One of my earliest memories is of my mother crocheting. Summer was in its Dog Days, our non-air conditioned house roared with the sound of box fans in our small living room, and my mother… watching Christmas movies and crocheting her heart out.
This is what she would do in prep for Christmas Craft Sales when I was young. We have VHS tape after VHS tape of Christmas cartoons and movies, and to get her in the “holiday spirit” when it was hot out and the sun was blazing, she would put them on and create her inventory. Had you told me then that in about 25 years I’d be sitting around creating my own inventory, I probably would have said you were nuts. Me? Crochet? I could never!
Turning Anxiety Into Art
Anxiety has always been a part of my life. If you ask me to think about a time in my life before Anxiety took over, I wouldn’t have an answer for you; there isn’t a time in my life when Anxiety did not exist. It took me a long time to really own up to the fact that something wasn’t quite right. I was 29 before I decided that I had to do something to combat the nervous energy that was constantly running through my body. I had read that knitting was a great way to release pent up anxiety and calm a person down. That’s when I decided to learn.
I took to it quickly; mastering the stitching in a week or so and creating anything that looked fun and new. This is truly where my dream of having a blog and an Etsy shop began. However, I learned pretty quickly that my knitting would likely never grow beyond basic projects. Being left handed in the knitting world is almost a taboo. While there are people who are very successful as lefty knitters and those that have learned to crochet as a righty, I knew I would likely never be one of those people. For a little while, I gave up knitting and creating all together.
Then my Anxiety and Depression got worse.
First, I ignored it. Everyone gets anxious, right? Who was I to think that my issues held any more weight over someone else’s? I was just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. I lived like that for a long time. It was painful every single day and I wouldn’t wish that sort pain (mental and physical) on anybody. Mental Health wasn’t something I was well educated on as a child. My family never spoke about it and I was never taught about the importance of self care. It took me a long time to see how important it is.
In the spring os 2015 I finally got the help that I so long deserved. I found a fantastic therapist who I still see today and a psychiatrist that works closely with me to ensure my meds are working the best they can so I can fight these diseases.
As time went on I felt ready to create again. This time, however, I wanted to learn how to crochet. I bought my first set of hooks off Amazon and started to learn the day I got them. Having been a knitter for a few years prior to picking up a crochet hook, things came easily. I created my first granny square blanket in a weekend and was off to work on learning even more.
I’ve come a long way since then, finding so much joy in seeing projects come together and even more pleasure in gifting items I’ve created. When my anxiety gets the best of me (as it probably always will, sometimes), I just start creating.
I opened up my Etsy Shop in March and have been working on my inventory ever since. At times I am taken back to those hot summer days with mom. I can understand now why she would start her projects so early and why those VHS tapes of Christmas movies helped motivate her. It’s even better that I have a crochet buddy that’s so close to me. We can “talk shop” whenever we want.
Take a Journey With Me
This journey has just started, and I would love it if you stuck around to take it with me. Anxiety and depression are not diseases you need to “just deal with.” Unfortunately, it took me years to realize this; but the amazing thing about it is that in finally standing up to myself and fighting back I’ve found a love for creating.
I’ve learned to turn my Anxiety into Art.