The Purpose of Soulful Knitting
is Finding Purpose
I'm Amanda, I'm glad to meet you!
I've knit my whole life. I don't really remember my first stitches. I just remember knitting. As such, I have always been pretty free-range with it. I started from a place of just putting stitched together to see what happened. Knitting is an important creative outlet for me and something that've often done quite privately. The older I get, the more I learn that I'm actually quite a private person. I'm interested to get out of my comfort zone and share my knitting in a way that builds community that I love and need.
I've re-connected with my knitting self as I've re-built in a number of ways. As my career, family and sense of self spiraled and eventually exploded, I found myself struggling with addiction. The unmanageability of my life was painful and terrifying. I was afraid of my world and myself. I was in danger in so many ways.
Addiction promised to take the pain and danger away, and it did in the moment. While it robbed me of the ability to connect, create and show up for those I care about and am responsible for. Addiction took me away from myself. And then I was truly alone.
I got to learn about the powerlessness of the disease of addiction. I didn't have a drinking problem, I had a drinking solution. The insistence that I stop drinking in the midst of that was terrifying. I still need solutions to the underlying problems. For me, recovery is about finding solutions to problems and finding connection in a sometimes lonely world.
One of the major explosions in my world found me homeless, away from my kids, who were two and five at the time, and lost in the throws of addiction. This was the beginning of the end of my active addiction and my start on the winding road of recovery.
Knitting helped me find enough slow and quiet to get to know myself. I got to re-connect to the self I always was, and to meet the person that I had grown into while I was busy hiding from myself. Most importantly, knitting helped me cope in with some of the most gut-wrenching fear and uncertainty of my life. When I didn't know if or when I would see my kids again, I knit. When I was afraid of who I was, I knit. When I struggled to find housing, I knit. When I was worried about negotiating the end of my marriage, I knit. When I navigated criminal charges, I knit. When I was cooped up in residential treatment. I knit. I reconnected with my resourceful, creative and fun side when the rest of my life was big, important and scary.
I'm not here to tell you that knitting solved any of the problems going on outside of me. But let me tell you how knitting helped me through a lot of very real and scary problems going on inside of me.
On the other side of most of those really scary situations, I need daily practices that allow me to connect to my inner self and the interwoven essence of life around me. As I explore this intersection for myself, I've learned that knitting is well know as a meditative, spiritual and creative outlet. Its emotional, cognitive and therapeutic benefits are well researched and keenly understood by those who enjoy this art form. I'm on a mission to soak up all of the information that I can on these topics. I've found some amazing authors and research on this topic.
I've gotten settled into recovery, have made it to the other side of negotiating the end of my marriage, and my boys (now five and eight) are comfortably settled into shared custody. I find myself called to write about all of these things. And hear about how others connect to each other through the art of knitting and hand-craft.
I'm so excited for all has come of this project (and vocational change) and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Thank you for joining me!
The more I love myself,
the more love I have to give.