Chronic Illness and pain can cause even the strongest people to become anxious and depressed
After being diagnosed with autoimmune disease, I was lost. You know the feeling. You’ve been diagnosed with a chronic, invisible illness and you have lost your ability to do so many things. Bedridden and depressed, your loss of sanity is looming if not already present. You can’t do the things you did before and you are losing your mind.
When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I was already almost completely bedridden. I had been ill for a long while but had only just found out what was wrong. Having been an extremely active woman with a thriving business I had sunk into a despair like nothing I had ever felt. After having it, being diagnosed with autoimmune disease was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
If you are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts please tell a loved one or contact emergency services at 911
One day I decided I wanted more in my life than watching tv and being depressed. The doctor had increased my medication so I was able to function in more ways although I was still weak and exhausted. But how do you do anything when you can barely walk to the bathroom and you have to have meals brought to you because you can’t cook and walking to the dining room is too much for your body to handle?
I finally had a good few hours and went shopping. It was nice wandering around Walmart, stretching my legs. I’ve always loved crafts but never really took the time to explore or enjoy them. Sure I had saved a ton of Pinterest pins but I hadn’t tried any of them myself. Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease did have one advantage.
As a girl, I had taught myself some basic crochet but that had been many years ago. I bought a crochet book with hooks and some yarn at and started teaching myself the basics again.
I was far from creating anything beautiful but I learned something else more important.
When Your Mind Focuses On A Task It Can’t Think Negatively
Have you ever tried to do something you love and stay negative at the same time? It is extremely hard to do. My mind was so busy thinking about crochet that I wasn’t focusing on losing my “life”. I was looking forward to each day now, even if it was only to create 20 chains with good tension and gauge.
Whether You Crochet Or Have Another Hobby, You Can Make A Difference For Your Mental Health
I chose crochet because it was something I had a little experience with but I could have easily chosen something else. Honestly, I don’t think it matters what you decide to do to take your mind off being chronically ill as long as you enjoy it.
Try something for at least 20 minutes each day and see if it doesn’t make you feel a little better about waking up. It may even save your sanity too. Here are a few ideas to help you think about what type of hobby you might like:
- Making birdhouses
- Creating fairy gardens
- Writing, either in a private journal or to share publicly
- DIY Jewelry
- Using polymer clay to create beads, fairy garden accessories or unique crochet hooks
You may be confined to bed but you don’t have to let it keep you from doing something to lift your spirits. I can tell you that I was a sad, depressed lump before starting to crochet but even getting angry or frustrated that I wasn’t creating something correctly got me out of that dark abyss.
If you are depressed please talk to someone. A hobby may not work for you and that is okay. Let someone help you and maybe you will find another way to treat your depression. I want you to know that you are loved and you are valuable.
Feeling depressed or suicidal? You can also speak with someone at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 74174 to reach the Crisis Text Line
Having a hobby may save your sanity and you just might find that you missed out on some great stuff while you were “busy” in your able-body life. Try something and share it with the world, we need someone like you to show us there is life after chronic illness.
What about you? Do you suffer from anxiety or depression after being diagnosed with a chronic or invisible illness? Do you have any hobbies or tips you would like to share?
I love hearing all about how you tackle your struggles with chronic illness!
Do you have other tips you can share with us? Most spoonies have found workarounds for all types of things and I’d love to share your advice.
Write a comment below,send me an email, tell us about it in our Facebook Group or post some pictures on our Facebook Page
You may also like my store on Zazzle (affiliate link) with unique sayings and items I make for myself but that you can also buy. If you want something created with your unique saying, let me know and I'll do my best to get it designed.
Kim is a freelance blogger, writer and VA. She loves sharing resources for other “spoonies” to help them create lives they love. Hoarding crochet patterns on Pinterest is her second favorite thing.