I have been collecting data on myself and my mental illness for a little over a year now. My therapists and psychiatrists have also been recording my mood at every session since 2015, when I was first correctly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Type II, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. What do I do with this accumulation of data?
I chose the cathartic act of knitting. This scarf represents my daily struggle to achieve relative stability. I have regularly thought, “what if I wore my mental illness?” How can I visualize the data to make it more relatable, understandable and human? Not only did the process of making the scarf soothe me, it is a comforting object. The visual record of my sleep and depression is self-validating to remind me of my resiliency and ability to get through depressions and manias. Tracking your data like this forces you to be more mindful of your mood and mental illness. In theory, I will continue this scarf for the rest of my life.