I have discovered Crochet for alleviating Diabetes Depression (and some other ranting about food and feelings and stuff)

Hello there. I am 31 years old, was diagnosed with T2 around late October 2010. I am coming up on my first dia-versary, and it's been one intensely difficult year.

I have been on a pretty strict "do everything right for diabetes" diet and exercise regime. The great news is that after the sixth month appointment, my general 'betes health and weight were highly improved and my family doctor was extremely happy with my numbers and overall progress, and had nothing but glowing compliments and "Keep up the fantastic work" related sayings.

I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing! Hooray! Immaculate!!! Outstanding!!! Superb!!! Brilliant!!! A+++ for the best effort of my life!!!

Now, that is all very well and good of course, but then my next question to him was... "What do I do with this depression hanging over me and trying to crush my soul to bits?!" Ok, well I didn't really ask the question exactly like that, but something along those lines and whether it was normal to feel depressed from dealing with diabetes. I've had depression for years in varying degrees, but it usually just comes and goes and I dealt with it the best I could before. It's never been this bad though (Gee, thanks for coming into my life NOW, stupid lifelong chronic illness!). The doctor told me that engaging in such a strict diet, it was normal for me to feel (a little) depressed, but since I was doing so well, I should feel free to have a treat once in a while, a candy bar every week or two. Now, I DID hear him say the phrases "candy bar" and "every week or two" to treat myself with. My husband was in the same room. I don't know what exacty HE was listening to, but he told me on the drive home that he heard the doctor say "Why yes, you can treat yourself to something sweet now and then." He insisted did NOT hear the "candy bar" key phrase AT ALL however, and took what the doctor said to mean that "Why yes, you can keep on having a scoop of sugar-free ice cream once a month, that is perfectly fine, just like you've been doing, don't you worry about a THING, sugarfree treats are just the ticket! You've been worrying about giving your wife sugar free ice cream all this time for nothing! It's perfectly SAFE to do so! Go ahead, let her live a little, eh?! INDULGE!"

Notice a vast difference in what we both heard? I certainly did!! What a rotten ride home discussion that turned out to be!! I was like, GREAT!! (not really)

I used to inhale carbs with my very eyeballs; I used to be a compulsive overeater/binger. I used to be obsessed with huge helpings of DELICIOUS foods. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it, and nothing could stop me. Now, I don't know if it's really my previous extreme carb-o-holic binge nature from my "past life" before getting the 'Betes, but in my way of thinking, being extremely limited NOW, having to COUNT carbs, it's like a divine form of torture/sick joke (the sickest!) / the world order of things hates me and wants me to suffer in the worst way I could imagine. This was it. This thing, this was the worst punishment of my life. I cannot gorge myself (unless I want to die early)! When I can't have this or that, I feel like I'm being punished/tortured. Food to me was like LOVE. I was never very good at asking for the things I wanted and needed. I was never good at -connecting- with people. I substituted human affection with food. I was conditioned to see food as happiness. Having a bad day? Just make yourself a giant bowl of spaghetti. Can I do that NOW!? Of course not (unless I want to die early)! Deal with it!

But I CAN'T just "deal with it," I don't know how! Not without mountains of food! *giant exhasperated sigh*

And Diabetes at 30?!! Come ON!!! Who thought that one up?! I had just gotten married to the best guy ever! I JUST found my happiness! My childhood and early 20's were a NIGHTMARE! And then I finally get happy?! And then this?! I was the youngest person in that beginner's Diabetes Education class by about 20 years! The others kept asking if I was Type1 because I was so young. All I could answer was that the 'Betes ran heavily in both sides of my family. They'd nod and take on "Oh you poor dear, bless your heart" expressions. I would shrug and say... It happens, I guess. But does it?? Does it really, though? Well, to me it does! Isn't that wonderful!

Sarcasm is the most valid form of rant, not to mention highly satisfying.

So then, when I first got diagnosed, I decided to make myself a Bucket List. On my birthday, I asked for yarn and crochet needles, and got them from my awesome mother in law! (Everytime I refer to my awesome MIL, I always include the "awesome" in front because she's... well, awesome.)

To the point: I got into crochet, like really really got into it... like I'm obsessed. I bought yellow yarn alot on purpose too, just so I could feel "cheerful" when I would make yellow things. (It was a shot in the dark theory to try making things with yellow yarn really, because I thought yellow = sunshine = bright smiley faceys lol!!) It really worked! I don't know how exactly, but crocheting saved me these past few months. The internet makes it quite easy to start learning how. There are tons of free patterns and beginner sites on the web. I literally have over 300 links to patterns I want to try that I've saved to my Favorites list on my browser. And once you've got the basics down, you'll start crocheting in your sleep!

The first project I tried was to make a cellphone case. Here's a link to that first pattern site I tried to understand how to do:

http://www.beginnercrocheting.com/howto_cellphone_holder.php

And here's the results:



I made several different sizes and different lengths of the cords that lets it hang across your body or make it into a handbag purse.

I was SUPER determined to learn all those crochet code words and phrases as well, so that I can follow what crochet patterns are telling me to do. Here's a great link to the beginner tutorials I used and read through to teach myself how to crochet:

http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-crochet/
http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-read-crochet-patterns/

I just LOVE that Crochetspot website. It teaches you the basics, with demonstration pics for both right- and left-handed folks. I started out attempting a whole lot of beginner level projects through this site's good-sized list of free patterns. I took it one day at a time, one yarn loop at a time, and before I knew it, I can read and accomplish intermediate to expert level patterns with ease. I've been crocheting every day, and I can't even begin to express the joy and sense of satisfaction I get whenever I finish something and it just turns out beautifully made. I am in love with crochet! It offers me a sense of purpose and takes my mind off of my troubles.

