Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's MINE, dammit

One thing that I'm really bad about with my kids is setting boundaries. And I don't mean that in a theoretical, therapy kind of way; I mean it in a literal, physical way. Mainly, setting boundaries with my stuff.

It's such a conundrum. We teach our kids to share, that it's wrong to be selfish, to hoard their crayons or their trucks, to not let others play. But aren't there things that a kid shouldn't have to share? I know there are things I don't want to share. Like my markers. Or my various odds and ends of yarn (yes, I will use them for something, someday). Or my iPod. Especially my iPod, since my two-year-old used my old one as a chew toy and killed it. But how can I hoard my own stuff (or, let's face it, be "selfish" with it), and then make my kids share their stuff? It seems contradictory.

I'd like to think that in life, there are some things that are just mine, and mine alone. There aren't many of these things, and most of them are pretty mundane, but they're vital to my well-being, especially as a parent. When you're a parent, you give so much of yourself -- I've given my body, my time, my job, my house, my car, and the list goes on. To preserve my sanity, I should be able to hoard a few things and keep them, just for myself.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A different form of craft therapy

I have decided I am going to create a new word: "craftherapy." There, I did it. M-W.com, suck it.

Anyway, I see knitting as part of therapy, hence the whole name and concept of this blog. But knitting isn't the only form of creative therapy I engage in. In fact, I'm kind of weird, in that when it's hot outside (as it has been this summer), I don't really want to knit. I guess if I moved to Florida I'd never knit. But that won't happen, so whatever.

My point is, there are lots of other ways to be creative and focus on mindfulness and healing at the same time. I found a great book this spring called Art Journals and Creative Healing, which is wonderful for anyone who likes to draw or journal or scrapbook. And, less intense, there is the Zentangle series of books, which the authors call "Yoga for your brain." The Zentangle stuff is kind of like glorified doodling, but, if you're like me, doodling is a great outlet, because you can lose yourself in a drawing, without the added stress of having your drawing look like "something."

I'd love to compile a longer list of books or workbooks that are good for craftherapy (there! I used it in a sentence! It's really a word now!), so look for more suggestions later.

By the way: if you do a Google image search for "crafts," some seriously weird stuff comes up.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

To DBT or not DBT? -- that is the question

After Lyddie was born in April, I spent some time in an inpatient program at a facility called the Lindner Center in Mason. It helped me immensely, but the doctor there also suggested that I find a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) workshop to enroll in.

Per DBTselfhelp.com, DBT is an offshoot of CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) that combines CBT and Eastern philosophy. It is beneficial for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, self-injurers, and the like. I think the philosophy is summed up with the phrase, "You're okay -- now change."

I found a DBT program here in the area, at Good Samaritan Hospital. They had an unexpected opening for the program that starts next week, so I am going to go check it out tomorrow. It's every Tuesday for 25 weeks.

Come on, people, I have bipolar disorder -- I can't commit to anything that long.

We'll see how it goes. I like the idea of the therapy, but right now, I'm kind of soured on therapy all together. I don't think therapy has ever really helped me, long-term. Why should this be any different?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bipolar Knitter...back at it

Well, I kind of fell off the blogging wagon around March. I started having early labor symptoms and was in and out of the hospital pretty much until I gave birth in April. But, I had a healthy baby girl, Lydia, who is beautiful, sweet, and easy (thank God).

So, technically, I'm not Pregnant Bipolar Knitter anymore. I think I am going to keep this blog, though, and just rename it to Bipolar Knitter. Look for a new title/logo/etc. I still believe in the spirit of the blog -- bringing information and awareness about mental illness, specifically in women, to the public. This being said, I'm going to regroup and refocus my energies back to this blog and other outlets.

Also, my brain is rotting, so this is a way to try to prevent that from happening. With three kids 4 and under, it's probably a losing battle, but I gotta try!