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recovery without knitting? how dare you.

Posted Nov 29 2008 10:08am
When I was 7, my gramma taught me how to knit. I had little half-completed projects hanging off needles all over the house. I didn't have the attention span for the length of a scarf, let alone anything much more involved. Little did I know that this skill would play a huge role in my treatment from a life I wouldn't even see coming for another 11 years.

I always joke that recovery isn't possible without knowing how to knit. If you don't know how, don't worry, you can still recover from an eating disorder. That doesn't mean I don't highly recommend learning, though! Every treatment program I went through, most everyone was knitting or crocheting. There was even a boy when I was on Alcott who really wanted to learn because everyone else was doing it, so a few girls taught him. He spent the rest of his stay on the EDU knitting with extra yarn and two pencils. How no one had a spare set of needles for the poor boy is beyond me.

There's something amazing about knitting to me; it is the one and only activity in my entire life that I can do and not pay attention to it. I can keep my hands busy and pay full attention to other things going on around me and, above all else, not be anal about it. Mistakes and slipped stitches make it "all the more special" and counting rows takes the fun out. For really intricate patterns, I'll write them down so I don't have to keep thinking about it, but for the most part, I just go with it. That's sort of a huge deal for me considering how I beat myself up for everything else I do, from my artwork to washing the dishes correctly.
It also calms my anxiety which, in turn, calms one of my worst OCD habits. By keeping my hands busy, I can't use one of my worst behaviors. That was also a great excuse to be allowed to knit during groups.

Today, I stumbled over a really cute blog run by a group of recovered / recovering knitters. They have chosen to take their skill and use it to encourage recovery in a really adorable way. I love what they're doing and I would love to get involved with a project like this. Check out their blog here.

So, here's a little audience participation for ya:

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