Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Crafting for Mental Health

Phew!  Am back now in jolly ol' Blighty, all prepared to adjust back to Welsh temperatures, only to find myself in the middle of a heatwave!  Good timing or what?!

Even better, upon my return to the UK I also moved house (we'll ignore the house-move-on-top-of-travel-tiredness-equals-exhausted-Kim and skip straight to the good bits eh?).  Just LOOK at my new views:

I LIVE NEXT DOOR TO A LOAD OF SHEEP!!  Oh happy happy days :D  I'm so blessed to be able to call Anglesey my home.

It's so strange to compare my life now to where I was this time a year ago.  Last September I had a pretty severe flare up of anxiety disorder which left me more or less unable to function, even at a very basic level.  It's taken a lot of hard work but I'm so much happier now, so much more settled and at peace with myself.  A lot has changed for me, and I think things will continue to change (I hope these changes will all be for the better!)  For now I am embracing my life and celebrating my achievements, however small they may seem.

...Which brings me neatly to the more on-topic reason for this post.  As creative people, do you ever notice how often your creativity is a reflection of your health (mental or physical)?  I realised this week that my 'road to recovery' has been documented in the projects I take on.  A year ago for example - when I was at my worst - I lost my ability to knit (or rather my tired brain couldn't cope with the task).  It was a frightening time.  But slowly, I managed to get back into it, until it became my therapy - a time to think.  I delved into BIG projects - blankets and afghans - which ate away the time I would otherwise spend anxious.

As the anxiety gave way to depression, and I started to look inwards, my creativity focussed more on the small.  I was seeing the world in the tiniest of details...

But then my confidence started to grow, and I began to design patterns for myself.  Making something completely from scratch helped me to relearn how to trust my decisions, how to solve my own problems, how to express myself.  It gave me back my voice.

And now, I'm well on the way to recovery.  A year ago I could not cope with the 'stress' of knitting.  Today, I have 6 WIPs (that I can remember!); I can knit, sew, crochet, spin, or draw until my heart's content (and here are a couple of previews to prove it!)

Looking back over this post, I'm quite taken aback at how much beauty there is - how much colour and light.  It certainly didn't seem that way at the time.  But I can now see the steps I've taken, reflected in these photos, and I'm proud of each and every one - even the tiny ones!


This post has sort of turned into something a little deeper than I imagined it.  Perhaps in a couple of days I'll be back to edit it, but for now I'm happy to see my progress collected together, and to be able to share that progress with others.  I've got a fair few ideas buzzing around at the moment - and I'll be back over the next few days to share what's on the hook and needles with you properly.  Until then, keep well and enjoy this fabulous weather!

Kim x


Wendy said...

First of all, I want to say bravo for posting this. I posted about my depression recently and got so many comments from people who felt the same way or had experienced what I was experiencing. I too have been through periods of intense depression (mainly controlled by drugs), periods where I couldn't make anything, I just didn't feel like it. Coming out the other side is a great feeling and for you to have made so much progress with your health issues, to the point where you can post about it on your blog, that's just amazing. Well done and long may it last. xxx

~Claire~ said...

Wow! That is an amazing post. It's a wonder how even a stranger such as myself, can look back and feel the journey you've taken!! Bravo. From one depressed soul to another, I hope your journey continues on this positive path :) Looking at the scenery every day should help- it's stunning!!

Grateful4Crochet said...

Love the view from your new house!!!
Also love that crafting has helped you with anxiety and depression!
That's awesome!
Next week there is a week long tea party for Mental Health week happening at

Inthesky said...

You look like you really are living in a beautiful part of the world. :) Lucky you. Crafting has really helped me to stay sane, without going into detail it has been my salvation. I like to stay busy, busy, busy. This is a very brave and reflective post. Bravo and may your crafting continue :) x

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi Kim,
What a beautiful place you live in. It must be so nice to wake to that scenery each day, especially when you are in a good place. Your projects are all so beautiful. Wow, I'm impressed! Love all the bright and cheery colors you are using. Really love the blanket with all the different size G.squares! Have a great rest of the week. xoRobin❤

Tickety-boo said...

You timed your return perfectly or did you bring the weather back with you?
I read your post with great interest. I started blogging, knitting and crocheting because of a terrible time in my life and it focused my mind on all the positive things I have to be grateful for and I honestly believe it has been my saviour.

rosieposie said...

sometimes it's only when we look back that we realise how far we have come isn't it? i'm so glad that you are in a good place at the moment.

with regard to my blog - tea party for mental health day, i wondered if you would do a post about crafting your way to recovery? i have been speaking to others and thinking a lot about how making things and crafting and writing has been so central to my recovery, and then i saw this post and i thought you'd be the perfect person to write about this in the blog party!

if you're still interested can you email me at