Navigating a nervous breakdown
Former Mid-Sussex resident Alison Evans, now living in Australia, has launched Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns, the story of the people and experiences that helped her recover from her breakdown in 2010.
Alison received care from the adult community mental health team at Linwood, Haywards Heath.
“I didn’t understand the serious impact that acute anxiety and depression could have” says Alison, “and I didn’t know anyone else who had experienced a nervous breakdown. I’ve written Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns to help others who might not understand either.”
Written under her family name of Bryson, Alison tells of the events that led up to her breakdown in September 2010, her struggles before being referred for mental health support and of the things she learned about anxiety and how to manage it.
“I was treated by the community mental health team at Linwood, Haywards Heath, attending for sessions in art therapy, craft, tai chi and creative writing. Although I didn’t have any hope for recovery, the staff there had hope for me. I’m very grateful to the psychiatrists, therapists, employment support and other staff at the clinic, and to the drivers and volunteers who took me to appointments there.”
While Alison was ill and being cared for by her parents in the Scottish Borders, her mum gave her knitting to keep her occupied. She was introduced to tatting (a handcrafting technique using thread and shuttles to create lacework from a series of knots and loops) by her Burgess Hill neighbour. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and the economic situation worsens, more people are seeking support for anxiety. Alison hopes that her book will provide hope and practical support for those experiencing anxiety.
“It’s particularly poignant that I’m launching Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns ten years after my breakdown, and I’m so pleased to celebrate its launch with family and friends in my new and former hometowns.”
Alison lived in Burgess Hill from 2004 until moving to Melbourne, Australia with her husband in 2012. She currently lives in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales. Knitting, Tatting and Nervous Breakdowns by Alison Bryson is available in paperback and eBook.