L’s Inner Knitter

L is coming home for Saturday evening, which is fantastic. We will watch Saturday night TV and we may even knit. I love knitting, but rarely do it. L learnt to knit, but since going into the inpatient unit, she has really taken to it. Before she could just do a simple garter stitch, but now she can purl, decrease, increase, which means she can make things. The other night she sported one leg warmer proudly while knitting its matching one. K and I gently tease her and ask when her basket weaving course starts which makes us all laugh. But I know how therapeutic she finds it.

In a world where we can expend unimaginable emotional effort and yet get nowhere, the act of taking some wool and needles and producing something out of it is incredibly rewarding. It can take your mind off grief, boredom, quitting smoking, waiting for a baby to be born and make long periods of resting fly past. I know about all of these things. I was gutted in 2003 when I was told I couldn’t take my knitting onto a long haul flight to the US.

L and I are .so similar. When times are tough we find things to do that are productive or creative. We cook, we clean out drawers and we knit. We plan projects such as a new room or a new wardrobe. We like order especially at times of disorder. I am sure it is no coincidence that knitting is quite common in her unit. It soothes and heals as an activity. I am sure there needs to be a whole new chapter on Knitting your way to Recovery. It might not work. But you will have unique legwarmers at the end.


2 responses to “L’s Inner Knitter

  1. Hi, I lost the long last message I tried to send to you so here is take 2. You and L seem to have been as lucky as I was in finding some amazingly compassionate people in a time of utter crisis. I was fortunate enough to be insured and consequently admitted to the Priory where the care is outstanding. I think you’ll agree with me that there is a shockingly large gap between private mental health services and public ones…and it sounds like you feel strongly about this too. I’m glad you and L have access to these wonderful individuals, they make all the difference and are key in making the road a little less rocky. Wishing you all the very best. Love Little-light xxx

    • Hi Little Light,

      We have been really lucky to have fantastic mental health services here. L’s unit has brilliant facilities, and 40 staff for ten patients – she has a team of 3 staff to support her. It is a similar ratio to an Intensive Care Unit. We haven’t had to wait more than a couple of weeks for an appointment. At these times of funding cuts, I was astonished at how well resourced the services are. I am waiting for a senior manager to realise and target them for cuts. And then I will lay down in the road outside to defend it.

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