To be upfront and honest I do not understand depression and I am not pretending to have all the answers about how to deal with it. I still struggle with depression and only recently have I been able to see it in a different light and work through it. There are many reasons people suffer from depression. Personally my struggle with it comes from a lifetime of abuse, being sold, and always handed nothing but lies from others. I literally felt, and sometimes still do, that I was put on this earth for others to abuse for their entertainment. About four years ago I was at my worst. Crying, begging, contemplating death and thinking about just never waking up. I felt I had never experienced the love that life is supposed to offer.
There was one shining light in my life. The woman who kept me strong, kept me fighting, and was always my rock. That woman was my adopted Mama. She taught me how to cook, bake, do crafts, garden, and how to do canning. The joy of making things for others and seeing their smiling faces when they receive something that we had made. Hearing how much they loved to receive something that was handmade and not just store-bought.
My Mama died from cancer… and in some ways I died as well. Who was I going to talk to now? Where was I going to turn to for love, friendship, and guidance? For almost four years I begged, prayed and cried out to my Mama asking her to come and get me. There was no reason for me to be here. I lost all interest in the things that I loved to do.
It was about a year ago when I realized that I had let go of all the things she had taught me. All the things that were making me happy in my life. I happen to look over and see a ball of yarn. Without even thinking I picked it up, grabbed a hook, and started to crochet. I had no pattern in mind. I just started to do some stiches. By the time I was done I laughed and thought to myself my Mama would say “this is way too pretty to use as a dishrag!” I still have it sitting next to me as a reminder of her and as a reminder to keep going. Just because depression can hurl you down in to a black hole there is always something, even in a word, that can make you smile.
Depression is always a battle, but when I work on my diamond paintings, crochet, or anything else that I love doing, it helps bring me back up and realize that I control my life. My depression does not control me. Working on my crafts helps me keep my mind off the bad things because I am concentrating on the next step. The most rewarding part is in the end you get to give that away to someone.
Part of my life today is making hats for the NICU. I am also saving grocery bags so that I can help make sleeping mats for the homeless. It takes about 500 bags to make one mat. If anybody has extras please reach out to me as I would love to receive them. Without my crafts and the things I love I really don’t know where I would be right now. As I stated before I don’t know everything, but I do know that doing what you love can help you with your depression. It definitely helped me.
Contributor | Allison Soto