Is there a period in you life when you used craft as therapy?

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22 thoughts on “Question of the Day

  1. I use crafting as a therapy everyday. It helps me to stay calm during stressful times. I especially use crafting in the mornings before work when I am working full time. It starts my day off on a good note and helps me stay relaxed during the day.

  2. I craft everyday as a stress relief but I have gone through a period of time in which I crafted because it kept me sane.

    A few years ago, I became deathly ill. I was battling with anorexia nervosa and had lost so much weight that I had to be hospitalized. During this time, I had lost hope in everything. I was convinced that there was nothing to live for. I wasn’t worthy of being around other people. I hated myself.

    At the time, I was working on a very large complicated afghan (king sized bed) for my then-boyfriend’s mother, and as stupid as it may sound, I kept telling myself that as soon as I finished that afghan, I would end it all. I even had my suicide planned out with details and everything.

    I’m rather sure my therapist figured it out because she made herself in charge of bringing me yarn whenever I needed a new skein. The blanket took about 20 skeins of yarn in total. She kept “forgetting” to bring me a new skein and it would be days between working on the afghan.

    In between working on the blanket, she would have me do other things like make jewelry or sew or anything crafty really to get my mind off of my hopelessness. She would take me to the other floors of the hospital and give away the things I made. The recipients appreciated that I took the time out of my recovery to make things for them.

    As stupid as it sounds, it worked out well. I slowly began to find worth in myself. Now, I’ve completed my undergraduate studies and will start on my masters soon. I’m happy in a good relationship. I craft and give away things to people because it makes them happy and it makes me feel good.

  3. After I had my last child, I developed Post Partum Depression. For us third try was a charm and I finally had my Daughter! (Even though the pregnancy resulting in her was a surprise, which probably added to the stress of dealing with a new born and 2 others) You would think that would have put me over the moon, but it didn’t. PPD set in and I nearly lost it. That’s when I finally handed the screaming baby over to my husband and hid in my craft room. I had seen “Fat Fiber Books” and started to make pages and they came out how I was feeling. Stretched, thin, and as though there was a veil over the joy that is a baby girl. It was very releasing! It made me relax and after that I took what time I needed in my craft room to release pent up stress. I still do. Baby is only 6 months old.. So there is still a lot of craft therapy to be had!

  4. Oh yes! After my apartment was burnt down this past December, I buried myself in crafts so I didn’t have to think about what happened. I mostly made BJD clothes but I also made all sorts of other things. my sewing machine is only a 7 months old and its acts like its worked so long it needed a retirement fund.

  5. I use it everyday as a way to keep calm and from getting to stressed. However A few years ago while working full time I was super stressed and I crafted nearly every day. It helped so much. I also did a lot of swaps becasue I found focusing on making things for others made me happy and kept me in a better state of mind. I get in the zone and focus on the little things, making every stitch perfect and the same, sewing a straight line, picking out the wrong stitches. etc. Those little tedious thigns became something I looked forward too. Well not picking out stitches but the rest of it! lol And I used them as a challenge that I could do nearly anything if I tried. I think that’s why I like to make complex things now.

  6. I think I have unconciously used crafting as a form of coping for most of my life. My most hopeless years were those when I created nothing.

    The need to express myself often came out veiled in the phrases strung together in the poems I crafted with obscure words.

    After a particularly hideous relationship, I started crafting again, this time woodburning. Since then, I have crafted fairly steadily and my ability to handle life’s pits has improved as well.

    Each person has within them the drive to do something with their hands, give an ailing person a project to focus on during the pain, and they recover more quickly. Those that have nothing to occupy them tend to have a more difficult time. Just something I’ve noticed.

  7. I definitely do! Crafting was first a cure for boredom. If I said I was board my mom would say “something to do”. That was when I started scrapbooking.

    My crafting time is at the end of the day when my kids are asleep. It helps me wind down and relax.

    Writing poetry, drawing, and painting occupied me after a miscarriage in 2001. The first thing me and my sister did after my grandma died was make a huge collage and flower arrangements.

    Crafting takes my mind off my problems and at the same time gives me an outlet for my emotions.

  8. I use crafting (and art)so I can phase out of what ever is happening around me. I can spend an hour doing a simple head of a seagull (drawing) and get a sense of achievement, especially when it has been a long day and I feel like I am getting no where. (I homeschool 4 girls, one of whom is dyslexic and stubborn)

  9. Crafting has always been my form of therapy. I’ve been home-bound with illness since i was 14 (i’m almost 19 now) so I started making things as a way to deal with the boredom and depression that comes with that. It gives me something to do in the hospital too which is great. Now I do craft swaps on craftster and it’s a great way for me to have something to focus on rather than illness, and I can make someone else happy with the things that I knit for them which is a great feeling.

    -Alyssa =)

  10. I found it really helped when I was unemployed for a time to use my time constructively to craft. It helped take my mind off the worries and also made me feel like I was doing something rather than sitting in front of the telly!

  11. When I was training to be a nurse I had some awful placements where the staff wouldn’t even talk to me, I was treated like a leper, so I took cross-stitch with me to placement and did it on my breaks so I didn’t have to talk to anyone. It allowed some me time, helped me to relax and therefore not get wound up or burst into tears as so often happened. I survived these placements and am now a fully fledged nurse, thankyou cross-stitch.

