Wednesday, August 09, 2006

still here, more or less

lately, the black dog has me. i've been hesitant about blogging about this, mainly because of the feeling that it's extremely private. but the more i think about it, the more i realise that this feeling of "privacy"is more to do with embarrassment. partly because i know that my blog is mainly read by the (two or three) people i know in real life, and i'm not sure that i'm comfortable with them knowing so much about me. but also partly because of the stigma that's still inexplicably associated with mental health issues. this stigma lingers, despite (according to uk statistics) one in four people having some kind of mental health difficulty.
so here it is, because why should i be embarrassed? i have asperger's syndrome (a form of autism, more info here for the curious). & i have good days & bad days. lately, i'm having a whole lot of bad days. i don't really know why; the past few years have seen a lot of changes for me, and it may be that everything is finally catching up with me all at once. it's manifesting as a serious bout of depression & anxiety, and i'm starting to feel like i'm slowly getting buried in it.
in a catch-22 sort of situation, the periods in which i need the most help are also the periods in which i feel the strongest need to hide away. however, i've finally made an appointment with my psychologist (after cancelling several, and then avoiding the issue for a few months!) & i'll just have to see how that goes, and take it from there.
in the meantime, i've been spinning (a LOT) - it seems to be the one thing i can do that makes me feel better. & i've set myself the challenge of spinning something that i'll actually be able to knit with. this is no mean feat, since my current knitting is almost 100% socks and lace shawls, which means that i have to spin something fine enough & consistent enough for either sock or lace knitting. the roving is from hipknits, a 70/30 merino silk blend, hand-dyed by kerrie in a beautiful purple/fuschia colourway called "stunning" (below, as received in braids along with a braid of colourway "bluebird" , and in little piles of strips ready to be spun).

and so far, as a (reasonably consistent) single:

if i can get it spun evenly enough, i'm thinking of a small shawl - maybe the icarus shawl from the summer interweave knits, or the seraphim shawl by the same designer.
i can't say enough good things about this fibre. it's amazingly easy to spin & can be drafted extremely finely with almost no effort, and the silk makes it shimmery (& i'm a sucker for sparkle). & the colour is so gorgeous i'm thinking of getting in touch with kerrie to see if she can do me a custom dye of enough of this fibre/colourway to make a sweater. yikes - now that would be a challenge.


Midsummer night's knitter said...

Hi, it may give you hope, or terrify you completely :0) to know that, despite (or because of) having been a fully trained psychaiatric nurse, I've twice been an in-patient in the nut house. Funnily (?) enough, I would never have called it that while I was merely employed to be there, but since I've sampled the delights as a resident, I feel a certain irreverent disregard is allowed.
I'm with you on the negative view of mental health issues. So, while I always (well, nearly) resist the temptation to just walk into every situation and announce 'I'm India and I have mental health issues', I never shy away from speaking about it when it seems appropriate. Such as now. In addition to major depression and anxiety, which still dogs me frm time to time, but less severely, I have raised a son of whom I am inordinately proud and to all intents and purposes has come out the experience fine, and completed a degree (with 2:1 Honours) AND completed teacher traing and held the job under increasingly stressful conditions for 8 years. Whew, that was one mighty trumplet blow from me! Guess I'm saying yuo're not alone, and the results can be great.
PS I don't think you are very good at being Aspergery - I would never have known!
PPS - I'm spinning some stuff in the same sort of purples.
India (who else do you know could go on for this long....?)

Kathleen said...

It takes all sorts to make a world Lilith. Sorry you've been feeling so down lately. x K

Sue said...

Hey, I empathose fully, don't over challenge yourself!


Nell said...

Hey Lilith, you can add me to the list of people who regularly read your blog :)
I love the current spinning project - I wish I was talented enough to even attempt that! And, when its cool, I wear the mittens I made from the pink yarn you dyed for me! I just found them last night whilst unpacking some boxes in the tip that is our house.
Nell x :)

veritas said...

i'm with poster one... i try to talk about the fact i have mental illnesses if the subject comes up. i try to Overcome the cringe factor, in order to let people know that mentally ill people are not scary..... **hugs** you take care of yourself

Ignoble Jen said...

Hello, you don't know me but I stumbled across your blog and enjoy it immensely, I don't spin but I knit and I find your tone warm, cheeky and approachable.

I do knit and I do suffer from mental health issues. Pah! 'issues' I am Bi-polar strain one.

A couple of years ago I was brutally gang raped, at the time I was a painter and felt free and happy in my work. Due to the attack I suffered brain and spinal injuries which damaged by coordination and my accuracy. After getting over the immediate physical injuries and the court case depression encased itself around me and turned my life upside down as much as the attack.
Last year I met a lovely man and tried for myself and him to pick myself up from below the floor. I wasn't doing very well when accidentally in February of this year I found knitting.
Knitting gave me an outlet to focus my creativity through, it gave me a community whom I am sure actually are the salt of the earth. This new agenda in my head, visits to the yarn store, blog reading and of course the actual knitting have made me live again and seeped into every aspect of my life.
I know I will be a life time knitter and I know I will never be able to repay knitting though I will try by pushing my self to up my skill level and do justice to the yarns, oh the yarns!, and be as good a friend to all the knitters I have meet as I can.

I am unsure why I have written all this, but I wish you all the good vibes and love as I can muster.

Once I have finished my knitting related Internet surfing I will go back to my knitting and think of you.

All my stranger love