Sunday, 2 March 2014

Pondering: Knitting Therapy

I gave birth with a broken foot only 12 weeks ago.  This is currently my greatest life achievement, I mean WHO gives birth with a broken foot?  Childbirth is universally recognized as the most painful experience possible, add a broken bone and I think that probably makes me the toughest person alive currently.  In 12 weeks I've worn this as a badge of honor, will talk liberally (and in detail) about it and have found that it gets me out of almost any argument with El Kapitano (well, I gave birth to your daughter with a broken foot)....end of.

It wasn't that bad (see even you believe I'm a superhuman now), the labour was quick and the foot wasn't that painful.  Nowhere near treading on lego.  But  being grounded at home for 6 weeks was horrific!  From the moment I broke that wretched 5th metatarsal (same as Becks!) I was hostage in my rural cottage, the family would leave every morning at 7.30am and return with tales of the outside world.  I do not do well alone.

Normally my husband would arrive home to some mad pj wearing banshee and handprints on the windows.  It was not my finest hour, whatever bravery I showed in the physical pain, was negated by my total inability to just slob out for 3 weeks before the birth.

This got me thinking about knitting, it is the only thing that kept me going through those long dark days (I know what a drama queen!)..ok that and Netflix. Knitting is often seen by many people who struggle with depression as a really powerful therapy.  There are not many activities that while requiring almost no physicality require agility of body and mind, but beyond this, knitting promotes a mindful state.  Like walking or running, you can allow you mind to wander while tricking it into thinking you are concentrating on something else.  This is the basis of many meditative therapies, freeing your mind enough to be mindful. But what I like is that when you look down at your knitting, not only do you feel happier/calmer but you have achieved something, created something and that I feel is wonderful for your self esteem.

So, maybe we should be looking at knitting as a way of healing the mind in more situations than we do currently.  I didn't have depression, but knitting did help me through a change in circumstances that I found upsetting.  Maybe if more hospitals, refugee camps & prisons encouraged knitting others too in times of emotional upset and inactivity could be comforted by the simple click of needles.

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