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Anxiety Knitting for Control Freaks

Chantal Ratnam

Posted on November 14 2018

Welcome to half way through November! Well almost. Still, is anyone ready for the middle of November?  I know I'm not.  Do you know that there is only 41 days until Christmas? I had so many big plans for this Christmas and suddenly I'm running low on time which is hilarious because having nothing but time on my hands, you would think, everything would get done.

I'm gonna blame the head injury.  I'm absolutely confident that it has sent me into a weird time warp that causes me to move as though I'm at half the speed as the rest of the world. To get a better understanding of this phenomenon I've been closely watching all episodes of the Flash and the Big Bang Theory but I still have no idea where my time is going. 

I'm only sort of joking.  I do feel like I'm in weird time warp. I feel like everything is moving far too fast and every time I try to step out of it, the ground slides from under my foot so I yank it back in to the nice, safe, little bubble that is my warp. 

Remember how I used to go bounding around Toronto doing one thing and then another and never sitting still? Remember how I used to debate about whether it was possible for a person to do all of the things they wanted to do in one lifetime and my determination to try? Well, imagine taking all of that energy and then parking it on the couch.  FOR EIGHT WEEKS.  To say that I'm going stir crazy is a serious understatement.  Do you know what happens when I can't do stuff? I think, and when I say think I mean I worry.  I worry about how much time I'm losing, what I could be accomplishing, whether or not I'm going to find my path again, whether this accident was a sign to try a new path, and what that new path could be.  All of that stuff is aside from the real things I'm worrying about like, am I going to be able to drive again, what am I going to do if I run out of leave from work and how to get the pet ban overturned at my condo if I end up needing a half a dozen or so emotional support cats.  

To counteract the thinking, I knit.

I started knitting in 2013 or so and even though I'd spent most of my life a hot, anxious mess, I had only just started thinking, I should probably consider professional help for this.  After a first disastrous attempt to discuss it with my family doctor I still didn't get help until 2015.  For those two years and many times since, knitting has been a place to push all of my anxiety out of my body.  I read a lot about how knitting is super meditative, and all of my doctors concurred, but I feel like that doesn't completely explain my feelings.  

In these last eight weeks knitting has been the only thing I've accomplished that doesn't leave me frustrated that I've over exerted myself and will have to pay for it with days of physical pain.  It requires nominal focus and answers some of life's toughest questions. One such question that has been torturing me a lot lately is, "am I able to finish things that I start?" As a wannabe romance novelist who has never finished writing a book, this has been a doozy for a long time now.  Throw an unfinished photography certificate, a barely begun French degree and small event planning business in the mix and, yeah, I guess you can say I've been suffering from a little bit of mental anguish.  I don't know what a non knitter does in a circumstance like that.  If I'm lucky, I'll never know.  

As a knitter, I pick up a ball of yarn and print out a pattern.  I cast on the first stitch and even if my brain doesn't stop worrying about all of the other what if's, I know that I can make the yarn in my hand do exactly what I need it to do. I know the destination and all I have to do is follow the pattern to get there.  I know that if I can't control anything else, I've still got this.  Now, is it healthy?  Probably not.  I'm sure that a therapist would probably try to find some way of teaching me to surrender my desire to control things and I should probably look into that.  

In the meantime I'm just going to sit here with my needles and patterns.  My brain can worry as it sees fit but with every finished object I remember two things: I can accomplish the things that I set my mind too and the things that I accomplish are good. For now I'll focus on that.

That's it for me for this week. Come back next week! Until we speak again, PEACE to you and yours, and happy knitting!

1 comment

  • Lynn : November 14, 2018

    Feel the same way.
    Hang in there.

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