Monday, 23 January 2017

Sewing as Therapy

Every time I get talking to fellow sewists, be it at a sewing event or a local fabric shop, I hear the same refrain, "sewing is my therapy".  As a coping mechanism for physical and mental health problems, challenging life events and the daily ups and downs of life, sewing is a salve to many. For my February column in Sewing World magazine, I interviewed four women who kindly and bravely shared how sewing has helped them.  Although it's a February issue, it's published in January, just after Blue Monday.  Like many, I struggle with January, more so since my father died by suicide just over four years ago.  This year is a big improvement on the last three so there's progress but it's definitely a low time.  I'm OK, just a bit flat and tired.  It will pass and years of experience tells and assures me that, but meanwhile I'll sew on.  A huge thank you to Sarah, Bonnie and Rosa who shared their 'Sewing as Therapy' stories so candidly.




You can find Sewing World magazine  on sale in the usual UK places- WHSmiths, larger supermarkets etc.  Digital issues are available at the Sewing World website



18 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Kerry.

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  2. I guess we do what we can to go on and sewing is a helpful choice. Glad this year was better.

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  3. Kerry I am so sorry to hear about your father and I am glad you had a support network of friends, family and sewing to keep you grounded!

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  4. Thanks for sharing Kerry. I'm so sorry to learn about your dad. Xxxx

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  5. Thank you for sharing these stories. I am so, so sorry for your loss, and for what your family had to go through. We all have a story, and it is true that sewing is a wonderful therapy.

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  6. Sewing is definitely therapy for me too. We had two years of infertility and unsuccessful IVF and I seemed to start at least one new quilt every month when my period arrived. As a result I now have almost 50 WIP's but I also now have 8 weeks to go until my second child is due to arrive. Not sure where I'll find the time for all these projects but each one is special and they don't act as a reminder of my grief, they make me think of hope.

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  7. Sewing is definitely my therapy but it comes with its own problems. I have Asperger's and am mentally unable to sit and do nothing. I can't sit and just watch TV without having some craft project to do, and this eventually led to me having to undergo wrist surgery because I musta couldn't stop, even when it was painful. On the other side, I am an awesome multitasker, can work several times faster than anyone else and can concentrate for hours on end, so my house is overflowing with clothes, quilts, knitted things, etc. But on the worst of days it's the only thing that will lift me up enough to allow me to function. Life is tough, but it is my bright spot

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story. My dad too, took his own life when I was 2 years old. Although I don't remember him, his suicide profoundly affected my life. Hugs ((())))

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  9. Thank you for this piece, Kerry, for sharing your story and the stories of the other women as well. Sewing has always felt therapeutic to me, too, so much so that my kids would say "you need a time out in your sewing room!" when they were little and I started to get frazzled and cross. Just as I was trying to teach them to take care of themselves emotionally and call for their own "time out" when they were overwhelmed and frustrated, they could see that when mommy puts down the laundry basket and the toilet brush, orders takeout for dinner, and spends even 30 minutes in the sewing room, they got a much more patient mommy with a big smile on her face instead of a grouch!

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  10. Thoughtful stories. I teach crochet and people often talk about the therapy of learning, crafting and either joining in with others or having time to themselves. Jo xxxxxx

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  11. A very moving article. I'm sorry you have had to deal with such a difficult loss. Mental health is so fragile and doesn't attract the research and funding that it should given its huge impact on the sufferer and family. But I couldn't agree more sewing is wonderful therapy. It's about the only bit of my life I can control pretty much from start to finish and best of all doesn't need redoing unlike gardening or cooking.

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  12. As your other readers have, I'd like to thank you for sharing. This is something I too struggle with and have been starting to blog about at yorebelwoman.com. I have even been very timid about sharing the blog but feel like this is the perfect spot to be the first place to share info about the blog. "Yo Rebel Woman" is my mantra, sewing and quilting and thinking is what has helped beyond words. Thank you!

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  13. Thankyou to you all. Many commenters were no-reply so I couldn't email you but I appreciated you sharing your thoughts and being so candid about your experiences. x

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  14. Sewing is my coping strategy. It helps me deal with family problems, a hostile working environment and my own auto-immune issues. Allowing my creativity free rein makes me happy in the midst of being overwhelmed.

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  15. This is a wonderful and much-needed article - the more people talk about how they get through the tough times, the more it helps others and the more awareness is raised. Love to you xxx

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  16. I am trying not to cry after reading about so much pain and loss. I, too, have suffered physical pain, and the loss of family to death. Now at the age of 69, I have decided that everyone has terrible problems in her/his life. Either now, in the past, or coming up soon. It is the nature of life. We are here to learn to deal with problems to develop ourselves into better people and to develop faith. I'm off the soap box now. Instead of dealing with your horrid problems in negative ways, you turned to a beautiful, creative means to make you better. I loved how you listed the Good Samaritan number! Suicide or suicide attempts reach all of us now. I'm still shaking from our family's brush over 20 years ago. Keep sewing and looking for blue skies, great friends, and warm spring. It all comes!

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  17. Thank you for sharing and caring. Been there, know a lot about it. Hopefully you are now peaceful as you continue on in life's journey.

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