  12. So I started to crochet a little when I was in high school but really picked up the pace when I was in nursing school, then when I got engaged I began doing it more crafts as a stress reliever especially when my brother got engaged to a girl he knew for 2 months and then they set a wedding date for 2 weeks after mine. Then there was the stress from planning my wedding and helping to plan his all at the same time. I crafted to help the stress I made things for my parents as thank yous for everthing.
    I really became a hard core crafter when my Sister in law became pregnant not only had she moved in on my wedding, then moved into my parents house (I felt like she was trying to replace me), and my parents took her side when we disagreed, but she became pregnant first as well. While I was excited for them I was hurt because she used it to get more sympathy from my family and it worked. To deal with that pain and the secret desire to have a little one of my own I crocheted things for the baby and for the baby I dreamed of. When my adorable niece was born she had a collapsed lung and had to be shipped to a hospital an hour away, my brother and parents went with the baby leaving me to stay at the hospital with my SIL so as therapy I crocheted. It was portable and I could put it down when people came to visit her in the hospital. She was drugged and tired from the C-section so I became the hostess for anyone who visited. The good thing to come out of all this is my niece of course and I taught myself to read patterns something my mom and grandmother never did. I have not taught both of them to read patterns and I still get phone calls when they have questions. Since them I have crafted to help with stress and also it gives you that sence of accomplishment. And as a stay at home mom (yest I finally had that baby I wanted so) I need that time to myself and I thrive on it.

  13. Once upon a time I used crafting to hide and mask some rather seriuos mental health issues, so you could say I used crafting as the exact opposite of therapy.

    Now I used it to relax and calm me. For example, when I found myself stuck in a masters program that I really didn’t like knitting in class calmed my (out)rage. I also use it in general as a way to destress, and recently during the period directly before and after my father’s death created meaningful projects to help process some of the emotions associated with that.

  14. From high school through college I kept journals where I collaged, drew, painted, wrote poetry and poured in all my angst. I have a pretty cool one that resulted from a overseas trip with a soon-to-be-ex bf. In college I took one art class a semester as therapy to balance out my harder classes as I decided on a major. After 5 years of therapy I decided to major in Studio Art!

  15. I definitely use crafting as a therapy. To be blunt, I’m pretty much a failure at life. I used to do very well in school, but dropped out of highschool, can’t seem to stay enrolled in college, hate my job, and don’t have but 2 friends. I started crafting to finish something that I started. Each time I finish a craft, I feel good about myself for a moment, until I have to return to real life. Craftster allows me to enjoy some of those good feelings when I post and get good feedback.

  16. I use crafting as therapy for sure. It’s a great way to clear my mind (almost meditative). I also used cross stitch, embroidery, and knitting as ways to keep my hands busy when I quit smoking.
    Sometimes, all I need to do is feel fabric, thread, notions, etc and my mood picks back up!

  17. The birth of my daughter and all the stresses and responsibilities of being a mom is what brought me back to crafting. During my childhood crafting was something that I enjoyed doing occassionally…now I do it obessesively. It has a whole different meaning for me. It is a way for me to express myself and carve out a piece of time that is just for me. I enjoy discovering different techniques and pushing myself to grow creatively. And being part of such an awesome community like Craftsters is the icing on the cake!

  18. Everyday. It is my way to relax. I can sit in front of the TV and knit, crochet, or embroider. I can use crafting to save money when I mend holes, make soap, and make gifts for others out of my coveted stash. My favorite part is the joy and elation I feel when I finish something and get to see the receiver’s reaction.

  19. I craft just about everyday and when I’m not working on a project I’m looking for a new one. I used to do that with books, then video games but I realized that those took too much time and eventually prescience in my life and my school work would suffer.

    Once day in my 2nd year of University I decided to come back to Craftster (I had been on there years ago as a kid) and started becoming interested in crochet. I announced to my boyfriend that I wanted to learn to crochet. When he asked why I simply replied with “I don’t know, because I want to?” He has supported me ever since with my new found love for crafting.

    I love that I can knit or crochet beside my boyfriend on the couch when we have free time and that I can do it on my breaks in between essays, or in the car and I, usually, don’t become so wrapped up in it that my studies suffer. It’s my way to relieve stress and to make myself and other happy since I give away my finished work.

  20. I just found your blog and love it! I use crafting as therapy quite a bit. When I was first trying to recover from my eating disorder, I would knit a lot. I found that spending more time being creative meant that I had less time to be self destructive. I’ve been in real therapy since 2006 and now I think I use crafting as a way to focus on things that are nice and pretty because there are some things in my life, especially in my past, that are just nasty and ugly and I would rather not think about them.

  21. I do. Often.

    I have chronic adult onset asthma, which has left me with a damaged heart and shaky immune system due to two years of mis-diagnosis. Winter is particularly hard for me as one of the triggers of my asthma is cold air, making it uncomfortable to out right dangerous to go outside and restricting me to only going out when I have to.

    However, I’m also one of those people who don’t coop with being cooped up at all well and I end up with depression. Sewing dolls is my primary way of releasing that “I’m trapped by my illness” stress as well as unwinding when I’ve had a bad day.

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