I crochet so I don't kill people

I've mentioned before how much I love to crochet.  Yarn is some of my most serious therapy.  The rhythm of the work, and the joy of making something with my hands is just incredibly soothing.  I try to do it every day, although I'm not always successful.

I realized earlier today that I've never shared pictures of some of my projects.  My most recent one is an afghan for my parents for Mother's and Father's Days.  I started it in early March, although I worked on several other projects in the meantime.  I'm now almost finished--I just have to finish the trim around the edge and then I'm finally (!) done.

I first learned how to crochet when I was in residential treatment.  We were stuck inside one day, and I was bored out of my mind.  I knew the basics of knitting, but nothing of crochet.  So my friend E taught me the basics.  I could never master anything more than the basic knit stitch, no matter how hard I tried. Nor was manipulating two needles that easy for me.  But I took off with crochet.  It's just wrapping yarn around a stick.  All you have to do to make the different stitches is wrap the yarn a different number of times.  I'm not practically giving myself stigmata with knitting needles, either.

It's become a huge part of my recovery.  When I get stressed or upset after eating (which has been known to happen a time or two...) I just pick up my yarn.  It takes enough of my concentration to tone down the obsessions, but it doesn't take so much concentration that I can be too upset to work.

How about you? Have you found crafting or creative projects an important part of your recovery? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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drstrangelove said...

I'm the least creative person in the world. While in IP I just did crossword puzzles and WATCHED people crochet and knit. :)

drstrangelove said...

But! That afghan is amazing!

Miss Keira said...

I crochet on the bus, waiting at the hospital for my doctor, watching tv...

I find it keeps me grounded and less impulsive. I've got something my hands can do and it relieves the anxiety.

I get anxious in large lecture halls so I crochet in there too. I record the lectures and it helps me avoid bursting into tears from the anxiety...

Katie said...

The afghan is lovely! I'm the same with making jewellery - it occupies my mind and has pretty results which please my inner magpie :P

missmarymax said...

I also learned to crochet in residential. It was something the girls there passed onto each new resident, so I found it incredibly helpful -- not only with my anxiety and near-constant need for distraction -- but also as a way to feel connected to that community of people after I'd discharged. More recently, I haven't been able to crochet as much (tendonitis in my hand), but I still return to it from time to time and it's always fantastically soothing. Great blanket, post, (and title)!

Daniel said...

Very beautiful afghans! My mom makes them every now and then too and I think they're pretty neat.

I find that crossword puzzles, guitar, or video games take my mind off of stress and food obsessions. They don't really help much with the guilt feeling of being sedentary (a feeling that shouldn't be there anyways!), but they're all so calming to me and it allows my mind to focus on things other than what my next meal is going to be.

kayleigh.madison said...

I am in recovery, but I have yet to find a artsy/stress-reliever method. Before reading this, I thought it was so overrated. Now, I'm starting to think I really need one.

Keep up the great work!

HikerRD said...

I recommend knitting and crocheting all the time as therapy for my patients. Funny thing is, I have minimal patience for it, and I NEVER manage to size anything right--except mittens. I think I'll just stick to blogging!
Great you can master both!

Niika said...

I've never been able to knit or crochet specifically because EVERYBODY did it in treatment... lmao. I guess I just get annoyed when something is so popular with EVERYbody, and then don't want to do it at all. Mostly in treatment I would watch TV or movies, get on my computer, read, or do art-type projects like collages.

Niika said...

As for mindless stress relief, though, I really like Sudoku, find-the-word puzzles (NOT crosswords!), and coloring books. Lol.

Jane said...

Lovely afghan!
Do you use Ravelry.com?

Anonymous said...

I like to paint pottery at those studios where you go in, pick out your piece, sit, paint and then they fire it for you. When I was at residential a bunch of the girls went out on pass to paint bowls and plates for themselves that they could eat off of at home. At times when I'm struggling, especially with exercise urges, anxiety, etc - its often the only thing that can help me to sit still.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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