OK here is what I wanted to share regarding creating and depression or mental illness and how crocheting has helped me cope and save my life!
Crafts and DIY projects of all kinds, the act of creating in itself, can help keep your mind occupied and distracted enough to let the feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, unworthiness, or whatever ‘negative’ thoughts that invade your brain, you know, that tape that plays over and over and over in your mind…and doesn’t like to shut up! The action of creating something, anything, in ANY form or medium feeds your soul with a spark of positiveness!
Creativity and creating something with you own hands, no matter what it is, is like hitting the pause button of that looping tape in our tortured minds, for a moment, to let the Divine speak to our heart and soul, to shut the ‘negative’ sound up for a small amount of time (unless, like me you seem to have trouble counting your stitches, then you have a whole ‘new’ set of problems taking up residence in your brain coming out of your mouth lol 😀 It may or may not include naming calling, throwing something, ripping up, throwing out, or frogging (crochet term ‘rip it, rip it’! (not admitting to any of this, but it’s a good thing I live alone LOL!)
Crochet has been saving my life, even if you want to call it escapism, at least I am alive and not hurting myself or want to die all the time BC (before crocheting)! I have faced so much loss in the last year and a half, that since I have been crocheting now, and the difference in coping now, compared to a devastating, unexpected, out of the blue, what the hell are you saying???, loss 4 years ago today, has been night and day. I am also dealing with my mom, who I love with all of my heart and soul, of being very ill, and who, since Feb, has been sticking her foot/feet in the grave, but then pulls them out! Don’t get me wrong, my automatic thoughts are to self-harm when dealing with horrible stuff, but crocheting has and is starting to replace those thoughts and feelings and sometimes almost visual movies of hurting myself, and it gives me purpose knowing that something I am creating will be used by someone and sometime in the future.
I have made lots of things in the last year to give as donations for many different charities, from preemie babies, to kids/adults with ‘c’ (sorry won’t say that word!), homeless and people living in shelters, military; well you get the point! I have made several items for family members and a couple of people I care about. I would love to make some ‘twiddle muffs’ for Alzheimer’s patients to keep their fingers/hands busy and calm their minds.
Thanks to some very, very giving and generous ladies on social media, I have been blessed in this past year and a half; yarns, crochet hooks, a darning needle, and even a couple very skinny knitting needles, which I have always wanted to learn how to knit so much, and I actually tried it last month, thanks to watching Mikey of the Crochet Crowd, who tried it and inspired me to just do it!, but those needle were just TOO thin, (think dry spaghetti) so it was very frustrating! They were double pointed and trust me at a few points (OK many many times lol :D!), I was ready to stab my computer watching continental knitting ‘instructional’ YouTube videos, or stab my brain for not getting it, or the mattress, something lol 😀 (again, good thing I live alone and a shut in!) I will try again though when I get some really fat needles and big yarn so I can see what I am doing!
So I am so very grateful to those who shared their stash with me to give me something to crochet with. They probably will never know just how much they saved my life and sanity in this past 1 1/2 years! The only way right now in this point in my life to pay it forward, is by making things for charities until my situation changes for the better! So, from the bottom of my heart and my soul, a public THANK YOU to those who donated to me!
I have not been able to work for over 4 years now, due to health issues, surgeries, and my debilitating depression++, and for the last almost year now, have been pretty much bed ridden. I am a bit panicked because I am almost out of any yarn, and am using real ‘wool’ types, of which I am allergic too! (thank goodness I have benadryl!) But I will do what I did when I didn’t have anything to crochet with…I frogged things I had already made, so I could just keep crocheting.
I am sharing this for the first time like this (a few people know all, and a few times I have shared some details on different blogs to let others know they are not along), not for sympathy or attention or kudos or as excuses for my life as it is right now, but again to let others know ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE‘ and to also say that doing something that is positive and creative, especially to do something for others, can make all the difference in the world. And NO it doesn’t work 100% of the time, but, at least for me, it is better than laying here crying in pain and letting my thoughts run away like a freight train. At least this way, I may still be crying and in pain, but I am also creating and trying to do something for someone, which gives my heart and soul joy and purpose! And that in turn helps me to deal moment by moment!
Find something that you can enjoy doing and that you look forward in doing, even when the pits of hell open up. Write, color, crochet/knit, make cards, do woodworking, leather crafts, jewelry making …ANYTHING that gets you in the creative meditative flow and if you can then turn it around so that it can be made for a specific cause or charity or person, trust me, your heart will sing joyfully even with the pain stiff taking up occupancy there at the same time! I don’t think, at least in my case, the mental/emotional pain will EVER go away, but over time, it does tend to not be as raw and stinging like walking into a hornets nest (OUCH!!!), and fades more in the background, only to rear itself, sometimes with no rhyme or reason, but I just crochet faster when it happens!! When I get upset, the 1st thing I want to do now is grab and hook and yarn and create!!
I really hope sharing this will help even just one person and if I can ever be of help to you, please leave a comment and I will get back to you (sometimes I hide from the world so it might take me a moment, but if I am really needed, I will be there the best of my ability! For the most part, I have become pretty used to being all along and communicate with very few people except on a couple of social media groups/pages. But that feeling of being isolated is not good for anyone. Humans I don’t think were meant to be deserted islands, so if you find yourself in that situation and you need someone to talk to that really knows what you are going through, reach out. I know I don’t really talk to anyone anymore, but I am extending it to you if you need…I will answer, if I am able, and not leave you stranded, if I can help it. Or try calling someone you think cares about you (you know who they are when you’re NOT depressed~when we are depressed etc we don’t think anyone cares!)
Reach out to someone please! I know these places are not always the best, but:
******If you or anyone you know struggles with Suicidal Thoughts:*****
United States: 1 (800) 273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week Languages: English, Spanish Website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Thanks for reading and God bless!