Last night I had a chat with a good friend who suffers from anxiety and depression and is having a hard time at the moment. Not being a sufferer myself, I find it difficult to relate to the condition and I struggle to understand the causes. I can, however, appreciate that a friend is in turmoil and I try to be a good listening post and offered advice where I can. Mot surprisingly the best advice I could give is to pick up some needles and knit. It sounds a nit glib, but there is a good reason for me advocating this kind of remedy.
While it is true that I don’t suffer from anxiety, I do have times of stress and when I feel as though things are getting on top of me. I have two very active and lively little boys, I am self employed and I never seem to get any time to myself. With all this going on it sometimes feels like I have no time to knit, and I get swamped by all the things I need to do that day. I just want to fall into bed at the end of the day, too exhausted to do anything that would restore my sense of balance. When this happened a couple of days ago, at the back of my mind was the knowledge of an unfinished mohair wrap, and with a sigh I picked up my needles and began.
As I have said before, knitting is magic. When I started I awful but after a few rows I felt like I could leap into action again and tackle all the things that were overwhelming me that day. Maybe it’s the way that small, repeated actions add up to something bigger, tnwt with one stitch a time you get closer and closer to your goal. When you knit, you can see that what you have done moves you that little bit closer to what you want to achieve. The results are immediate and visible, and those are my kind of results (this is perhaps why I fail at every single diet I have tried).
Knitting those few extra rows didn’t mean I finished the wrap, nut it gave me faith that I would finish it in the (hopefully) not too distant future. The sense of something growing and maturing in my hands brought a feeling that I will get things done bit by bit. On days when my to do list multiplies and branches off in different directions, and everything seems to require my immediate attention at once, my knitting reassures me that I am heading in the right direction. I am sure that there are studies from people far more educated than me that say why knitting (and crafting in general) are good for the soul, but this is my take on it. If you’re struggling, pick up some sticks and string and watch the magic unfold.