This contribution to Mandalas for Marinke comes from Esmeralda, who says, “I am a mom of 2, a wife of 1, and a fiber artist. I’ve been crocheting for 15+ years and I love it.” She writes,
“Hi, my name is Esmeralda Patino, and I am from Denver, Colorado. I have a long history of mental illness and crochet. My story starts out when I was 16 and my mom taught me how to crochet. I wasn’t really that into it back then but when I was 18 my roommates in college got into crochet and so did I.
When I was 20, I started to have back pain, and I did not understand why. My life changed at that time. I could no longer do things that I loved to do, like dancing or going on a hike, for fear that the next day I would be crippled by the pain. So, as my roommates went out dancing, I stayed home and picked up my hook. I started to crochet. It helped me to not fall into the darkness that is depression. I was working on a blanket that I never ended up finishing; it saved my life.
I dealt with chronic pain for four years until I had surgery that almost eliminated the pain completely. I slowed down in crocheting but gradually learned new skills, for example reading patterns, making hats and crocheting dolls.
Almost 6 years later and after the birth of my second child, I was diagnosed with Post-Partum Anxiety and Depression (PPA / PPD) as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is the battle I fight right now. I am learning how to manage my anxiety and depression, working with crochet.
I have learned more different things like Freeform Crochet and working with crochet thread. Crochet has helped me release a lot of the anxiety that I feel on a daily basis and after I make something I admire the beauty of it. I love the process of creating something beautiful and the peace that comes with working on a project. It’s a form of meditation that helps me find peace within all of my turmoil that is in my head. Crocheting has saved my life and has helped me be a better mom and person.
I recently found out about this project and because I too suffer from mental health issues (PPA/ PPD and PTSD) I feel that it is important to contribute to this project and organization. We need to bring awareness of all the different forms of depression and anxiety. We need to show that there is hope and beauty in darkness. And that although there is turmoil and pain inside we still can create some beautiful works of art.”
Visit all Mandalas for Marinke posts, not only to see beautiful crochet mandalas, but also to learn more information about mental health issues including depression.