In this post, Kierstin shares her story about why she was moved to contribute crochet mandalas to the Mandalas for Marinke project. Learn more about Kierstin on her beautiful site: Dear To My Art Photography.
“My name is Kierstin, better known in the Instagram community as Dear To My Art Creations. I have been crocheting since I was 8 years old; I am now 33. I have always found it fun and therapeutic and it has remained my #1 craft passion throughout all these years. I recently decided to take it public and joined the Instagram crochet and craft community. It has been wonderful to connect with so many truly lovely crocheters around the world, and I am so happy to be a part of such a loving and supportive community.
Since I am relatively new to the online community. I didn’t discover Marinke until she was already gone, but it didn’t take long to see what an impact she had on crafters all around the world and how much she was loved. When I read about her struggle with mental illness and what happened, I was shocked. When I found out about this project, I knew I wanted to contribute.
First off, since birth my nickname given to me by my dad has been Winky, aka Wink, so right away I have a connection to her. Second, since I can remember, I have struggled with unhappiness, low self-esteem, no self-confidence, crippling fear, anxiety and depression. As it is to anyone who suffers from these things, it has been detrimental to my past relationships, some friendships, my career and work life, etc.
It is aggravating to those around me but most annoying to me, and the fact that it seems to be embedded in my personality and impossible to change makes it even more so. It is a horrible feeling to never feel good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, liked enough … the list goes on. While I know myself well enough to know that I would never go so far as to take my own life, I know how it feels to be burdened with so many negative and ugly thoughts.
I also know the effects of suicide. When I was in high school, my step father put a bullet through his head. While I won’t go into the details of what led him to that, I will say that it had a massive impact on our family. My mom and her best friends were most unfortunate enough to have witnessed it, and I will never forget their reaction when they came home and told me what had happened. My sister (his daughter) was only 2 years old and my step sister (his first daughter from a previous marriage) had already lost her step father to suicide. Coping with it was the biggest obstacle our family has ever faced, but with the support and comfort of our friends and other family members, we made it through what seemed an impossible feat.
I wanted to contribute to this project because I understand the hardships of depression and suicide, and if these little mandalas can make even a dent of difference, that brings joy to my heart. Raising awareness for depression and other mental illnesses is perhaps more important than ever, and I am proud to be a part of this movement.
Thank you Kathryn for putting this all together and thank you Wink for being such an inspiration and a beautiful soul. I hope these mandalas bring a bit of brightness and a smile to her world and to others who may need a little help finding happiness.”