I have been learning a new Viking skill, inspired by my recent trip to York. It is named nålebinding and is like knitting and crocheting combined but is NEITHER OF THESE because it predates them both. I won't attempt to explain how it works because there are YouTube videos that'll explain it way better, but you do it with the stitches (two thereof) on your left thumb, and do a chain like in crocheting. Not figured out how to fix all the chains together yet but one chain looks a bit like this:
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It's not exactly a work of art but I ONLY JUST LEARNED and my aim is to make a beautiful hat for myself eventually.
I have the time to do this because of the issue I'm skirting around by talking about knitting, which is that I've been signed off work for a week since my anxiety's all severe and that. It's worrying to have 'severe' before any medical condition. Although slightly validating. Yesterday I made a botched attempt to patch things up at work and it all went wrong – or at least, that's how I perceived it – and all the physical anxiety stuff came back (nausea, feeling faint, needing to escape the building fairly quickly, stomach not letting me eat anything), and I think that made me understand that I need to get this sorted, or at least eased off a bit.
I looked at my calendar today and this, and by this I mean 'me being extra crazy' has been going on all month, and I'm not coping as well as I'd hoped. I have mixed feelings about not going to work. On the one hand, I think it is a good idea, even if I don't feel it right now, and an excellent chance to review all the stuff I learnt over the summer about how to manage. On the other, I'm terrified that this is a sign of weakness or that people will think I hate my job, because in fact I like translation. I've wanted to do it since I was a teenager and when I finally managed to get an in-house position, I was so happy because I felt like I was finally getting stuff on track. It's possibly all because I care a bit too much and want so badly for this to work out. But the more I try and explain what's happening, and the more I try and work straight through lunches and then do hours of online courses to try and get better at my job, the worse it gets.
Bit of perspective needed, though. Even if Worst Case Scenario happens and I'm one day told that I'm just not cut out to be a translator and I have to hang up my…CAT tools? Then that's not even the end of the world. I am good at other stuff. I could be a live-in hobbit at the home of a rich Tolkein enthusiast, etc.
Today I spent the morning panicking, obsessively checking my phone to see if anyone had asked me about handing over stuff at work, replaying conversations in my head, and wondering whether I'd done the right thing by getting signed off. Indeed I asked the doctor whether I could change my mind and come back to work in the course of the 'signed off week'. But this would be foolish. I felt a bit better in the afternoon and made a list of things I could do (NOT a list of things I HAVE to do because otherwise if I have to do them and I do not do them I will be a failure because that is how my mind currently works) over the next week. It's a mixture of fun (go to the beach), social, tedious (clean the oven) and mental (do some therapy to re-progamme my brain back to Good Crazy). Kind Trollistair aka Neighbour Alastair kindly checked to make sure I wasn't any more insane than before because he is Wise. I might bake him a vegan cake some day when I'm capable of baking without setting myself on fire. I shall post it to him in Berlin.
Tomorrow I'm going to do boring stuff like go to the opticians and register with a dentist, but ONLY if I feel up to it, otherwise I can sit in my house, read about self-help techniques and knit because this is TOTALLY ALLOWED when you are mad (also when you are not mad).
ALSO today I finally booked tickets to go and see the Fureys who are coming to Alnwick and who are in my list of Top Ten Favourite bands. Maybe even top five. I've also scoured pans, and nearly finished one of my Top Secret Knitting Projects that certainly has nothing to do with any trips to Sweden in June in which I might meet a baby OH NO.

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