I even hum that "All you need is love" Beatles tune to myself alot, but instead of love, I substitute it with yarn, hahaha! Sounds bonkers, but I feel like it's true.

I LITERALLY went out and got myself a hobby because I was feeling so depressed and useless all the time! And I figure, as long as I still have my fully functioning hands, I will make beautiful things out of them! My feet may go, my eyesight, my sanity may go (unless the sanity part has already gone), but I feel like as long as I'm surrounded by warmth and color, things I've made with my OWN hands, I'll be alright.

Life and the 'Betes won't get me down today, I'm busy crocheting!!




It's a cute little nicknack dish that looks like a muffin lol



It's a fold wallet/card holder laying down flat showing the outside design



Coasters



I've started making a bedspread with those shell stitches. It will cover our queensize bed when it's finished.



It's a rainbow multicolor lounge throw blanket for my Hubby. It's almost halfway done.



It's a beenie hat with flower picot designs




And I can't include anymore pics from my computer...

For a full view of all my crochet projects I've done so far, Here's a link to my Facebook picture album. I've made it viewable by the public instead of just friends. Hopefully that works, but let me know if you can't view them. And feel free to add me to your FB friends if you like...

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150301629388469.366611.7...

Views: 747

Tags: crochet, depression, rant, therapy

Comment by Laura S. on October 12, 2011 at 1:25pm
I think your work is just gorgeous.
I have long said, if I would buckle down and crochet and knit (and get back to sewing) it would be good for my blood pressure and my life in general. I keep starting to work on easy projects and then get sidetracked.
We're self employed and I spend way too much time worrying about making ends meet!
Thanks for sharing your projects with us.
Hope one day to be accomplishing these kind of projects myself!
Blessings to you!
and I love those crochet flowers.....so pretty!
Comment by Peetie on October 12, 2011 at 7:07pm
I love your work! I used to make baby blankets etc. so I can really appreciate the difficulty of the projects that you have created. I never got that far. :( Congratulations on your improvements with diabetes as well. Cheers! Joanne
Comment by Pastelpainter on October 13, 2011 at 12:54am
Yes, it works, I think any craft project helps ward off depression. I turn the music on, get out the craft and go for it. No time for depression!
Comment by Pastelpainter on October 13, 2011 at 12:56am
Forgot, a lot of my craft projects are here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tangledthreads/
Comment by Emily Coles on October 13, 2011 at 10:46am
Beautiful stuff! I've used knitting to help me stay present (not in "I hate diabetes-land") and focused, and NOT eating, on and off since I was a kid. Great tool!
Comment by Marie B on October 13, 2011 at 10:53am
I quilt, I do some things that are very complicated when I can keep my focus, and other really easy things when I just need to keep my mind occupied enough to not worry about things. Please take a look at this Group, they are mainly knitters, but I'm sure they'd accept a crocheter
http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/diabeticknitwits
Comment by queenbizz on October 14, 2011 at 11:14am
Hello, everyone! Thanks for the comments to my blog post =)

Laura - Thank you. It's not easy to find time to create things, especially with such a hectic schedule. Please don't feel too bad that you are swamped. These days, I am basically an unemployed housewife with no kids. Crocheting keeps me out of trouble and idleness. Before I was diagnosed around this time last year, I had a job and was taking part time college courses to try and get a Master's hopefully. But the Betes entered my life, and I couldn't handle all that and trying not to pass out all over the place, so I took a break starting this January from everything besides trying to get my sugar under control. We want to try for kids soon, and I am definately feeling the time rush because I'm past 30. So besides the constant Betes worrying, I have been seeking stressfree first year Betes care at home, while my husband supports us. It was the best decision for me, but I know during these tough economic times that my decision is not possible for everyone. We have had to buckle down on the budgeting because we were living on two incomes since we first got married,and now we're on just one. But we have a bit saved up just in case (we're both super duper money pinchers). The need to concentrate on my health just outweighed the need for extra money in the bank.
I hope you find a spare minute or two for an exhale! Good luck on your self employment job and your other endeavors, I feel like giving you a big hug!

Peetie - Thank you so much for the compliments! I have been pushing myself to try out newer and more challenging things every time I finish something. I've told my mother in law that I am so tempted to try making baby crochet things, but I wanted to wait til there was a need before I obsessed over it. I didn't want to jinx myself, does that sound silly? Oh, but those pretty baby yarn at the craft stores are sooo soft and tempting..

Pastelpainter - Hi! I looked at every single one of those flickr pictures with admiration and I am very impressed with your work. I love how colorful and ethereal it all is. Thanks for sharing your flickr album! I adore the creative postcards the most. I sure want to get into making them personally and never buy one from gift shops again!

Emily - Thanks so much! I am stuck on crochet right now, but I find all kinds of beautiful things to knit when I'm searching for crochet patterns. I should ask for knitting needles for christmas as well as lots of yarn. I'm glad you enjoyed my handiwork so far.

Marie - Quilting is definately up there in my Bucket List. My mother in law has a closet full of beautiful quilted things HER mother made and passed down to her. We use one of my husband's most favorite quilt for our bed just about all year round. I'm so happy to find so many other crafter diabetics. I went ahead and joined that group, who's name I just absolutely love, I wonder who came up with "Diabeticknitwits" lol that's awesome. Thanks for referring me to the group, and thanks for your kind words as well.


I found out just yesterday that my A1c is down from 6.2 earlier this year to 5.9! I hit my one-year goal with just a few weeks to spare (And crocheting definately helped me cope with this whole year). I have been screaming and jumping from joy all day yesterday, so I forgot to check for replies on tudiabetes. But I'm here now, and I'm sorry if my giant block of reply to all your comments is too long today. I didn't even know if anyone would reply to this blog post, and I'm so glad. Thank you all so much.

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