Thanks for all your comments on my Errigal experience. I occasionally hesitate about hitting the publish button on those self-analytical /recovery-related posts, but what you say is so supportive, useful and thought-provoking for me that I’m always glad I did. This time your comments were so helpful that I actually went out and made the T-shirt.

This is not an ideal garment for this weather (it is actually HOT here), nor would it be appropriate garb when one is out supporting one’s partner . . . who is actually running a race. . .

. . .but otherwise, I reckon it is a garment that many of us might wear with pride.

THANKYOU

64 thoughts on “now look what you’ve done

  1. Dear Kate,
    I have read your blog with interest–or, to be honest, I discovered it and then spent four delicious days knitting and reading it all in one fell swoop. There are many, many posts that deserved delurking, but this particular image obviously struck a chord. It is not abrade. It might be a dance, or a marathon, or a piece of art, as Heschel teaches, but a race, no. Thank you for your honesty.

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  2. I’ve just been reading the post you mention and it’s hard to say how i feel about it because i could feel tears fill my eyes but not for pity or something like this (words don’t come that easy because English is not my mother tongue, sorry), i think i could just “feel” the way you were feeling at this moment and i was so amazed and admiring… Please keep on hitting the Publish button even if in doubt your thoughts might be shared. They deserve to be shared.

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  3. When I had my stroke 14months ago, I was told that recovery was a marathon, not a sprint, but I was in denial and believed All would be back , at the most one year. hah. I have gained great insight and inspiration from your blog which I stumbled upon in February through a link from a hand craft site I was reading with envy. my one year anniversary was approaching and your words and thoughts, paralled mine, so I follow you now with tearful joy. thank you for your words and insights. may you be happy, may you be at peace. dana

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  4. jamsandwich on July 16, 2011 at 12:19 am said:
    “Nice top, the only improvement i can see would be to print it upside down so when you start beating yourself up, despite your amazing progress, you can look down and regain perspective. ”

    I get this ! So , like, what is the t-shirt for, is it for the elitist hillwalkers who try to scramble past , or for Kate herself, to be reminded. Perhaps it is for both. OMG, I need about a dozen of these t-shirts !!!

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    1. Maybe the slogan needs to be upside down on the front, for Kate to read, and right way up on the back for other people to see – after she has overtaken them!

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  5. WOW!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! You still totally rock in my books! Be kind to yourself and realize you have pushed yourself through, up, over, down and back up over mountains that others merely take photos of!

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  6. It takes strength to pulicly acknowledge your weaknesses and struggles. Your story has been inspiring from the start – it’s amazing what you’ve accomplished already, and I for one love reading this blog for ALL of its content. Rock on! :)

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  7. What a terrific idea. I think I could do with one of them myself, occasionally I have to remind myself, in yoga class of all places, that it is not a competition. Huzzah for Kate!

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  8. I love the shirt! Want one. It’s always great reading your posts, and the intelligent comments they provoke as well. I really liked what someone said in response to your Errigal post, to paraphrase badly, about not knowing what the person walking past you is going through. When I’m trying to be more compassionate and less judgemental I say something similar to myself about how everyone is going through their own journey in life and you have no idea where they’ve been or where they’re going. Bizzarely this actually helps me to be more zen about people who are rude to me in traffic because it helps me let the little irritations go. It’s a work in progress :) I’ve been thinking a bit more about how I react to people around me recently as well as my dad died about a month ago. I found it made me nuts the week before hand, while he was in hospital slipping towards a coma, I’d be out trying to run errands for myself or my mum without falling in a heap (helpfully was also 38 weeks pregnant) and complete strangers kept making comments about how my expression looked or what my mood seemed to be like. Sometimes you do want to scream, “You have no idea what’s going on in my life! Stop trying to jolly me up!” Of course screaming on a mountain, or to a mountain, seems much more sensible than letting loose in a shopping mall.

    Anyway, what I actually wanted to say was that I enjoyed reading your thoughts about your struggles with your own ideas about yourself. Over the past 3 years I’ve been fighting with post-natal depression and have found that while it’s not something I’d ever wish on anyone else, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and how I navigate the world. One of the strange things was that as well as being seriously depressed, I was then beating myself up for being depressed, as though this was my own fault. I discovered I had weird preconceptions about mental illnesses, including a probably commonly held belief that there was no justification for me to be depressed because I had a good life, a beautiful son, a fabulous partner. It was as though I didn’t have a “right” to feel that way, and if something physical had happened to me, something obvious like breaking a leg or having a stroke, it would be OK to feel like I was floundering. I also struggled with the idea that I was “weak” – I’d always thought of myself as a strong, capable person, and there I was, so incapacitated that I struggled to manage to do any dishes or feed the cats. Naturally I beat myself up about that as well. I went round in circles with the ideas for a while; was I weak or was I strong for coping with being weak? Nowdays I talk in terms of how resilient I’m feeling, which is a bit more helpful way of looking at it than my usual analytical picking apart of everything and what it must mean.

