Today we’re going to get a little serious. And maybe a bit personal. For me, very personal, but you’ll understand that here in a minute. Today we’re going to talk about depression. And how sewing can help it for some people. Sewing and depression don’t really seem like they’d go together on the surface, but I can assure you, for many they do. Let me tell you my story.
Sewing and Depression: A Personal Journey
I learned to sew fairly young. I was 13. But like many of my hobbies, my involvement with it came and went over the years. I was also into cross stitching, bead loom work, painting, singing, reading, writing short plays and stories… so many things. Sewing always seemed to come back around to me though.
Depression was something I struggled with through much of my childhood and young adulthood. There was a level of abuse involved, although I won’t go into detail there. There was also a period in my young life where my family was homeless. Suffice it to say, I went through some pretty dark times. Enter the baby of our family.
A New Beginning
My daughter is now 5. And I’ve been sewing solid for a vast majority of her life. Post-partum hit me HARD after she came along. And I had quit my job to care for her due to the high cost of daycare. My husband and I figured that it wasn’t worth me working if my whole paycheck was just going to go to a daycare anyway. So I stayed home. And the baby blues got me. Couple that with being alone with an infant every day, not seeing friends, not being able to socialize… I was in a bad bad place. I needed something.
One day I saw a sewing machine in Walmart. I saw a machine on clearance and pointed it out to my husband. We didn’t have a lot of money, but he bought it for me. We picked up a paper pattern and a little bit of fabric and took it all home. I don’t think I can even begin to describe the feeling I got when I sat down in front of that machine for the first time. A great weight was lifted off of me at that moment.
Now, the baby being a baby meant that I didn’t get a LOT of sewing done at a time, but I did what I could as I could. It was freeing. Sewing gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when a project was finished.
Why It Helps Me
I think for me, a lot of it is the order of it. The methodical nature of it. It just all makes sense. You can make order and beauty out of a flat piece of fabric. You cut the pieces and you fit them together to make something new in the world that didn’t exist before. It gives me such peace to this day. And when I’m turning a flat piece of fabric into something amazing, I don’t have time to dwell on the negatives. I’m in the now and doing something I truly love.
It started with tiny baby dresses… But now I make all kinds of things for all different kinds and sizes of people. And I love every minute that I get to create.
Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out
Depression is hard. And everybody copes with it differently. But sometimes we all need a little extra help. If you’re struggling, please reach out. Try phoning a friend or a parent, send a text, hop on a messenger. Or, if you don’t feel like any of those are viable options, you can call 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) to speak to a real person any time of any day. Someone is ALWAYS there. They also have an online chat if using a phone causes too much anxiety. Just do what you need to do to be the best you. You are loved. And you ARE worth it!