Crochet Anxiety Pressure
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Crochet Anxiety Pressure
Crochet Anxiety Pressure

Crochet Anxiety with Social Media

Many of us have looked at the crochet social websites and second-guessed our own abilities in crochet. Some of us go a step further and mentally beat ourselves up which is pretty common.

In any of the crochet designs I have completed, I can confidently tell you that I have always seen better examples of my finished pattern than what my original was. Some people really have an eye for colour that really can set off my pattern for a new vibe. Sometimes, I secretly wish I would have considered the colour palette of what the crocheter chose instead. However, I do take the inspiration into the future if I design something else and may consider the colour palette of what someone else has done.

Social media has the power to bring us together but has significant self-pressure and communications from others that can really rip apart our well-being.

Crochet Anxiety
Crochet Anxiety

Amping Up The Pressure

Some of us are involved in selling crochet projects at the shows. The fact of selling creates deadlines and financial transactions between the crocheter and public setting. Even friends can request to crochet something, even if you are willing to do it for free. For me, the time clock is my nemesis when it comes to my crochet projects.

I set my own personal clock on how much time I want to devote. If I don’t hit my personal goal, I can extend it. But in the world of shows and special occasions such as Christmas, there is a dead-stop time where you must be done. For myself, I cannot handle it when the timeline is unrealistic or a dead-stop time frame without adequate time to get there.

Know Yourself for Crochet Pressure
Know Yourself for Crochet Pressure

Have you ever noticed the Stitch Alongs? We work on the project for a month or so week by week but then the deadline is extended another month after the final clue. I do that so the pressure is ramped down. Having a Stitch Along due within a few days of the ending is unrealistic, even with me being dedicated the craft full-time.

Myself, I’m involved in producing content and tutorials for the public. While I thoroughly enjoying the teaching element, there are always elements of tips I should have communicated. I can easily slip up on words. I’ve given up striving for perfection when I am not capable of producing such results. I just do the best I can.

Feeling Crochet Pride
Feeling Crochet Pride on a Crochet Cruise. A new crocheter is on the right. I think her name was Susan but don’t quote me.

Know Your Capabilities

If you are working on a project to the best of your ability, you are doing just fine. What is good for me is different for you. Each of us has our limits and personal achievements.

On one of the crochet cruises, we had Susan (Not sure if I am remembering her name right) sign up that didn’t know how to crochet, which is shocking I know as we don’t market to beginners. By the end of the cruise, she was capable of doing chaining and made herself a chain headband. She stood up at the end of the cruise and with such enthusiasm announced she made herself a chain and was wearing the headband with such pride. I know at least of few of you are thinking a few things:

The Judging Side of Ourselves

  1. Why did she sign up for a crochet cruise in not being experienced enough for the trip?
  2. A chain!? Really! Maybe she should have done a scarf or something.

The Reality of the Situation

Look at Susan on the right. Look at her face as another crocheter leans over to demonstration on how to sew the motifs together. Look at her face. I mean really look at her face! She’s in a room of crocheters where many people have years or lifetimes of experiences of the hook. She’s at the front door of the hobby.

Look at the joy. Look at the wonder in her yes. Look at the other crocheter make effort to lean over to show skills. LOOK.

When Susan stood up at the end of the cruise and announced with such pride that she finished a chain and was wearing it. We all gave her a huge round of applause. For her, accomplishing the chain was her claim to the moment. She went home with life experiences through the act of sharing with others.

Feeling Crochet Pride
Feeling Crochet Pride

Social and Personal Pressure

Life is full of disappointments, peer pressure and for me, most of it is self-pressure. People can give the look of being well put together when they are emotionally falling apart.

While not one of us can change the world. As a community, we have the power to enrich others lives. We also have the power to rip down people and shatter their lives.

I’ve come to learn as an educator of crochet that a smile across the table or through online social pictures can be very misleading to how the person is really feeling inside.

Filmed in 2008.

Finding Your Joy
Finding Your Joy

You Have To Find Comfort within Yourself

  1. If you know you are doing the best you can. Be proud of yourself.
  2. Create a gratitude journal and find at least 3 things each day that you are grateful for. This sounds ridiculous. I lost my way with a mental breakdown back many years ago. My gratitude journal pulled me from the dangerous part of myself. Finding 3 things is so difficult but in the forcing of finding them, you realize you have most likely more to be happy about then to be sad.
  3. Change what can be changed that is dragging you down. This could be the self-discovery of knowing your abilities and being satisfied with what you are capable of doing. This could be more personal in the home, people or situations in your life that are cycling in a repetitive circle that is causing you the joy you deserve to have.
  4. Take a moment to celebrate your accomplishments.

