Tag Archives: good things

The Knitting Picture Post

pancakehead

There’s a point to this, honest! Yanno, besides being a knitting-based tribute to Pancake Bunny.

Good morning, world and sundry!

Well, the good news first — the anxiety appears to be subsiding. Which is good, because my anxiety has been reduced on the whole for the past year and this past month has been… unpleasant. I’m pretty well convinced now that the random break-out on my back had to be a stress rash; I will definitely be bringing it up at my next appointment with my list of concerns.

knit_squares

One square, two square, and a third in progress.

But the downside is that that mass of depression is still slowly nudging itself in. I sigh, and hope that it will be vaguely tolerable for not being mixed up with anxiety anymore. It will probably suck a big one (per normal), but I will continue to try and think positively! In that vein, hooray for only feeling completely run over and empty, rather than that plus the electrocuted lab frog of anxiety atop it.

And, of course, things are never as dire when yarn is involved! As I mentioned earlier in the month, I finally cracked the basics of knitting after nine years of struggling with it. Because I’m still so new to it, I’m just making squares out of scrap wool to eventually join into a blanket of some sort (or a really hilariously miscoloured coat, ha ha). I’m still not too sure about the edges, but the tension seems to be pretty good, and I’m starting to pick up good speed.

catknit

My efforts have been accepted by the cats – yay!

I’ve still not made my mind up in full on knitting, though. It’s laboriously slow compared to crochet, for starters. But it uses up less wool on the whole (or at least feels that way by the effort that goes into it), and I do admire the flexibility and stretchiness of knitwork. With both, there is the pure joy of making (which is something my dear and talented friend Miriam Felton hits on here, there, and everywhere). For me, the act of doing is an act of meditation, a joy; if I am depressed//anxious to the point of being unable to do, it means I am more certainly in a bad state!

What about you nice folk out there — is there any specific doing that is your thing? Or is each act of doing a celebration of existence? Is anyone out there as needing of tangible results of their doing as I am? I’d certainly love to hear about what other folks have to say!
And if you’re newer around here — hi! I am generally terrible at offering discussion points via blog in spite of years of forum experience, so yanno… if anything sparks a point you want to make, make it (with the usual caveats of ‘Be respectful’ and ‘Don’t be a dick’).

<3

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More Than Bipolar

I Make Things!I know that I tend to focus on having bipolar here, so I thought I’d mention something else for once! Well that, and I feel physically like I’ve been run over, so trying to think up something interesting and specific to my mental health would be like running a marathon, ha ha.

Having said that, what I’m bringing up today is as relevant to my mental health as anything else. It is my number one non-gaming, non-reading hobby – doing things with yarn!

My mother started me on this addiction when I was 5. She gave me a crochet hook, a ball of yarn, and taught me how to do chains. I’d chain an entire ball, unwind it, roll it back up, and repeat as I felt necessary. I enjoyed it, and even learned how to make chains by hand from my father.

However, Mom sort of forgot to teach me anything else. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s and realized that she’d taught my younger sisters more than chains that I got on her case to mentor me! She made me demonstrate that I could do an even chain, then started me off on single crochet. I made my first scarf that same evening while babysitting friends engaging in hallucinogens at a pretty lake. I was hooked (har har), and had her show me double crochet; I made my first attempt at a hat that night.

However, I have a slight curse — I’m left-handed. I actually am all about being left-handed in every way possible, and have been fortunate to grow up in communities where the handedness split was more 30/70 than 10/90 (art school, language school, and then my job as a military linguist), but crafting wasn’t back in vogue at that stage. I did a lot of square and granny square things, and freeballed pretty much everything because between my hand and the undiagnosed bipolar, I couldn’t actually process trying to follow a pattern without my brain shutting down on me. It’s only been this past year of being medicated and regularly attending a crafting group where I have found enough confidence to follow some patterns, and will shortly have my first garment to prove it!

It's a... Thing!

It’s a… Thing!

Alongside that, I wanted to learn to knit. It made sense to me to try and pick up both of the main woolcrafts, but there was that brain shutting down thing going on. My sister managed to sort of show me once over a weekend visit, but it didn’t stick. I bought books, I watched videos, but my brain was too freaked out to follow any of it. It took nine years, but this past week has finally hit this point where it sort of makes sense. I can cast on. I can knit. I can purl. And I can even cast off/bind off/make the stupid thing be finished. I’m not sure anyone without a mental health issue will understand just how challenging it is to try and do anything in the face of the anxiety/freaking out/DROWNING OUT OF ALL REASONABLE THOUGHT that comes with bipolar and other disorders, but I’m sure some of you guys can appreciate the muppet flailing hell that it can be.

