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Knitting/Crocheting for Mental Health

I worry about us this winter. We must stay vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but taking precautions against the pandemic--particularly not being able to gather with friends and loved ones--may make winter feel especially long.

It has been years since I suffered a severe depression, but I will never forget the pervasive feeling of hopelessness. Every time I learn of or witness a friend in a depression, my heart breaks for her or him, and I wish with all my might that I could help. 

When I was at my worst, nothing and no one could make my day better. I felt no joy in any activity, and I didn't have the concentration to read or knit, my two favourite pastimes. 

Eventually, with medication, my ability to focus began to return, and I picked up my knitting needles again. Soon knitting became all I wanted to do. With time, I was able to work on more complex knitting patterns. And when friends and family visited me (an anxiety-inducing prospect at that stage), I would knit for comfort while we chatted. 

It took several months to get well, but knitting aided my recovery exponentially. I haven't stopped knitting since. I recognize now that knitting is absolutely necessary for my mental health. My husband knows it, too. For years, after I'd had a stressful day, he'd say, "I think you need to go knit." My joy for knitting is visceral. It has made me a more relaxed person. It is my meditation.

It may not be the same for everyone, but I wanted to share with you a little bit about my mental health journey in case it can offer you a glimmer of hope if you're on that journey, too. There is light on the other side of depression. It can be a long, lonely, dark road before you glimpse it, but it is there.

As much as humanly possible, we have to ward off the darkness this winter. We have to find our source of joy and immerse ourselves in it. If we're going to be stuck with only our own company until spring, we need to love being with ourselves. And a much-loved hobby certainly makes that easier. 

Sending all of you love and wishes for an easy winter. <3

(Photo by Caroline Feelgod from sewbroidery)


12 comments

  • Thank you all so much for your kind comments and sharing of your own experience. We are fortunate to have found others to share our hobby with and even luckier to have found them also to be such caring, empathetic people. I am grateful for every one of you! <3

    Cathy
  • Thank you Cathy for your insightful words and for sharing such a personal story. I too am blessed to have found a husband who understands that I am a nicer, stronger person because I knit. You have created such a warm and inclusive shop that is such a pleasure to visit and support. Thank you for reminding us to check on our friends and family over the long months ahead. Stay well, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Hilton
  • Thank you Cathy for sharing with us. Life is indeed complex at times and we seldom know how we will handle our circumstances. You play an important role in this community and we thank you for this. I wish you inner peace and good health in the months to come. Nameste.

    Carole
  • It used to be rare that someone with mental health issues felt comfortable enough to share them with the world. Who knows what kind of response one will get? For those with fragile mental health, having a safe and supportive place to share their experiences and show support for others at the same time is a wonderful gift. Working with yarn is a great stress reliever for many of us, and a lifesaver for some. Sharing your story is a brave and selfless act, and is a wonderful way to give hope to others as we gear up for a Covid winter. Thank you!

    Catherine
  • So brave of you to share your experience. I am crying as I empathize with you. Those words could have come from me – my experience was the same. It’s been a long journey and hopefully those days are behind me. Finding your store and the wonderful people in it has been a godsend. Knitting and music have saved me, and my husband has been my solid ground.

    Pia Stewart

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