Listen…

I can rattle off a long list of items that I hate about myself. Some things the public can see. Others are mental scarring I have that keeps me in my place. To be fully committed to this article. I will share with you a few. Nothing you can say will change it for me.

  1. I had body dysmorphic disorder until I met Daniel. Daniel taught me that it’s okay to be me. I have gained significant weight since meeting him but in my past, gaining weight landed me in the mental ward. I’m happy about being overweight, no, but I don’t emotionally beat myself up anymore.
  2. I hate that I don’t have an eye for colour coordination. When crocheters ask me about colour coordinating, I defer to Daniel as I don’t have this gift.
  3. I hate that I don’t like wine. It’s a social thing and I drink the occasional beer feeling like I don’t have refined tastes in comparison to others.
  4. I hate my photograph taken. I appear behind the scenes more often because I am holding the camera. However, if I need to be in front of the camera, I have to suck it up and do my thing. It’s why most of the videos don’t start off with a face shot.
  5. I’m a workaholic and cannot stop myself from obsessing about working and feel extremely guilty if I am sitting still without moving my hands or actively working on my business.

This list can go on and on if I let it. However, I have to find joy in what does bring me happiness to see myself through my life’s journey.

Let the Negative Go and Be With Itself

There are certain websites and certain people in real life and in the social realm that really upset me. I’ve had to learn to avoid those people and websites to let the joy within me be free. You know the type of people and websites that constantly spill negativity in the hopes you will feel anger.

I’ve had to learn that I can only be responsible for what I can control. There are certain elements of life where I am not involved or can make any difference.

I take things personally and my team reminds me from time to time to not let negativity into my life and try my best.

Seek Professional Help

I’m not a trained medical health professional, counsellor or therapist. I will tell you, I carry a card in my wallet for a mental health crisis line in the event where I am feeling at the end of my rope. You are obviously finding this article online, use Google to locate a mental health crisis hotline or professionals in your area.

42 thoughts on “Crochet Anxiety with Social Media

  1. Thank you for the genuine care you exude throughout your article. Thank you for sharing such relevant points and doing so with sincere compassion, inclusiveness, and open-heartedness.

  2. Mikey,

    I was introduced to you by my cousin’s wife, Emilee. She was a young woman who was learning to crochet on her own and she was amused and inspired by you and she thought that I could use the same. Crochet was just about the only thing her and I had in common, besides being stubborn to no end! She passed away a couple months ago from a very sudden medical problem.

    I just found this particular post and, having read it, are even more inspired by you than I was before. The reason Emilee thought I could use you was, at the time, I was suffering from a bout of severe anxiety and depression. I had been forced by my medical problems to leave a job I really loved. Your light and humor (along with some intensive therapy) really did help me get through some tough times. I will forever be grateful to Emilee for bringing you and Daniel into my world.

    I hope you know that should you ever need a friend, you’ve got a whole community of people out here ready to listen, love, and support you along the way!!

    • I just want to thank you for your honesty. I feel like your words were meant for me and that I’m not alone in my head as I thought. Thank you again!

    • I lead a small crochet group (1,500 world-wide) and we are there with crochet related postings and an occasional helpful item on crochet as therapy. This is to let you know this article was posted today and it’s a very helpful piece. I have lots of members with physical, mental and emotional issues and I offer an ear whenever they need to talk privately. Not feeling good enough is hard for the beginner. I have a no-drama policy. No negative comments allowed. I am quite vigilant on that.

  3. Mikey, I’m wondering if you really know how inspirational (I really don’t know if this term is correct) you are… I’m from Mexico city, I learned how to crochet when I was 6 with my grandmother. I quit…. 8 years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, my life was terribly depressing, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think, and suddenly someone suggested me to crochet and I found you! the first video I saw was you teaching how to crochet a baby blanket. I did it and my life changed from that moment. I really felt better, I had to use a lot of medicine so my hands didn’t hurt but my depression disappeared and I’m really thankful I found you and the Crochet Crowd.
    Now, I’m better, I know how to live with this illness and I’m still crocheting along with you, I love you all and I hope you continue with this wonderful job you have! Thank you Thank you !!!! All my love to you and your people.

  4. Hi Mikey

    Best wishes from the UK. This is the first time I’ve seen your site, I guess I should also thank my Google app for finding it for me to read! I just wanted to say how brave it was to share such a personal story but what that did for the greater good is immeasurable. You got yourself a new follower. I can only make a few hours a month so a new website to explore is most welcome 😀

    Sending love and support to anyone struggling with life. You are not alone when you are a maker as there are so many of us all over the world, letting the love of creating things for ourselves or others be the thing that deflects the bad stuff that goes on (whichever form that may take).

