Gray morning today. The kind of gray that can only be achieved by constant, biting sheets of drizzle. A world cast in television snow.
It feels apt for December. Just over a week from Christmas. A good time for reflection and solitude.
I had an anxiety relapse in July. Six years after my first serious bout. Six years of medications and therapy, meditation and yoga, self help books and art. So much work to find my health, my sanity, and still it came.
I lost three months. Swallowed. Gone. It’s difficult to make lasting memories when every waking moment feels like the catch before a fall, scrambling, searching for a foothold.
Anxiety is merciless in what it takes, how much of your attention it demands. First goes the exercise (too difficult to salute the sun when you’re so lightheaded). Then go the hobbies (not enough concentration to count stitches). Then the relationships as you retreat inside. Then you.
I felt as though trapped behind thick glass: able to see the outside world, unable to really engage.
I will say this about relapse. It keeps you humble. Hard as it was to admit, medication was my foothold. Not the yoga. Not the therapy. Not the meditation or the breathing exercises or the years of study. The pill. An absolute saving grace. Just ten milligrams of Lexapro and six weeks and I am nearly back to me. Twice shy, but me.
I dip my toe tentatively into the world. Yoga on YouTube. Brunch with friends. Therapy. Why didn’t these things protect me? Why did this happen?
What’s wrong with me?
I could get lost in the why, but I won’t. I choose gratitude. Celebration. And in this season of gifts, I give to myself the gift of creativity and return to one of my oldest hobbies. Bestowed upon me by my Dust Bowl-era grandmother, I have spent over twenty years with hook and yarn: crochet.
I choose thick, chunky skeins of black and gray. A K hook. I sit in my blue upholstered chair, pull up my pattern, stitch my little self back together. Time flows with the tick tick tick of the rain as it builds against my window. The slow, deep breaths of my tired husband. The Christmas carols plucked out by quiet pianos piping through my headphones.
Perhaps just a polka bobble beanie to you. But to me, to me a touchstone of faith. Faith in my ability to bounce back, to heal, to return to the self I had worked so hard to achieve.
Want to make your own? This pattern was designed by the talented Jessica Carey of The Hook Nook. Find her patterns at thehooknook12.etsy.com!
In the midst of your own crisis? You deserve to not be alone. The weight is lighter when shared.