimes crocheting). Well, it's because I use knitting as a positive activity to keep me practicing meditation and mindfulness. It keeps my hands busy and allows my mind to observe my thoughts and not dwell on them. But my elbow hurts so much that I cannot knit, and I need to stop for a while. This is very hard and very scary for me. This means that knitting is a crutch and I should use this time to practice meditation without something in my hands.

My elbow was diagnosed with tendonitis and I haven't gone any further with it because my husbands doctors appointments have eaten up my time, and his back is feeling better so it is worth it. But it is so hard to take care of ourselves, isn't it?

As someone who is trained as a therapist, I often use my own techniques on myself. I ask myself what I would do if someone with these symptoms came to me for help. But today, my dark cloud cover is to thick to think, and I have to work so I cannot simply lay down and give myself a mental day at home.
What do you do when the depression overwhelms you?
Do you self-care until you can burst through the cloud cover again?

Usually it does not take me too long, a day or two. I can always feel the cloud there, but I feel like I have more strength to fight it.

So barely thinking, and feeling very numb, here are my blessings:
1) My two joyful daughters, they are so sweet and loving and I feel blessed to have been chosen to be their mother by their spirits.
2) My friends Deb and Heather who have gifted me with a winder and amish swift (Deb's husband made it) over the past few weeks. I am so grateful and even now it makes me smile.
3) My coworkers who are really very sweet and understanding people. So often we can work somewhere that is not understanding of mistakes and where we are not appreciated, my workplace is not like that.
4) My husband who tries through his own pain.
5) My followers and supporters online and in person. Don't give up on me! And I hope to see you at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival!

I may stop knitting and crocheting until Rhinebeck.. A countdown until October 17th? 38 days and counting...

Be well!