  5. Thank you for this insight. I do personal projects for family and friends. I do my best. I’m happy with what i do.

    I do envy those with a flair for the new stuff, crochet art, photos on blankets, all those corner2corner little bobbins. I just can’t handle it, BUT, I am proud of those that can do them and I don’t remorse that I cant.

    Your article was so inspiring for me. Kinda justified how I feel and being happy with what I can do. Thank you.

  6. I love you! Not in a romantic way, just to be clear. Thanks for what you do! Your far away friend.

  7. Mike you have inspired me all belief. I have watched your videos and read about what you are doing. I keep crotcheting to keep my health going .. Thank you so much.

  8. Great article. I can relate with you not being able to color coordinate. My daughter is great at it so I let her do it for me. We are all different in some way. I have learned that if we were all alike it would be a boring world. Kudos to susan for joining a crochet cruise not knowing how to crochet compared to the ones who have crocheted for years. We were all there once and she was not intimidated once by them and proud of her achievement. Great article. It shows all of us we have are own insecurities we have to come to terms with or we will all end up feeling unworthy. One has to remember we are special in our own way.

  9. I cannot thank you enough for this post/blog..I taught myself to crochet (via youtube)a little over a year ago as a way to try and help with my anxiety/depression and post partum.It was such a huge help ,until little by little I kept seeing all these other crocheters online/Facebook etc with so much more talent than myself.While I knew many had been doing this for years,it still discouraged me,and at times still does. In fact there are times I cant even pick up a project to help calm me down, because I loose interest and dont feel Im good enough to crochet anymore (compared to others).But reading this reminded me that we are all at our own skill/comfort level,and that’s something to be proud of . Especially considering a year+ ago I couldn’t even make a chain!I never knew about your personal battle with anxiety/depression,and so that helped tremendously given i also am always trying to be ok(enough)and have had 2 breakdowns over the past several years.We all need a little encouragement now and again,and to be reminded that none of us are perfect(even though my ex husband may beg to differ lol)! Thank you again for sharing,and for being such a wonderful , inspirational human being.

  10. Hi Michael, as If esa reading and watching the videos you have taken me through my rough, tough Time last year. I am 53 years old, turning 54 this year, and my anxiety level was so high after my strock. But I can also say that thanks to crocheting I have not gone insane.. one thing was leading to another with my health, wish still working to go back to “, normal”. Thanks to people like you, we can relax and crochet through difficult times.
    Thanks for keeping it real for many of us on the other as ide of the screen, and believe me what you wrote here is the reflection of many of us out here. Crochet has been a life saver for me ❣️🌺💓❤️💕💖 Thank you for this very educational , inspiring, motivational article and video illustrating how hard and crazy things can get , we need to stop and reflect that we may not be as good as others in somethings, but willing to learn and lead in others.

  11. Mikey, You didn’t have to write this but God bless you for it. I am one of I bet a lot of people who identified & cried with you because the hurt is shared. Some of us struggle our entire life. I’m 66. What I create is part of me & if it ain’t good, I ain’t good. But I know God’s love is deep and He gives you and me good people, new challenges, little victories. May He give you the peace that surpasses understanding, my Youtube teacher & frequent companion.

  12. Dear Mikey, I’m sure there are thousands of crocheters thinking ‘Mikey is speaking to me,’ but for just for today I know it’s to me❣️ This article covers the topics many of us think about and stress over and so well. Bravo‼️

    When I returned to crochet a year ago, I assumed I would pick up where I left off a decade ago. Wrong! Lives change, and so do we. Its been as if I never hooked before. I thru myself into doubt, frustration and mixed it with a good dose of depression. I couldn’t make one simple thing without an interesting array of mistakes. Color combinations? Never like the ones I gushed over from others’ projects. Honestly, it’s a gene I didn’t get from any of my relatives.

    After vowing to quit, again, many times, I got encouragement. I have lots of little swatches of things I thought would become museum worthy. Instead, over this last year I’ve learned that if you do something enough you will finally get it (it’s not a mistake in the pattern 🤯). Just because everyone else is saying they took a chance on this amazing pattern and first time they did it it came out perfectly doesn’t mean it’s their first project…duh…slapping myself on the side of the head. Then there’s all those personal messages screaming at you in your head. They really mess up your stitch count.

    Well, I could go on but you’ve said it better in you above “lesson to crocheters. Thank you for enlightening an otherwise confusing “trying to buy a new house,” rainy, gray Seattle, what do you mean my hook didn’t accompany my crochet on the drive kinda day.

