I met Jo from Make Space a few months ago to discuss working in partnership with the Recovery College. I found her to be a rather inspiring individual and she told me that crochet saved her life, which is not something you hear everyday. Being curious, I recently asked her if she would tell us a little about that and she has kindly obliged! You can follow her work on Instagram @dollwithabun.
“Once upon a time if you mentioned mindfulness to me I’d roll my eyes and disregard the next thing you said. I thought, like many reading this now, that wellness meant twisting into a pretzel while ocean sounds screeched and I choked on the scent of patchouli. I’m so glad I discovered the real ethos of being mindful, it’s played a massive part in my ongoing recovery journey.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been drawn (ha) to arty hobbies, which influenced my education and then career. My breakdown and subsequent mental health turmoil left me unable to connect with my creative side, my inner critic unleashed attack after scathing attack if I dare to pick up a pencil. That’s where crochet comes in. In a dark agitated place I happened across a little yarn dragon, something about the detail and texture just cut through my mind fog. I binge watched YouTube tutorials on crochet basics, bought a hook and yarn from the pound shop and made a series of knotty messes for weeks. It’s hard to explain but something about the logic of following a pattern, counting stitches and yet creating with my hands – it focused me. My noisy brain fell quiet as I repeated the simple basics over and over, feeling the fabric against my skin and watching it grow slowly but surely.
During all of this I was unaware that I was practicing self care, I was putting myself first and spending time doing something I enjoyed that was purely for me. That is what mindfulness is. In a world where we are made to feel guilty for taking time for yourself, wellness can seem frivolous (even pointless) but I urge you to find time each week, 10 minutes if that’s all you can spare, to do something that you love and give it your full attention. Crochet is that thing for me. It’s my constant comfort, my creative outlet and anxiety diffuser. Crochet didn’t just save my life, it helps me live it everyday.”