A giant tub of half-finished knitting projects stared me in the face a decade ago, and not willing to tolerate this glaring evidence of my failure to complete something one more minute, I started unraveling to reuse the yarn. I learned what can be unraveled can be raveled.
To unravel mentally is a controversial topic with many approaches.
Over the course of life, I had what I term a “nervous breakdown” at 18, experienced three episodes of “severe depression,” have been suicidal, at one point was tried on nearly every antidepressant created, sometimes fantasized about being admitted to a facility because life felt too much, had extensive evaluation for bipolar disorder which was negative, and at 30 was told “You need to be on medication for the rest of your life in order to live well.”
The past decade, I experienced none of the above. Instead, I daily experience balance, calm, joy (that for me equates to contentment). I reached out for support when I needed it after some real life crises, but have been off medication. In truth, I did briefly request low-level medication during a few dark winter months because it was the primary tool I knew, but it ended up acting as a springboard to my next phase of growth and understanding about how to live the rest of my life off medication. Life is like that, bits of yarn knit together in service to the whole.
The past five years I worked with my diet, intuitively eating what made me feel better and not eating what doesn’t and arrived at what works best for me. I also worked with meditation, walking, nature connection practice, creativity, and knitting. If I wanted, I could write down an actionable program for what helped me and charge people a lot of money to absorb it, but I hesitate to give anyone else direction about what they “should” do to heal, because your own body and experience is your best guide and healer.
For that, tuning in to listen is what needs to happen. If it is too painful to listen to yourself, do find someone supportive to talk to, even if you need to pay them.
I do not think anyone can ever be “the perfect human” and arrive at some static statue of optimal health, because we are all unique, all unfolding, and our bodies change over time. I still have a few incomplete projects, just no longer a tub full. My body has already told me what my next step is, and I look forward to finding a way to make that happen.
Here are a few resources that offer conversation around depression differently than the majority of information out there. I do not advocate any specific program, only want to share information that offers a healing perspective that challenges “conventional” understanding of depression. My own personal experience has been that all of what I continue to do to live a beautiful life has been a thousand times more helpful than the most potent pharmaceutical. No shaming intended to anyone who may find antidepressants helpful. I simply have taken a different path.
What can be unraveled can be raveled, or knitted into some new form. What is your next step to raveling yourself?
A few sources aligned with my own healing experience.