The maker shares,
“I crochet and knit to live, too. I live with severe PTSD and crochet is not my hobby; it is how I cope. I didn’t know Wink that well, and I never reached out to say “hi” or “thanks” (that will haunt me); but I loved her work and will miss her, too.
I will miss Wink not only for her generous gift of free beautiful patterns, but also because she was an inspiration, In a way, I looked up to her as a person I would like to become like. I will miss her, though I was only a fan. I wish I could tell her family thanks for haring her and I hope the pain lessens.
I chose to make and send in mandalas to this project because I wanted to say thank you in some small way. Because I hope those who need help will find it. And because I have PTSD and depression and know what it does.”
For the depression awareness portion of this post, I wanted to point you to an NPR “All Things Considered” interview with a WNBA star who is the subject of a new documentary called Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw. In this interview she discusses her difficult childhood, her struggle with undiagnosed (and then eventually diagnosed) bipolar, and the role that sports played in helping her moderate her condition.
She shares, “Basketball was like my therapist, you know? I would sit there a lot of times just by myself when no one was on the court just shooting, you know, just trying to forget about everything that was going on in my life.” Asked if it works, she says, “Well, it works for a short period of time, and then of course it catches up with you. It caught up with me. I basically – basketball was like my drug. It was like my coping mechanism. But after a while, if I’m not getting the professional help I need it just – everything just blew up out of control.“
A teacher of mine in grad school called this the Rubberband Theory. Basically, we all develop coping skills, positive or negative, to handle the difficulties of our lives, particularly those that manifested in childhood and follow us through the years. Those coping mechanisms will work for a time, sometimes a long time, but as you age through life, it’s like the rubber band is stretching; at some point, the rubber band snaps. Your current coping mechanisms no longer work, and you have to figure out what to do next. It can be a devastating time, but it is also a time ripe for opportunity, if you can find the right support and be gentle with yourself through the harrowing transition of figuring out new more adult ways of coping. In my experience, this happens multiple times throughout the course of life. Life is change. Growth is changing with life.