Zoals de meesten van u weten, mijn boek Haak mijn leven gered not includes my story of crocheting to heal from depression but also includes the stories of a diverse array of women who hooked to heal. The research for the book may be complete now but I am still always happy to hear, en delen, the stories that other women have about how crochet helped them through a difficult time. Here is one of those stories, which was recently sent to me from Laura of Het geval van de haak.

Laura’s Story

Haak mijn leven gered. After losing a baby mid-pregnancy, a relationship breakdown and the
 loss of friendships due to their inability to cope with my loss and my 
subsequent psychotic episode which lasted several months, my hook 
saved my life.

I found myself in the psychiatric ward of a NSW South
Coast hospital after having made several attempts on my own life (the 
latest was the ‘best’ nog). After the first week (once the doctors
 knew I wasout of the woodswhen the final blood test showed that I 
had not damaged my liver with the massive overdose of over the counter
 drugs), my mother arrived with my hooks and some yarn to keep me busy.
The staff were apprehensive at firstshoelaces and belts were not
 allowed for obvious reasons, and here I was being given an implement
 which could possibly be shoved through an eye along with miles and miles of string.

I was not allowed to take my work to my room, being 
relegated to only crocheting in the common areas where they could see
 what I was doing at all times … Ga cijfer… there were people there
 much more unstable and unpredictable than me!

 The yarn, and the hook together was calmingcounting stitches, the
 feel of the yarn and the movement of the hook. It was also reassuring (I CAN do 
something worthwhile. I AM creative. I am NOT a complete failure. My 
body can and WILL do what I want it to do.) And it was purposeful.

By the time
 the third week of my internment rolled around, I was allowed to go for
 short walks outsideunsupervisedAND I could take my crochet with me
 anywhere I wanted! By the fourth week I had made beanies for several
 other ‘inmatesand even scarves for a few of the staff; they all
 paid for them too! I was allowed to go home at the beginning of the
 fifth week and have been on an upward journey since then, as if eac h
item I crochet has been another stepping stone to recovery.

Crochet in Mental Hospitals

As Laura has pointed out, crochet sometimes faces limitations of use in mental hospitals, psych wards, gevangenissen and other settings where there is concern that a hook and some yarn could be used for the patient to do self-harm or harm to others. Echter, I’ve seen that in many of these settings the patient can work with staff to find a way to be allowed to crochet because it is increasingly recognized as a therapeutic tool. It is my deep hope that my book, Haak mijn leven gered, will help spread the word a little bit about the healing nature of crochet and encourage more widespread use of therapeutic crafting in settings like this.

Do you have a crochet health story that you want to share? Email it to me using the contact page on this website. Let me know that you give me permission to share the story on the blog and include any links to blogs/ social accounts that you want to include if people want to reach you. (You can also choose to remain anonymous if you tell me that’s what you want.)

Photo Credit: Julie Michelle fotografie


San Francisco gebaseerd en haak-geobsedeerde schrijver, dromer en creatieve geest!

3 Opmerkingen

  1. Sacredcrocheter Antwoord

    My heart goes out to Laura-what a brave and beautiful story. I also have so much admiration and respect for the fact that Laura shared her story with others, especially after rejection from friends who couldn’t deal with her loss.
    I believe a key element in almost all crochet survival and healing stories is in one way or another linked to the idea of service to others. Although Laura was in terrible mental pain-she still was able to lift herself up by shaing her work with others. In addition-the fact that some people were willing to purchase her work had to be an enormous boost to her self-confidence.
    I read that in general, crocheters most often make pieces for gifts and charity. I think that says a lot about the crochet community and why I’m proud to be a tiny part of it. Thanks to Laura and to Kathryn!

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