The real answer?
I was determined to learn.
When I started learning to knit this spring, I was still on Lyrica. And my short-term memory issues - which I thought were due entirely to the brain damage - were in full swing.
And for the past five years, I had been unable to learn.
I could not retain new information. Lists with more than two items just slipped right out of my head.
And this frustrated me to the point of tears. Because you guys, I used to be smart, and I used to be quick, and I could not learn anything anymore.
And I said okay, fuck it, I am going to learn a new skill. I am going to learn to knit. And I am going to keep pushing and keep plugging away at it until I can do it, because I am the stubbornest person who ever stubborned and I refuse to accept that I cannot retain information. I am doing this.
And it sucked at first. Emily had to literally hold my hands and guide me. I screwed up my first scarf pretty comically. My first few projects were all garter stitch or 1x1 rib, because I could not retain patterns; retaining "knit 1, purl 1" was a struggle.
But I kept doing it.
And with every project, I have been adding a new skill, and building on that skill with the next project, and so on. This morning, when I held up my first non-rectangular project, I declared "I have unlocked this achievement!"
Over the summer, I changed meds. I still have short-term memory issues, but they've improved greatly. I can follow a several-row pattern now.
I am learning.
So it's not just that the yarn is beautiful to the eye and to the touch, and it's not just that it's nice to be doing something productive as I watch TV with Adam.
It's that I have told my brain that it will work, that I will not stop, that I will retain this information, that I will learn.
And I am doing it.