Be Mad, Do Craft
Stitched by: @stitching_4_change
Pattern designed by: @stitching_4_change
When you are Mad, it can feel like the world is closing in on you. You are commanded to “relax” and to do things “mindfully”, and under this pressure even things which you previously enjoyed can start to feel like a chore. It is also a form of gaslighting, expecting Mad folk to just relax all of a sudden whilst doing a bit of colouring in, shows how current mental healthcare services value an individualistic approach to “recovery” over a collective, or even societal, approach.
When there is the expectation that you should be doing things calmly, it can be difficult to get started. You may be tempted to give up quite quickly if it does not immediately fill you with the serenity you had been promised. My advice to you would be to be Mad AND do craft (or yoga, or dance, or whatever it is that you think would feel good/less terrible) – your time is your own, and you deserve to fill it with things that you want to do, whether or not they bring you closer to the mythical destination of “recovery”.
Craft and other creative pursuits CAN be a form of self-care, but it’s up to you to decide that. If you’ve just spent an hour learning to crochet and it was really fucking stressful, actually, then you don’t have to call it self-care. You can call it a knotty-yarny-waste-of-my-time and move on. If you find that the repetitive nature of stitching or knitting is quite compulsive and sometimes it scares you because you can’t stop doing it (even when you need a toilet break) then you don’t need to call it self-care. Unless it feels like self-care.
Do what you want, basically, but remember that self-care can become a burden, too, and you can craft if you want to, even if it doesn’t make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud of positive vibes.