The Art of Picking up Dropped Stitches

I am trying to separate it out, unknotting strands that become chaotically tangled.

 

Stitches dropped by the stresses I am trying to field.

 
Which do I cultivate intrinsically, cooking up a storm internally so that it’s my doing that my chest constricts and I battle for breath. I focus then. Lie flat. My palms on my abdomen. Breathe deep, I sternly tell myself. Enough self-remonstration and eventually I can feel the eagle trapped behind my sternum where its wings beat painfully morph and migrate as a soft cloud of manageable butterflies to my tummy, which obediently begins to rise and fall in smooth, deliberate, synchronization of thoughts reined, heart rate tamed.

 

I am trying to understand what I can control. What I cannot. And which responses to what I cannot control I can master better. A riddle.

 

I must – I know – lean to control the speed at which I live, hastily, always urgently trying to Fix what I mostly cannot. So that my bare foot, polish on painted toenails chipped, is pressed less urgently to the accelerator so that I do not hurtle out of control.

 

I do that alot: I do too much too quickly without thinking. It means I make mistakes. Alot. Rash decisions, commitments I cannot honour, not without dropping more and more stitches, losing the end of important threads. It means there is not enough time – despite my having an abundance of the stuff as I rattle in an outpost – to collect my thoughts and order them to compliant, tidy, rank.

 

But what of all the stuff I cannot control? And there is so much of that. A perpetual anxiety for my precious, darling, far away babies; my gently unravelling mother who one day is with me and the next a step further away so I am never entirely sure what I will deal with, a wonderful husband who is so strung with a big, unwieldy, job that I am often at a loss of how to support (you can’t Fix everything it turns out) that I must take cover from the inevitable fall out of his own stress. I worry about the past – how much have I wasted? – about the present and, especially, about the future. Which means I am Projecting which I ought not for that is useless wasteful energy spent on things I cannot know how to control, much less Fix.

 

Is this because of the person I am? The physiology of one who is wiry, woundtight, strung high? Is it because my memory of life’s side-swipes is more acute so that I catastrophize? That every dimple in my roadmap has the propensity to explode as a disaster? Is it because I expect the worst and strap myself tightly in (unlike my darling Ant who expects the best but prepares for the worst).

 

My GP says, ‘you’re Blood pressure is far too high’. So I swallow the pills he prescribes each morning and try to remember I ought not to accelerate a racing heart with real coffee. I sip decaff with distaste and wrinkle my nose.

 

I know what will order all of this. 522 words later, a single page of letters which have conformed to the shape I need them to be. Over these I have control. Over my words I have command. I must let them manipulate gentle power over me. Writing by its very nature demands solace, space, silence. It requires an emptying of headspace of the extraneous. It demands exactly the focus I need to slow my racing physiology, my scattered emotions.

 

Here, on the page, is the only place i can line them all up, give them a long, hard look, wag a finger in the direction of those that are slinking sideways and out of step.

 

I must write. I must write more.

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4 Responses to “The Art of Picking up Dropped Stitches”

  1. Ad dy Says:

    I leave you with the words I picked up at the Al-Anon meetings I used to go to……………

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    I also found “one day at a time” useful advice.

    They do help when things get on top of me. Do hope you are feeling better soon.

  2. lindagask Says:

    I came across your blog, and remember you from when you were hoping to get a publisher for a collection of pieces on depression. Since then, my book was finally published. I hope that life is being kinder to you and am pleased to see that you are indeed writing more!
    best wishes Linda

  3. Janelle Says:

    You’re not alone Anthea! I thought I was the world’s top catastrophiser…(not a word I know but it should be.) Honestly it really is all very pointless and we need to learn to LET GO….and do this:
    (I didn’t write it. Abraham, a spirit guide did, apparently…Still. )

    Some things you’re not letting happen right now because the timing isn’t perfect for you. Some you’re not letting happen because you are very aware of where you are. But all things, as they are happening, are happening in perfect order. And if you will relax and begin saying, “Everything in its perfect time. Everything is unfolding. And I’m enjoying where I am now, in relationship to where I’m going. Content where I am, and eager for more,” that is the perfect vibrational stance.

    Give it a twirl. I’m trying to!

    xxxx

  4. wanderingwondering Says:

    beetroot juice or tablets are helpful in reducing high blood pressure..

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