I adore these two terrific mandalas, especially the one shown on the left above, where the variegated yarns blend so well together in a brilliant display of color. They come from Michelle, who shares,
“I have been knitting and crocheting for over fifteen years. I love the meditative qualities and how I can do anything I want with it. I wanted to participate in this project because I’ve struggled with depression, and I think that it – and suicide – are so misunderstood and demonized. I want to change that and honor Wink. RIP.”
Since Michelle used the word “demonize”, I thought to share with you a smart article by Samantha Eyler called “Why We Demonize Mental Illness and What To Do About It“. There is a lot of rich material in this article that is worth reading, but what I want to highlight is the idea that what we most need when we are struggling with mental health issues is compassion … and that the compassion can begin with self-compassion for what we are going through. This is something I struggle with so much but find so invaluable when I remember it!
The article references / quotes author Andrew Solomon:
Being compassionate toward oneself involves making a commitment to look for meaning in your own mental distress; in Solomon’s words, “thinking, when [the depression] comes again, ‘This will be hellish, but I will learn something from it.’
It isn’t easy to be kind to ourselves, especially when our cruel brains are telling us everything that we do is a failure, but learning how to do this, making space for the possibility that it’s okay to be exactly where we emotionally are at any given time, goes a long way towards improving our mental health – as individuals and as a community.
This post is part of the Mandalas for Marinke remembrance project.