A course run by the Government caught my eye. Understanding Mental Health. I am never that great with statistics but apparently 60% of people now have a mental health problem, whereas before the pandemic they didn’t.
I thought it might be interesting to sign up and become a student again. But unfortunately I put a capital letter at my Username, and that was me stuck. I never even got as far as the “I am not a robot, tick how many traffic lights are in this picture” and an overwhelming feeling of chucking the laptop out the window took over me. Instead I went away and ran a bubble bath.
A lot of mental health community centres these days run free art, jewellery- making classes etc. I got referred to my local centre and thoroughly enjoyed the jewellery class. The tutor showed us how to make bracelets, necklaces, and at the end of the ten weeks we exhibited them and had a lovely lunch. We had struck up a camaraderie which didn’t necessarily include our illnesses, but we had that in common too. Some of us bought the tools and carried on making the jewellery at home. I took it one step further and signed up at college for a Silversmiths course but detested it, it wasn’t my thing wielding a blowtorch – I was relieved when I heard the girl behind me say – “oh I thought it was gonna be just stringing beads!”
I think half the battle in fighting bipolar, because let’s not beat about the bush, it is a fight, is having something to take your mind off your situation. Whether it’s tending to plants, gaming, pampering yourself with bath products or cosmetics, anything that can absorb you. Something soothing which gives you self- care. Something you can do in a group or if you aren’t up to it, a solitary hobby, even jigsawing. Some old crafts are dying out – enter the Knitting Group. I was the joke, taking over two years to knit a scarf, but I didn’t care. It wasn’t really the knitting I went to the coffee shop for, but the banter.
Now I have started a pink and white blanket for my new grandchild, hopefully having it finished before November when she makes her entrance into the world.