The Quiet Voice

So… in response to social media asking what’s on my mind. Here we go. A difficult truth.

My illness means that there’s a constant background hum in my head. A voice (or voices), on repeat, telling me You Can’t Do It. You can’t go on, there’s no point, just stop, you’re the worst, nobody cares.

Sometimes that noise becomes loud, overwhelming. Physical action (hiding, or at least getting to a place of safety) is necessary.

Right now, it’s telling me that nobody wants to see this. It’s not helpful, it’s just whingeing. Oh great, she’s off again. And that famous old retort known to depressed folk everywhere: Just Wanting Attention.

No.

This is how my mental illness manifests. People have asked, and some don’t believe it, but it’s true, and very real for me.

But…

If I’m able to cut through the noise, to listen carefully, there’s also a quiet but determined counter-voice. It just says ‘You Can. Keep going.’

It doesn’t always win. But I’m so glad that it’s still there.

My inner self hasn’t given up on me.

Still here.

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Colour

Today… I’ve mostly been battling. Anxiety, then panic, not helped by a rude (patronising) repairman who came to service some kitchen electrics.

Lately, panic has been my brain telling me that I have to do everything at once. All the jobs I have, why aren’t I doing them? And then the fear that if I try, I’ll mess them up… so I sometimes end up stuck, unable to move, unable to see straight, physically shaking.

Distraction is key when the ‘brain weasels’ try to take over. Books, movies, computer games… whatever works.

Yarn is tremendously helpful to me at such times. Knitting and crochet are tactile and engage the brain in a focused way. Simple patterns are sometimes the best (again, for fear of going wrong), although lace sometimes demands my attention to the exclusion of all else.

Today, I’m working on a relatively simple, ongoing project: Knit It Like You Stole It. Using beautiful CountessAblaze fingering wool, each stitch slips through my fingers, while the finished section sits warmly in my lap.

While black is always my go-to clothing preference, colours have proved themselves tremendously helpful to my mood in recent years. The vividness of this wool is soothing and inspiring; when I wear it, I find it calming. My shawls really are portable hugs.

Keeping me grounded today, when any little thing can send me spinning. I’m grateful for this, very much.

Healing creativity.