What is Happiness?
As I've been growing my business, raising my first child, and generally trying to better myself, I've been thinking a lot about what motivates me. What do I hope to accomplish? Why am I doing the things I'm doing? My whole idea behind Happiness Yarn Co. was to share my joy of fiber arts with others. But why do I feel compelled to do this?
Because I know how miserable it can be to not have joy in your life.
For the better part of my life, I have struggled with depression. Even before I acknowledged it or realized what it was. With depression comes anxiety. Low self-esteem. Doubt. Through knitting and other fiber arts, I've been able to reclaim some of those things that years of negative feedback had taken from me. I've always been an artist. It's what I went to school for. It's part of who I am. I still never shook the depression and anxiety, though. My last semester of college, I was too broke to buy Christmas gifts and so stressed out I was barely functioning. So the most logical thing to do was to learn a new skill, right? As it turns out, it was the best thing I ever did for myself.
I did my research and decided I wanted to learn to crochet so I could make my family the aforementioned Christmas gifts. I took to YouTube. It was hard and frustrating at first, but I was so enthralled and determined to learn how to make a chain! By the second day, I had made my first item, a pink cotton ear warmer. It looked pretty good, and I gained a grain of confidence. The boost I earned from learning a new skill and creating (and actually finishing) something was worth so much more than the hours I had spent making it. I thought that like so many other things I had started, my yarn and hooks would end up in a box somewhere, only to be thought of in a fleeting moment sometime in the distant future. Thankfully, that never happened. I became obsessed. Ask my husband.
As my skills improved and I began creating more things, I realized that the time I spent crocheting was correlated to my stress levels. It's like all my tension came out as my fingers worked hour after hour. Amazing! I even bought a bigger purse to accommodate my latest projects so I could crochet anywhere.
Now, crochet alone didn't CURE my depression. Oh no. Counseling and medication are who to thank for that. BUT, fiber arts has been one of the most helpful items in my toolbox of stress relief, and it can be part of yours, too.
I won't pretend like I know what I'm doing. Every time I start something it tends to be sporadic and this little company and website are no exception. I do have a clear goal, and this has been on my mind for quite a long time. So bear with me while I work out the kinks and navigate my way to becoming a better me and helping others find their way, too. As my business grows, I want to contribute to the awareness of mental health. You don't need to have had a battle with mental illness to be conscious of your own mental health. Sometimes, you don't realize how stressed or bogged down your brain is until you exercise it a little. Everyone deserves to be able to find peace in their day-to-day lives. Knitting and crochet is not for everyone, but happiness is. Through donations, workshops, and knit-ins at public places, I want to do my part to contribute while helping others learn new skills, gain confidence, and hopefully make someone else smile with their own hand made treasures.
Thank you to those that have supported me thus far and purchased from my shop. I'm working on many things right now to improve my inventory. Stay tuned!
National Institute for Mental Health
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Crisis Text Line - text Hello to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255
** You do not need to be suicidal to need someone to talk to.