When the last thing you’d imagine becomes your best ally against depression

Four years ago I suffered the most significant loss of my life. A high-risk surgery took away my partner. I lost everything.

That fateful day, when I faced my reality, I almost lost control. But throughout my life, due to the hard events that I had to overcome, I became a resilient person; my strength is my (super)power. I didn’t lose control, ‘only’ my happiness.

I had lost the love of my life, my best friend, my partner in life. And I was about to lose my flat (I couldn’t afford it with my minimum wage salary), and I was miserable in my work.

At that point, my only solution was moving to my mother’s house. She, who also lost her husband, my father, four months before. We were both grieving our own losses and each other ones.

In addition to this emotional chaos, and in spite of loving my mom, we can’t live together in the same house and maintain our mental health – it just doesn’t work.

Having this short-term future on my horizon (I had two more months of paid rent) and at the same time dealing with my grief, I became depressive, having panic attacks everytime I left home. Everything reminded me him — the cafe we went on weekends, the daily walks in our street, the summer night conversations we had, sitting on the swings at the playground in front of our house. Too many things were too much to handle.

I went off sick from work; which helped me but, on the other hand, I was alone for too many hours. My young adult son was coping with his loss the best he could, most of the times, with his friends. It was painful to witness my suffering, and he didn’t want me to watch him suffer as well. This way, spending time away from home, we could both stop pretending we felt better than we did.

I was living my days laid down on the sofa, watching TV, trying to take my mind away from pain and problems. I didn’t want to feel miserable. I was alive, I had to move my life forward; I just didn’t know how to do it.

I couldn’t concentrate, so reading was out of the question – watching TV was all I did. Not really watching it, more looking at it, with no idea of what was happening in whatever was on. My mind was either with him or trying to find a magic solution for my problems.

But soon all changed

One day, talking to a friend, she advised me to crochet. She explained to me the reasons and, because it made sense, that same day I bought some wool and a crochet needle. She sent me some easy designs, I learned the craft basics on Youtube, and I start to crochet.

My friend was right: crochet took my mind out of the million thoughts that were haunting me. With crochet, I had to count the stitches, to pay attention to something happening outside my mind.

My TV was still on all the time, I needed the background noise (music is emotional, I couldn’t cope with it).

Of course, my mind would escape, I’d get lost in my thoughts, leading to errors on my crochet, I’d forgot to switch the type of stitch or the color of the wool. Because I hated to undo the work and start over, I began to be more focused. The result? I have five scarfs, one poncho and dozens of squares in different colors and patterns.

Crochet was my grief therapy.

In time, I enjoy it, just for the pleasure of doing it, without having a mission attached.

Two years later I went back to it, and now, while writing this article, my dog is laying down by my side, comfortably cuddled in my handmade crochet blanket.

I don’t crochet for therapy anymore, but I’ll always be grateful to have given a chance to this alternative medicine, the one that saved me from depression.

Writer. Reader. Nature lover. ‘Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything’
Writer. Reader. Nature lover. ‘Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything’
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