Here is the next of the beautiful, inspiring, special contributions coming in to the #MandalasForMarinke remembrance project. I am grateful for each and every amazing contribution. You are invited to join; learn more here.
Beautiful Crochet Mandala
This is the spoke crochet mandala pattern by Wink. Maker Sam of PrincessandtheBear shared:
“When I chose my mandala pattern I thought, “ooh, it looks easy”, and it was – but I still learned a new way of starting a row, a wonderful way of finishing a row (which I will always use) and a Tunisian crochet stitch. Even though she’s not here anymore, Wink still inspires and teaches.”
She worked the crochet pattern in a lovely set of soft but bright colors. I think it’s a color combination Wink would like.
Meet the Maker
Sam Clarke of PrincessandtheBearUK makes hand-knit toys and gifts for all ages from her home in Wales. She had followed Wink’s blog for some time and “was always inspired by her beautiful use of colour”. She shares:
“I’ve experienced depression twice. It’s a very lonely experience. You just don’t know what’s wrong. You feel dreadful and don’t know why. I thought I was probably losing my mind. I suppose in a way I was lucky, in that no matter how bad I felt, I never wanted to NOT be here. My heart breaks for Wink who thought that was the best way out. Such a sad loss, and it proves that even people who no the surface have everything going for them can feel they have nothing.
I knit and crochet, not just because I want to, but because it keeps me sane. From the excitement of deciding what to make, to choosing the right yarn and colors, to finishing and feeling the sense of joy for having made this – myself!
There is nothing I can say to help Wink’s family but know that she was loved, and she has helped, and she is still helping people. I hope they find some peace knowing that.
God Bless Wink. Be happy my love.”
Words by Wink
In late 2012, Wink started doing weekly Pinterest find posts. In December, she introduced one of the posts by saying:
“I think it’s amazing how many people can take something simple like crochet and transform it into something entirely different. There are people that can crochet animals that are so lifelike it’s scary, and there are people that get inspired by the things we crochet.”
One purpose of this project is to raise awareness about depression so each post will end with some facts, thoughts or quotes about depression, suicide and/or mental health. Since Sam brought up the fact that her experience of depression was not a suicidal one, I thought I’d share some more information about the relationship between depression and suicide.
The Canadian Mental Health Association says:
“Mood disorders (of which depression is the major example) are the most common psychiatric condition associated with suicide.4 It is important to note, however, that depression encompasses a wide range of experiences and illness forms from mild to severe, transient to permanent, and the risk of suicide varies substantially with the type of depression. Amongst those diagnosed with depression, a study in Finland5 found that key indicators for suicide include: previous self-harm, severity of the illness, alcohol or drug abuse, serious or chronic physical illnesses, lack of a partner, anxiety and personality disorders.”
It’s important to understand that a large majority of the people who commit suicide have a mood disorder and/ or a substance use issue at the time of the suicide. So, although not all people who commit suicide are suffering from depression, most of them are. This does not mean that everyone who has depression will commit suicide. As the CMHA notes, there are many different types of depression. So there is a correlation and a risk but depression doesn’t necessarily lead to suicide for all people.
“Although most people who are depressed do not kill themselves, untreated depression can increase the risk of possible suicide. It is not uncommon for depressed individuals to have thoughts about suicide whether or not they intend to act on these thoughts. Severely depressed people often do not have the energy to harm themselves, but it is when their depression lifts and they gain increased energy that they may be more likely to attempt suicide.”
They say that “up to 15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide”. They add that risk factors that increase the risk include family history of mental illness, substance abuse, suicide and /or violence, adverse life events, firearm in the home, incarceration, exposure to the suicidal behavior of others and prior suicide attempt. They add:
- “The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in adults are depression, alcohol abuse, cocaine use, and separation or divorce.
- The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in youth are depression, alcohol or other drug use disorder, and aggressive or disruptive behaviors.”
WebMD lists these suicide warning signs to look for:
- “Always talking or thinking about death
- Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
- Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
- Losing interest in things one used to care about
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
- Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
- Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye”
It’s important that if you notice these signs in yourself or someone else, you seek help. That said, I want to remind you that oftentimes there is nothing that the family could have done differently. In other words, you can’t blame yourself for the suicide of a loved one even though there are things you can do to be proactive in getting help.
All contributions to Mandalas for Marinke are welcome and will help raise awareness about depression while honoring her work in the same way that this great contribution has done today. Details to join here.