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Crochet as Physical Therapy after Trauma

When you’ve suffered a loss, whether it is an emotional or physical loss, recovery can be difficult. Beginning the recovery process, much less even wading through it to get to the other side, can feel insurmountable. 

Roughly two years ago, I experienced one of the greater losses I’ve yet to have to come out of: I was in a traumatic car accident. 

 

I spent the better part of two years having my hand rebuilt, learning to use it again, and embracing a new normal. As someone who has played piano since age 6, violin since age 9, avidly crochets and knits (to a lesser degree- I’m pretty bad at knitting!), not having a dominant hand for a long time was frustrating, to say the least. 

When I finally was allowed to start occupational therapy after surgery, there was a laundry list survey of things that people do daily- and I had to rate myself on how I did them. Needless to say, with one hand, I wasn’t doing much given the trauma to that limb. I was beyond frustrated, and my OT therapist told me to pick two things- what could I have as a goal? 

Well, if you’re anything like me… you wouldn’t want help using the restroom for long. And if you’re reading this, I know you’d miss not being able to crochet! I did too. Crochet was my “me” time- that quiet, meditative practice that helped calm my anxiety, and now I couldn’t even pinch my first finger and thumb together! But I had a goal….and my OT allowed me to use crochet as part of my therapy. My fine motor skills came back- not 100%, but quite enough to make me happy! 

And now, roughly 2 years after 6 surgeries, I can truly say crochet helped me heal. It helped calm my anxiety and fears; It helped me forgive the person who caused my accident by allowing myself to grieve and meditate while I hooked on; It even helped heal me physically. 

But ultimately, it helped heal my soul. It took time, work, and some tears. But crochet truly does heal. 

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