    Also wanted to add your post reminded me of a song by Luka Bloom, “Don’t be so hard on yourself”. There’s the lovely line, “When I look at you I see your power, but when your blues come around, you’re so hard on yourself.” It sounds better sung than quoted of course!

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    1. Don’t forget that you are grieving too. I think it would be hard to separate the two events in your life. Depression is pretty tricky, like having the emotional flu. Take care of yourself and the rest will fall into place. Happy you mentioned…compassion, zen and Luka Bloom…I had forgotten about him…
      Annie

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  9. Well done for getting up and down that mountain. We, you and the rest of the world I hope, do not care in what fashion. It was done.

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  10. Nice top, the only improvement i can see would be to print it upside down so when you start beating yourself up, despite your amazing progress, you can look down and regain perspective.

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  11. I have been reading your blog for a while now and I am completely amazed by you! Your determination, your strong will and most of all your resilience!! I am always interested in how people cope with different situations, good or bad. You continue to move forward no matter how many walls are placed in your way. Maybe you used to be able to go over them but from where I sit, its your ability to go around them now that is impressive!! You inspire me with your life, your writing and of course your knitting. You make me want to get up off my ass and do something….and by the way I have a Luke who looks just like Bruce.

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  12. And a great reminder that life doesn’t need to be a race. Look at all the flora and fauna you have captured in your travels due to a slower pace…not to mention all the lovely Bruce moments.

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  13. Oh, hey, I just remembered a great little story to share. So, as I’ve mentioned before, perimenopausal train-wreck of a use-to-be cycling jock, has made me, well, just a little bit agitated when I actually decide to go out and ride the mountain. What kills me is that on the very same climb which I use to fly over nearly effortlessly, and mind you, which is in my own neighborhood…. and other cyclists come jaunting up behind me and might say encouragingly ‘ the top is just ahead, you’re almost there!’ . I want to say “yes, I know, I live here” or some other proud attention-hogging comment which might adjust things a bit . But no, I just say “oh thanks !” That’s tough. That’s reeeally difficult to do.

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  14. I love it!

    I have lots of catching up to do on your blog, but read this first and absolutely love that shirt! I want one also!

    Martha — Idaho, US

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  15. Just wanted you to know that you inspire me. I enjoy reading your blog and I’m sending you lots of positive thoughts as you continue on your path. Thank you!

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  16. Dear Katie,

    I recently started to knit and, in google search, came across your very interesting blog. I just wanted to let you a small word of thank you for the inspiration you give your readers, knit and yarn wise but also in how you deal with your difficulties. At one point or another, we all need to look ahead of us and not around us. We all have our own pace. It’s not a race, you know? :-)

    Many thanks.

    All the best
    Celia (Porto, Portugal)

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  17. Kate, I read your recovery-related posts with a great deal of interest and empathy but find myself rather tongue-tied when it comes to commenting. I had a brain injury eight years ago, and looking back on my own experience, I find that what I am inclined to say *now* would not have been perceived as useful by myself *then,* which leaves me disinclined to say much at all. Your other commenters are so much more insightful, constructive and articulate. But I wanted to say how much I like the shirt, and your writing.

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  18. I could do with one of those when I struggle back, on a crutch with a knee that refuses to bend, from collecting my daughter from school, Trouble is that many of her primary school friends (all 450 of them it seems) are running a race to get out of the school gate and in the process oblivious to the middle age woman who could, until being hit by a large 4X4 four months ago, have moved quickly out of their way! As my partner says you just have to work on the assumption that they will swerve and avoid me. Mind you the school did have to issue a warning about parents wearing innapropriate slogan t-shirts and other apparel in the playground – you know the sort of thing – the mum who thought it was appropriate to collect her child everyday wearing earrings that said ‘Bitch’.

    Best wishes,

    Joan

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  19. Now that’s the way to think about it! I’ve been reading about what you’ve been accomplishing and have been in awe.

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