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Crafting to Relieve Anxiety

Never has using craft as a tool for controlling anxiety been so paramount in my life.

I think I've shared with all of you before that knitting and crochet saved me in many ways, particularly when I was preparing to leave the university and then when I returned to Erie after upending my life. But, as some of you already know, my mother was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and while initial indications suggest that it was caught early and she will be having surgery this month, the past six days have been an angry, tangled ball of anxiety.

And, while it's become almost cliché after all the articles in The New York Times and other media outlets about the benefits of crafting, particularly during the covid-19 pandemic, for much of the past week, craft has been what I've turned to. This is not to say that there haven't been moments where I'm too fidgety or shellshocked to do much of anything because, as a friend of mine said, there is only before cancer and then after cancer, and you spend a lot of time wishing you could go back to that moment of pre-cancer innocence. But, when it comes to crafting--and knitting and crochet in particular for me--sometimes the only thing that helps is to remember one stitch at a time. One knit. One purl. One single crochet. Then the next. And the next. And so forth.

A lot of people have offered help or have asked what they can do. Please offer up a prayer or a positive thought for my mom. As for me, please don't leave me alone. I want to see what you're working on. I want to hear your voices and help you pick out the right yarn or fiber for your projects. I want to learn about the baby you are knitting for, or the friend you are teaching to crochet. I do ask that you please be properly masked when you come into the store because I need to protect my mother who is in my household, but I do want to at least connect with you.

And, with all that, if you ever experience any strange symptoms in your body, don't wait. Know your body and talk to your doctor.

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