Knitting, Swimming, and DBT

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See the scarf I’m making for a friend? I recently taught myself to knit. When I finished making my first scarf, a friend asked if I’d make her a yellow scarf, so I am! I really like knitting. It helps keep me occupied when I’m struggling. It also gives me something to do when I’m feeling bored and apathetic, which happens a lot lately.

I ran a lot of errands yesterday. First, I saw my therapist. She wants me to do a year-long DBT program. She thinks it could really help me. I think so too, but I’m not sure how I feel about making a year commitment. After seeing my therapist, I went to the eating disorder center where I just finished 4 months of treatment so I could pick up my scale that they were holding for me during treatment. Getting them to give it to me was like pulling teeth. I understand why they don’t want me to have it, but it IS mine.

One of the errands I ran yesterday was to get yarn. I didn’t have any after the first scarf I made, and I definitely didn’t have any yellow yarn. I may have purchased quite a bit of yarn. I got the yellow for my friend and some pink for my sister and some teal for myself and then a few other colors I just thought were cool. I don’t know what I’ll do with the extra yarn, but it was just so pretty.

Today I had physical therapy in the pool. I love pt in the pool. It makes me so much more sore and tired than doing it in the gym (which is so counterintuitive), but I have way more fun. Plus, I get to swim laps at the end. I love the water. It’s the one place I feel truly happy.

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24 responses »

    • Knitting is great therapy. I have known many men and women both who use it to calm their minds. Anything that takes you outside of yourself helps. This is why I love rescuing and training dogs. They take me outside myself. I can look at them and think ‘I made a difference’. Your knitting can do the same when you know your family and friends use what you have made them and smile because it is a good part of you. Knitting for NICU is a great idea. There are fiber arts groups that do that too. You might find a very loving community there. Many yarn shops also have knitting classes and clinics where you can learn to make all kinds of things. I have 2 scarves my dear friend made from wool from her own sheep. I treasure them, and feel her love every time I wear them.

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  1. So jealous!! I can’t knit and do not have the patience!! Keep the yarn and keep making scarves!! If you do not know what to do, you can always donate them or give them as gifts!! Or make tiny hats and tiny blankets–those are so helpful in neonatal ICUs! So while it’s calming of heart hand and mind you could always do some charity with it!! Tax write off but I learned in group DBT that doing volunteer stuff like that is really validating and helpful.

    And the year of DBT will go by SO fast! Personally, I have found it really helpful! I am on individual CBT, did a year of group DBT and started individual DBT. Teaches great skills that are actually super helpful; not all of them but it gives you ideas and you find ones you can use!

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  2. That scarf looks great!! I actually recently took up knitting again when my therapist recommended it. It gives me time to reflect on my struggles and relax with the added benefit of creating something beautiful! I’m currently working on a blanket. P.S. I love that yellow!

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  3. Hi I find dbt very helpful and I work with a dbt therapist. I had bulimia in college . I know how it feels to worry about food and scales and mirrors. I’ve learned to accept myself more in my 40s. I exercise but I eat things I want and things I should. I struggle with stopping at 2 cookies instead of 12.
    Keep trying as my shrink says 😊
    Traci. I love the knitting!

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  4. I am impressed that you taught yourself to knit and were able to make this lovely scarf.

    An old woman I used to care for in the nursing home I worked in was teaching me how to knit last year. It is not easy to learn.

    Beautiful job 🙂

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  5. I hightly recommend DBT. HIGHLY. Especially if you can get into a year-long program. I did it, and it was for 6 weeks and while I found it very helpful education-wise, it was not nearly enough time to really be in it, learning and practicing skills with help and support and a team of people around me to keep me going. From what I am reading, you are in a place where it seems like if you are willing to commit you might find it life-changing. Literally life-altering. I urge you to consider it and if you do go into it, no matter how hard it might be some days, how angry you get, how badly you want to indulge in target behaviors, be thankful you are there, and remember that you are there because someone cares about you and wants to see you happy and healthy.

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    • Thank you. Because everyone’s been so supportive and encouraging of me doing the year-long DBT program it’s really helped alleviate some of my anxiety around doing it and I’ve pretty much decided on doing it. I have to turn in a decision next Thursday.

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  6. I don’t know what you’re going through…i haven’t read through your entire blog, but knitting is a great therapeutic hobby.
    I also taught myself to knit and have been enjoying it’s many benefits.
    For me, it’s calming when I’m feeling anxious and keeps my mind at ease when I’m nervous (like when my dad is in the hospital…again).
    It also gives me a confidence boost when people ask me about knitting or sit amazed that I can make that magic happen.
    While I don’t (I have cats), you can also knit for charity (as people above have pointed out) and be a selfless knitter. Just keep in mind that when knitting for charity (especially NICU) you want to be in a pet-free, smoke-free home.
    Also check out Ravelry.com it’s an amazing website for knitters and crocheters where you can get patterns, make friends, and post your projects. =^.^=

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