I’ve found that I have levels of functioning.
At level one, I can eat three meals a day, get myself to work, and walk the dog.
At level two, I can do the above with the added bonus of healthy meals, decent effort and focus at work, and long dog walks. I can also knit, paint, create in general, and I can write small things that no one will see. I can read, though not too much.
At level three (my ideal), I can do the above with confidence, and I can read book after book on any topic. I can get my online courses done without freaking out. I can write and share that writing. I can engage with my own education and development, and I can put in lots of energy to help other people that I love do the same where it’s needed.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who works like this, but let’s just say I’m not super self-aware about my own behaviour and I’m not very compassionate about it either. I can forgive anyone else for almost anything, but I cannot forgive myself when I decide I’ve dropped the ball. Setting out my emotional/physical state into the above categories really helps because I can accept it without being mean to myself about it.
You may have guessed from this post that I’ve been at level one for a while. Basic functioning. I’ve managed to mostly stay on top of the news, though I took a few breaks. I’d say this week I’ve hiked back up to level two, and now I’m crocheting/knitting a bit here and there and reading again. I’ve been to a protest this weekend and I’ve started volunteering both for PFLAG (a local LGBTQ+ organisation) and as a reading buddy for a kid at the local library. I went to the vigil for the Quebec Mosque shooting in my town too, though that involved friendly coercion from a friend.
Knitting is one of the main ways I figure out how I’m doing. If I haven’t picked up my knitting for a while or if I recoil at the thought of it, it’s one of the first signs I should do some serious self-care before things turn bad. Knitting is one of the main ways I unwind, and if I stop doing it the chances are I’m on a bad route.
I’m curious to know if anyone else feels this way or if their slow-knitting/crocheting periods are arbitrary. I know it’s kind of personal, but when I think about deleting the post I remember that I’ve found strength in hearing people talk about their own struggles with mental health, so why shouldn’t I share in turn?
An addendum: I’m not holding myself to posting as often as I used to for now, for many of the reasons above. I’m going to post at least once a week. Anything else is a bonus. I also want to send out love to the knitting community that’s one of the best things on the internet, as proven by science. I love you all.