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Four days ago my daughter asked me for an old quick-stitch kit which she had tried to work on over eight years ago before being diagnosed with this illness. I thought I had given it away as I did so many things which are associated with those events in my life which are best forgotten. I opened the suitcase reluctantly and found it nestling amongst knitting needles, embroidery threads and sewing paraphenalia. I kept quiet and I didn't give it to her. A day later she asked me again for the kit. I told her to take it if she wanted it. She did. The needle had rusted so she caught a bus and went to the nearest market to buy a new one. She has started working on it. She says it is soothing to stitch.
I feel a sense of gratitude to God when I see her beautiful face lit by the glow of the lamp as she bends over to sew the stitches which make a pattern.
Some memories are sometimes like snakes lying coiled in the deep recesses of the mind. It is best to let them lie. But seeing her sew now stirred those memories. When I got the kit then I thought it was one of the cures for mental illnesses. I did not know that there were medications for this illness. When I gave it to her and urged her to sew she could barely hold the needle. I remember being racked with bewilderment and turmoil being confronted with something so frightening and unknown. This illness still has the power to frighten and sadden me at times even now but I understand it much better now and feel a sense of bonding when I mingle with the ones who like me live with this illness everyday.
Posted by survivor at July 23, 2004 04:15 PM