How Crochet Helped Me Heal ~ These Crochet Hearts Will Give You a Sense of Accomplishment

Hi I’m Shannon, my friends call me ShayShay, and I’m just a bit crochet crazy. I want to share with you the story of how little crochet hearts helped me heal. Browsing the internet I’ve found it’s full of magnificent, creative crocheters and I really struggled with the decision to go forward with a blog. But, as one of my bff’s always says, “What else ya got ta do?” Haha!  I’ve come to realize that each of us is entirely unique and has something special within us that comes out in our particular forms of art and that is worthy of sharing.

I just have to do my own thing and not get discouraged. I’m not competing with anybody except myself.

In Feb 2015, in an effort to physically push myself out of a particularly difficult depression I went for a walk, stepped wrong on uneven pavement, and snapped my ankle…On the FIRST day! I know, I know! I can’t make this stuff up. I’m quite a clutz. What I thought would be just a few days of soreness and swelling turned into a couple of months of immobility and subsequently the loss of my jobs. I tore the tendons and ligaments in my ankle, which can take even longer to heal than a fracture would have. This did not help my depressed mood at all, as you can imagine. As I was just beginning to limp around I went to visit a particularly crafty friend. She had given me a pair of fingerless gloves the previous Christmas and I absolutely loved them. I call them my mermaid gloves because of the yarn colors. And I wore them a lot in the cold taking  care of horses!

Excuse my nails, but the gloves are cute!

That day visiting her she brought out a hook and yarn and taught me how to do a chain and half double crochet stitch. I went home the next day and RAN with it (not really cuz then you know I’d probably trip and fall LOL!). I browsed patterns, I LOVED ALL THE THINGS. I bought myself a couple cheap hooks and a rainbow assortment of yarn and started making stuff right away using YouTube tutorials and shared my journey with my friend who gave me even more tips and helped me along the way. The bug had bitten, I was HOOKED.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how much emotional therapy it was providing. My curiosity was peeked and I felt a sense of accomplishment with each little project I completed. Those two things alone are great remedies for soothing whatever ails you.

A few months later, in the early summer of 2015, I caught a “cold” that wouldn’t go away. I coughed incessantly. I tried to keep my hopes up, thinking this next Dr, this next medicine or home remedy would help and I’d be better “in just a week more.”  But, that didn’t happen and by the Fall I had a collapsed lung and I was severely sick with an unexplained pneumonia. I kept crocheting up until late September, until my husband and I went on a vacation in the mountains. I had excitedly brought several project bags of yarn with me, but after just one day there I didn’t have the energy to work on it. That’s when I knew it was bad and shortly after that trip I was finally hospitalized. First, to save my life and heal the antibiotic resistant infection in my lung. Then, I underwent an extensive lung surgery to remove the upper right lobe which was damaged beyond repair. That surgery was profoundly painful and enlightening, in ways I won’t go into for the purpose of a crochet blog, but in the beginning days, weeks, and months into my recovery I had to relearn everything again, including my newfound love for crochet. The surgical site is on my right back under the shoulder blade with 2 ribs removed and put back in order to get at the lung, so I lost the use of my crochet arm! Not cool, dude, not cool. I remember the day I tried to pick up my crochet hook, it was painful. I wanted to make something from the heart to send in thank you cards to everyone who had given of themselves to help my family during that difficult time, so I literally made these little hearts. It was all I could do at the time; I think I made just one or two the first day and then worked myself up to making 5, then 10 per day. Pushing myself in this way was very good for me.

I was so proud of these first 4 hearts that I made!

It turned out to be a very therapeutic way to keep my arm and hand mobile when all I wanted to do at the time was to keep it tucked in and protected from harm!

Eight months have now passed since the surgery and I’m still very much recovering. I’m still slow with the crochet, but my passion for it pushes me onward and I’m getting better every day. The long recovery in and of itself has been challenging, physically yes, but even more so emotionally. The past year+ has been full of unknowns and I honestly don’t know what the future holds anymore. But, I do know I have this passion for creativity through crochet and I want to share it with anyone else who wants to learn & cheer each other on. We all go through difficult things in life, my story is not unique in that way; it’s how we choose to deal with the struggles that defines us. I believe if you find something that’s helped you in life, Pass. It. On!

*******(Update 18 months post surgery and I’m now making YouTube videos to share and teach my love of crochet. Pass it on, yessss!

If you’ve never tried crochet, I’ve got a very beginner video just for you. Come try it with me here!

If you are still reading this, I thank you and count you as a friend, welcome to my tribe! Come join myself and others in my little Facebook Group:

Has crochet helped you through hard times? I’d love to hear about it below in the comments or on my Facebook Page. Let’s connect!
Facebook Page:


IG: @CrochetShay

Crochet Hearts YouTube pattern here.


A Thank You from my Heart to yours.
~CrochetShay <3


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