Today’s crochet mandala for the Mandalas for Marinke project is a special contribution from Alexandra of CrochetingThruChronicDiseases. It is a crochet spoke mandala pattern made with a hint of rainbow colors infused with a touch of pink sweetness.
Alexandra is “a 32-year-old stay at home mommy who loves to crochet, read, do photography when she feels well enough and recently is learning to love to cook. She loves to make tutorials, design patterns and blog”. She shared:
“I chose to contribute to this project because mental illness needs more awareness, and I am deeply saddened by Wink’s passing. I have dealt with depression since I was a teenager and after I got sick, it got worse. If not for my family, friends, faith, and learning to distract myself with things like crochet. I don’t know what might have happened. I feel like I found myself when I found crochet and it has helped to heal me. It has helped me become a more confident person, as well as to help me cope with depression and my health issues. I think it is most important for people that are going through depression to know that there are other people out there that are dealing with it, too, and there are many ways to cope.”
“Never Give Up! <3 Alex”
Additionally, she posts on Instagram, and it always touches me when she shares how she’s doing and reminds us all to give soft hugs.
You can also find Alexandra on YouTube.
There are so many ways that crochet helps us heal, which people are sharing throughout this Mandalas for Marinke project, and which were also shared in the stories in my book Crochet Saved My Life. I thought today I’d remind you of some of my favorite articles that explain how crochet helps people heal:
Crochet helps with depression, which I know from first hand experience. Take a look at how it helps specifically with ten symptoms of depression including four ways crochet helped me personally. One thing I shared:
“I find that crochet helps because it interrupts the ruminating of the mind. The repetitive negative thought cycles that my brain can spin get interrupted by the calming counting of stitches and eventually the thoughts that are leading to these feelings fade away and the feelings begin to dissipate.”
These benefits are real, no matter what the cause of depression.
Crochet also helps with anxiety, which may or may not be accompanied by depression. In an email, a woman named Amanda shared with me:
“I suffer from anxiety. Although I have been teaching for over 15 years and have enjoyed lots of success in my profession, dealing with the rest of my life has proven challenging. I have pressured myself, for as long as I can remember, to stay busy … many times running myself into the ground, exhausted from unfulfilling relationships and activities. Crochet has helped. Crocheting has allowed me to slow down, spend time alone or with my immediate family and end up with an amazing project rather than exhausted, struggling to get out of bed because I just don’t know how I’m going to face another day like the last. Crocheting justifies me sitting still when life is just too much.”
Crochet also helps with a wide range of other conditions and situations, including but not limited to, immune system distress, caregiver stress, grief including after pet loss, pregnancy complications, cabin fever and unusual illnesses.