Sunday, 25 April 2010

Trying To Focus The Mind

Now that Spring is finally here I ought to be feeling better. The days are longer, there is now some warmth in the sun, the birds seem to be tweeting like mad, yet I am still in the doldrums.

One thing I am sure about is that there is not a seasonal factor involved in my depression. Seasonal affective disorder it is not, and yet there is a very definite pattern involved in how I cycle through the bad times and the worse times. It's birthdays and anniversaries that signal the rise and fall of my mood and no matter how hard I try to stop this happening I seem to be powerless.

I'm still having serious problems with my ability to concentrate. This means that I have not been able to read a book for weeks now, and while I am able to knit, it has to be something relatively simple otherwise I am constantly making mistakes (or dropping stitches).

One of the things that you are often taught in therapy are coping strategies. This is not something that I have ever been taught but I have often been complimented on the way that I find things to do when I am at my lowest. I have used studying, knitting, embroidery, reading, card-making and crocheting as a means of trying to occupy my mind at various times but none of them is completely effective at stopping the despair from its insidious creeping into my brain.

So, today I am knitting in an effort to stave off the negative thoughts. It's not perfect but it is helping, and I will have something useful at the end of it all. Today I am going to finish a sock and begin its pair. Having made one, I know how many rows I need to knit to complete each part of the sock and this helps to give me a focus. I have 19 rows of this first sock left to knit, and as they are rows that include a number of decreases to shape the toe, the number of stitches for each round will diminish and therefore become quicker to knit.

I am so grateful that I was taught all these old-fashioned crafts when I was young so that I have something to occupy my mind now when I need it most.


Wendy Love said...

You use your crafts well! You show wisdom at even attempting to stave off those negative thoughts! I find that no one thing works all the time and that no one thing works for a long time. That is why my list of coping strategies is so long! From whistling and singing, to dancing and walking to laughing for no reason to a hot bath to....I am sure you get the idea. One of my depression getaways today will be a visit with two of my grandchildren. That will work as long as I am looking at their cheerful wee faces. Walking works while I am walking. Some days I want to just keep walking.... Keep up the good work!

steph said...

Your visit to Stitch London sounded like a great success.

Do go again if you can as I've always considered that the easiest way to meet new people, is through having a common interest.

I can see you running a workshop before long!