Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Coping Mechanisms: Craftherapy

A while ago, I was proud of myself for coming up with a new word, "craftherapy."  Out of curiosity, I did a google search for the word, and it turns out some other people came up with the same word as well, so I'm not as great as I thought I was.  Darn.  Even so, I'm going to write about craftherapy today.

In my last post, I mentioned that my previous attempts to stave off a depressive episode weren't working, and I was doing kinda bad.  Well, the bad continues.  Bad enough that hospitalization has been mentioned, and I SO do not want that, if for no other reason than they won't let me have my iPod or knit (of course, there are lots of other reasons as well, but those are two very concrete ones).

So to avoid possible hospitalization, further self-injury, or any other kinds of serious badness, I'm trying to pull out some coping mechanisms.  And it's not easy.  All I really want to do is lie in bed all day and eat chocolate (and, after Trick-or-Treat, we have a lot of that), so getting up and sitting vertical and doing something is a major effort.  Man, you gotta love depression.

Of course, some of my coping mechanisms are forms of -- here's the word -- craftherapy.  I mentioned before about the entrelac scarf I was working on, and I'm still whittling away at that.  I also finished a zigzag scarf (pattern here) in Red Heart Boutique Swirl in Floral, then finished a pair of basic gauntlets (fingerless gloves) in some bulky rust colored yarn from the book Speed Knitting.

In addition, I ordered this cute little book from Amazon.com called Little Knitted Creatures by Amy Gaines, and started to make a little octopus.  I'm not a huge fan of octopuses (octopi?), but I had purple yarn, so there ya go.

Lastly, for a craftherapy task other than knitting, I bought a book called The Mandala Workbook, which is supposed to guide you through a twelve-stage mandala cycle for healing and growth.  I've started reading it, but haven't actually started any of the mandala exercises yet.

In general, I guess my coping mechanisms are working okay, in the sense that I'm not in the hospital.  I'm kind of funked out right now because I can't find a tapestry needle and I don't have the right sized needles for another project, so I'm sort of at a standstill.  It's irritating when your coping mechanisms piss you off more than your depression.  But I'll just keep plugging along.

For anyone else out there having a bad time of it (I think the change of the seasons is a rough time of year), I hope you're engaging in some coping mechanisms yourself and staving off the really bad stuff.  Feel free to share your tactics for survival.

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