For years now, crochet has been my main daily occupation. It started as a regular hobby, but has grown to be a very special skill to me. Five years ago, I was a med student, with a part-time job, barely having time to crochet. My life felt great and very rewarding, and I had nothing else to ask for.
And then it all fell apart.
I was hospitalized with depression after a particularly hard year, in which my family moved to another country. Not long after that I was diagnosed with autism. Med school proved too demanding for the time being, and so did independent living. For the past 4 years, I’ve been living in hospitals and assisted living facilities. But in the hardest years of my life, crocheting has saved me, and it still does.
Crochet means escaping the hard things in our worlds, while creating the mot beautiful projects. Crochet means pushing the boundaries of doing what we know and learning something new. Crochet means, when it gets hard, you can push through, but you don’t instantly have to. You can just put it away for awhile and pick it up later, completely intact. Crochet means being part of a wonderful community and meeting incredible and inspiring crochet artists. That’s what crochet means to me.
Today, instead of just waiting for the days to pass, I create, write patterns and look for inspiration in everything around me. I am doing better emotionally because of it, and I know I’m not alone. As I am founding my business, I meet so many inspiring people who are capable of so much and have huge personal challenges, all at the same time. By being open about my mental health, I no longer feel like I’m lying about my life, nor do I make the impression anyone should.
I keep asking myself: if I had a physical chronic illness, would I hide it when it is relevant? Sometimes the answer is yes, but not often. So why should I have to worry that employers read this and don’t offer me a job? Would I want to work for that person? And the answer is no. It is still terrifying to tell something without being certain of the outcome, but that’s not how I would want to live the rest of my life. So here it is.
I’m Vera. I have as many talents as vulnerabilities, and crochet is one of those talents. My differently wired brain lets me explore patterns and repetitions with ease and love, which is how I come up with my crochet patterns. My years of not being able to have a regular job have given me the opportunity to explore creating my patterns and sharing them with the world. And as I grow to become a regular member of society once more, I will keep up this passion I’ve found.