I've always been interested in the idea of crafting being a healing activity. When I was the editor of Beading Daily, I used to get emails on a weekly basis from someone who wanted to tell me how beading had saved her life. She (it was almost always "she") would tell me about being wheelchair-bound or suffering from a mental illness or navigating a difficult family situation. Beading helped her cope.
There is something very satisfying in working on a project that takes your focus off yourself and your problems. Crafting gives you something to look forward to each day and a tangible object to be proud of in the end.
When I heard that Kathryn Vercillo had written a book titled Crochet Saved My Life, I was intrigued. Kathryn writes a popular crochet blog (Crochet Concupiscence) which was named one of the top 5 crochet blogs in 2012 by Inside Crochet magazine. Kathryn suffered from debilitating, undiagnosed depression for 15 years. At her darkest moments, she spent days crying and contemplated suicide. Crochet got her moving and able to think about the next steps for recovery.
Even though the book concentrates on crochet, I'm betting that some of you might recognize the feelings expressed in the interviews of 23 women who have experienced a range of conditions that made ordinary life difficult, including the grief of losing a child, fibromyalgia, and ongoing pain from injuries sustained in a car accident. Here's one quote from Tammy who has Chronic Lyme Disease: "It can become pretty depressing when you can’t walk or take care of your family or do anything you did in your “normal life”. Crochet was the only thing that didn’t change. My crochet was my constant companion."
While there are some crochet resources listed in the book, the focus is on the women, both their individual stories and any commonalities they share. The overall message of the book is clear: You are not alone!
Learn more about the book at Kathryn's website: www.kathrynvercillo.com. She is looking for more stories for her blog, so if you have a crochet-saved-my-life story, get in touch with her. You never know who's life you might save.