Of course, being a hobby, it serves the purpose of providing something akin to relaxing. Which, for me, is tense shoulders and intenser concentration… I know, I fail at floppy. I’m working on it. But it does bring me the enjoyment of doing, of doing something that generally works well to exclude negative and intrusive thoughts, that (if done right) ends up with some sort of useful object.

Anyways, I might bring up the crafting a bit more here and again — we’ll see. I’d love to hear what you guys do for fun, and if helps shoosh up the brain demons!

<3

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Empowerment

Even though I don’t particularly like or enjoy driving, there is something empowering about having a licence I can drive on again. For instance, my husband is rather under the weather right now, so I was able to offer to him to stay home… which is something he pretty much never gets to do by himself. It worked out that he was feeling well enough to go in and allow me to enjoy a return to my normally scheduled Monday… but to be able to make that offer, to be able to help take care of him? It’s rather bad-ass, if I do say so myself.

Maybe it feels more empowering of the moment because my mood is stable-to-elevated. Or maybe it’s just having that tiny bit of freedom; if I need to go, I can. As I’ve said before, buses and taxis aren’t options that make me comfortable due to not having precise control of my comings and goings, so while I am proud that I have managed a few solo taxi rides without having a break down, it’s much better to have the transport ball fully in my court where my poor panicbox brain needs it to be.

Whatever the case, I am grateful that I am still feeling decent. I’m grateful that I’ve enough spoons to help out around the house to spell my husband (but then, I’ve always had better luck finding spoons if someone needs me!). Which I guess makes sense — I suspect everyone does a bit better if they feel there’s some purpose in their life.

Anyhoos, back to enjoying my quiet time, and thinking, and whatnot.

<3

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Sneaky Time!

Time has massively snuck up on me today, hee hee. But that’s sort of a good thing — it means I’m having a good day. I wouldn’t call it productive, since all I’m cranking out is game-playing, but yanno… my time to spend as I see fit, right? ;)

Anyhoos, going to get back to that, and digesting way too much hummus and naan. Curse you for being such a tasty combination! :D

<3

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:D

I realized yesterday that I get most of this week off at home – yay! I think! I can’t decide if it’s good to have free time to veg, or if it’s going to mean that my brain will go overtime trying to find things to get pissy about. I’m going to hold to optimism and hope that it helps me ease back into normal workings, especially against how busy this month is turning out to be. Which… I know, isn’t terribly busy for many people, but for me, every single addition to the schedule is potentially the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I think it will be alright though, because a lot of it is social//outing type things, and those are usually less stressful than say… driving lessons or a pile of doctor’s appointments (though I do need to book two appointments and a dental check-up – sigh!).

Anyways, the continuing damp is continuing to make using my hands difficult, so I’m going to pootle off now.

<3

Bah

The cold continues unabated, and focus? What’s focus? A. Patient over at Mood Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, granted me a blogging award last week, for example — that email is still sitting in my inbox taunting me. I totally do intend to take it and pass it on in a limited capacity, but I’ve not been able to tie my brain down enough to think about it. I’ve gotten as far as thinking, ‘You should fish out a notebook and write things down!’… but the notebook still sits in my backpack. I’m just sort of… ‘Game forever!’, heh. Stuff is still sort of getting done, and I’m still planning on getting out of the house tonight for Stitch ‘n Bitch. I even baked two loaves of banana bread this week. So like… I’m still doing things that I enjoy, and I think I’m still deriving enjoyment… but it’s still sort of blankly existing.

With very little focus.

Oooh, shiny, etc.

Well. There’s also the rise of the annoyancebots inside of me. I can’t decide if I’m generally annoyed right now, or if they’re hiding just beneath the skin. I do feel shorter-fused, but there’s nothing much I can do for that besides trying to breathe slowly and evenly, and keeping my mind blank.

In, and out. In and out. And sloooooooooooooooooowly roll.

<3

All I Can Think of Today…

Today is Mother’s Day in the Americas; Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday) was in March over this side of the pond. And all I can think about is the family tradition of eating at El Fenix. I would always get a bowl of their fantastic Tortilla Soup, and split an entrée with a sibling. If you’ve never had Tortilla Soup, I highly suggest that you correct this:

The Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup
http://www.food.com/recipe/the-naughty-things-i-do-for-chicken-tortilla-soup-173513

I will take a moment to express confusion as to why this recipe is for chicken tortilla soup; the soup at El Fenix meat free. But the addition of chicken doesn’t take away from the experience, so use it if you want to. The overall experience is incredibly tasty and pleasant, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to make it any time it crosses your mind.

Enjoy!

<3