Have you ever had that knotted ball of fishing wire you just look at and cannot even imagine where to start to begin untangling it?
Have you ever had a knot in a necklace which doesn’t seem to ever want to come out despite how much you work on it? String? thread? knitting?
So many things! So many knots!
This is what I think someone who is suffering from a mental illness feels. Their mind is a ball of knots. No start, no end and certainly not an easy fix.
Mental health is such a hot topic at the moment. It has been, and will continue to be.
However, it is now at the forefront of our minds more, now than ever.
What a year!
Watching those you love and those you know, try and unravel their own ‘knots’ is harder than you might think.
The moments of confusion, complete misunderstanding… it’s hurtful, actually heartbreaking.
The moments of distrust which have stemmed from a knot, not from the love, the memories or the special moments but from a seed planted by the mind. A misinterpretation which one did not understand.
A knot forms and it grows.
The moments of paranoia, where you think everyone is watching, everyone is thinking something less or more of you than they actually are.
The moments of just loss and confusion???
Those moments speak the truth of mental illness.
Where you watch someone, so lost, so confused start to let the knots take over.
You can say and do all you can. You can try bring back the good time’s, the great time’s and even some of the hard times. You can recount all the important moments, the funny moments and the moments you overcame the challenges… it may not be enough. Remember, it’s all in knots!
But… if the knots are tied to tight there may be no way out. We cannot see it, we cannot feel it. Only they can. We try all we can to ease the knots, untangle them or even show a way to ease them off.
We cannot untangle the knots of someone else. No matter how hard we try.
If we do see some small window of success ….. we can hope it’s enough, a small amount of give can unravel any knot.
Once a knot is unravelled, or has begun to be unravelled, it will be kinked, it may even become knotted again, but, as it was when we first started we have to start slow. One small knot at a time.
Just remember with mental illness those knots may just be so tight we can try and try and try and try again, and to us personally we may feel we are getting somewhere. But for the person suffering we may be doing nothing but adding to the confusion.
They hide it well. That’s the hardest part!
The kinks of an unravelled knot remain. They are the reminders of what you/we/I have survived. What you/we/I have managed to separate and untangle from the mix.
Putting my own knotted wire aside to help unravel my own child’s and others is a challenge. How does one set aside the knots we have ourselves to try and help others?
I pause here and imagine the airline safety videos – put your oxygen mask on before you attend to your child or others.
Is this realistic?
I am the cause of half her knots, I know it, she knows it and many others know it. Parenting is bloody hard! You never know what’s right or wrong. You’re pushing to hard, you’re not pushing enough.. you are not disciplining enough, or it is to much!
Who knows! In this day and age you cannot even smack a child without repercussions!
I was smacked and boy did I know when I was wrong. I am so much better off now because of it.
However as you crawl into bed, despite trying to help others, including those most dear to you, unravel those knots, you realise yours are still there. Still a twisted mess, a knotted unrealistic mess and at some point dismissing it, is in some way pushing it to one side. This won’t suffice, and you may find yourself, just like those you loved and lost.
One day I/we/ you will have to begin to unravel your own knots. If you don’t, it can lead to unhappiness, loss and immeasurable suffering for those around you.
Take it slow, ask for help. Stop. Breathe, and start again.
Eventually the knots do come out. Whether it be on your own or with help. Who cares!
I can say this, and write this but I have yet to start to unravel my own knots. I can tell you I am one twisted mess and it’s going to take time.
However, over a few months, I believe I have managed to work on one of my knots. That knot for me, while not completely unravelled is titled ‘acceptance’. There are some things in life, no matter how hard, no matter how deeply they affect you, no matter how much you feel alone and left behind… you can unravel. It just takes time, support from others and patience. It’s not quite unravelled and I still get into a knotted mess, but there are those that when I walk in the room or arrive help me feel like; ‘you can do this’ one second at a time.
The kinks you say… they are just reminders of what you overcame.
Think about it….
Take the time, enjoy the moments of sadness, reflection and happiness. Because when all is said and done, that all we have.