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
Maker Sarah shares:
“This is my first Mandala and I enjoyed making it so I’m sure that it won’t be my last. It’s not quite perfect but I think that’s quite appropriate given the circumstances as surely if we were perfect we wouldn’t have to live with the terrible illnesses broadly encompassed by the term “depression”.
The yarn is a double knit made by Stylecraft called “Cabaret” and the colour is “Aurora”. As I believe that Marinke is now a celestial being, I love the Aurora link.”
Meet the Maker
This crochet contribution to the project comes from Sarah in the UK who, like many of the caring contributors to this project, reminded me to take care of myself during the process of working on this project. (I agree – so important to always put your own health first in any endeavor!) She writes:
“I know only too well how easy it is to take on too much and how we can ignore all the warning signs that our health is being compromised until it is too late. I had a nervous breakdown in January 2010. I’d had periods of stress and associated illnesses (eczema, IBS, panic attacks, painful periods, etc.) throughout my life but 2010 was definitely the low point. I’d finished working full time in 2002 due to stress brought on by bullying in the workplace. Looking back on that period, I realize that I ignored a lot of warning signs and I didn’t have the tools that I needed to cope with the situation.
I took antidepressants for awhile and then came off them. I had some counseling whilst I was off long term sick from work and found that very useful. As I felt stronger, I did more and more and then in 2007 I started to attend meetings of the Womens Institute, as I was lonely and wanted to make new friends. I was the youngest at the meetings (by a good 20 years!) and was soon as the committee as secretary. Six months later, I took on the role of treasurer as well, initially to sort things out as the lady whose job it was appeared to be suffering with dementia and it was all going badly wrong, but then it grew into a long-term commitment.
I loved being busy but then things got to the point where I was trying to be a ware, a homemaker, a WI secretary, a WI treasurer, a friend, and I had no time leftover to be me! I love being creative, whether that be making cakes, growing a garden or making something with yarn or fabric, and I have come to realize that that is my happy place and I have to make the time for it or my spirit suffers.
So, five and a half years on and after a lot of work, I am the best “me” I have ever been. I gave up the WI completely (although for awhile I did attend a different group who were very kind to me). I had more counseling. I still take flouxetine every day (and have accepted that I need to take it like a diabetic needs insulin), and I try really hard to recognize any warnings signs that I am doing too much.
I am happy. I’ve made a few really good friends (one of whom suffers from depression so we understand each other very well and can say things to each other that we know the other will understand and won’t question our sanity when other “normal” people would!), and I spent time being creative. I’m more confident, more outgoing, have no eczema, no IBS, no floods of years, and am able to plan ahead and look forward to things with the confidence that I will be well and able to enjoy then. All of this has come about gradually over the last few years and I treasure it all. I still have days when things aren’t “right” but they are the exception rather than the norm.
I try to protect myself from negative people and I try to find the positive side to life. Humour is a big part of my life and my husband is my rock. After 32 years together (30 of them married) he still finds me a challenge and wishes he could understand me more. I always tell him that I’m glad that he doesn’t understand how I feel as he would have had to have experienced a nervous breakdown and depression to do so and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”
Words by Wink
Wink worked with so many different colors, exploring the possibilities in each of them, and she was always excited when she found something she loved. In March 24, she wrote that she’d gotten:
“the most gorgeous green yarn I have EVER seen in my life, and immediately fell in love with when I spotted it hanging in the booth of EasyKnits! It’s Deeply Wicked 4-ply superwash merino yarn, in the Evergreen colour way. I fell for it hard when, upon closer inspection, I noticed all those lovely specks of dark green. I kept running around with it, showing it to everyone, yelling ‘it’s a forest in a skein!’”
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.
The words that Sarah wrote here immediately me think of a great recent article on PsychCentral called I Hope You Never Understand. Author Becca Kelly writes clearly about what depression feels like to her and how she wants a loved one to empathize with the difficulty but never have to actually go through what it’s like to be in depression. An excerpt:
“I hope you never understand what it’s like to be unable to get out of bed. Not physically — because physically, you are capable. Your legs work. Your heart is beating. But I hope you never understand what it’s like to be unable to move simply because your thoughts are crippling you. I hope you never understand what it’s like to be held in place, stuck there, battling with yourself within your own mind. Swing that leg out and touch the floor. Take a step. Get out of the bed.”
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.