    When all is said and done, you ROCK, Mikey, and thank you DD for standing beside Mikey while he learned that!!!😍

  13. Thank you Mikey for being you and so open about your experiences. I love crochet I really especially love it when I am having anxiety attacks as it helps me to get though them. I suffer from generalized anxiety attacks. When my son died last year I couldn’t control them with my medication or trying to “walk it off” like I have in the past. One evening when I was experiencing one that had lasted over 30 minutes. I got on my computer with my little ball and hook that I keep on my desk for when I am learning a new stitch or practicing one. I turned on one of your tutorials and started to crochet whatever it was you were teaching. Within 4-5 minutes I realized that I was relaxed and the attack was finally over. Now this is not advice or a way to cure them. It is just something that I stumbled on that has worked for me time and time again. I don’t even try to use the other methods that I did before since this is a natural way for me that is working and I feel so much better about myself since I am able to control them by doing something that I love.

  14. Excellent.timely. appreciated. I felt like Susan when I came to Loosey Gooseys in Nova Scotia. I received an open heart from everyone and I was so appreciative of the compassion. I love the humanity of crochet

  15. I have found that online crochet groups can be brutal. Everyone seems to think they are right about everything. That their taste is the best. Crochet is an art. Art is subjective. People need to be kinder to each other. If you are asked an opinion, be honest, but be nice. If you are not asked an opinion, be quiet.

  16. Michael, thank you for your candidness. I too have anxiety issues, especially in front of a camera. I’m a nurse and 2nd guess myself always. Why didn’t I catch that symptom that someone else did? And thoughts like that. My residents love me, but they have no idea that I 2nd guess everything I do. They think I’m great! I guess that’s the most important thing. Thank you for all you do for us here. Continue on sir! You’re awesome.

  17. I appreciate you for you Mikey. You bring projects to me that I wouldn’t normally do. I also don’t have the gift of color coordination so i appreciate that you give me suggestions for the projects. I mostly crochet for myself. I occasionally sell at a local show or two ax year. But i give away much more than i even attempt to sell. Crochet helps me deal with life. Its especially helpful to find down from work. I’m an ER nurse and many of my shifts are very stressful. I appreciate that your tutorials help me understand project directions i can’t figure out on my own.

  18. Thank you for sharing yourself today. Today it’s 11 months since we lost our 15 yr old granddaughter. In 10 days time, diagnosis to death, God had to heal our Rose of a brain tumor, GBM. So much love, energy, humor, intelligence… we miss it all.

    And yeah, the entire post today hit me…no color sense, even with a color wheel. BUT Mikey, you have taken me past “my work isn’t good enough “! Thank you so much for that. Your patterns, tutorials when needed, or to confirm, or just to watch you crochet…to see if I can pick up a technique that might a stitch flow better. There’s always going to be someone who can do it better, it’s that awesome!

    Thank you!🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

  19. When I was in the seventh grade,I was heavy and all the boys in the cafeteria made a loud horrible noise of an animal when I came into the room.It hurt so much.I do feel your pain.I am also not a good crocheter,but I try and now as I am older I have many health problems.I think you are great just the way you are.

  20. How very touching. I have heard you discuss some of these things about yourself & about handling negativity through the crochet crowd. Im sure it’s very overwhelming. But I could not imagine where I am now without the crochet crowd. You are not only an awesome teacher, but you strive to find the positive in situations. I will never forget how on a cruise with this group you asked if I was ok. Caught off guard I responded I was fine. You stopped me & said really, are you ok. I will never forget the look in your eyes. I nearly burst into tears knowing that you meant those words, really meant those words. I had to reevaluate me & have found I’m capable of handling more then I thought I could. Never stop being you.

  21. I first met you, Michael, in 2008 when you were sitting on the floor crying. I cried with you. You kept appearing, crying, I felt as though I needed to put my arms around you and let you cry. I kept watching and listening, I remembered my 14 year loneliness period. Then, like you, i met someone. I watched with great joy and you talked about meeting Daniel. We were both saved! I love you.

  22. This article totally hit home. I relate to so many of your points. I always look at myself and my work with a critical eye, thinking I could have done better. I too struggle with letting negativity into my life and having it take over my mind. I am usually able to hold it together in front of people but I break down a lot when I am alone. I have kept a gratitude journal but have put it aside as of lately. I need to pick that back up again. Staying positive and focusing on what is good and I do right is important and a key to being more “OK” with myself. Your posts and articles encourage me every day and I am so so glad you are a big part of the crochet community!
    I think you are an amazing person. I see someone who is down to earth, admits when they are wrong, and is too hard on themselves more often than not. You are very humble and and don’t give yourself enough credit for all the hard work you do. You aren’t afraid to show your imperfections. I don’t think you realize that those imperfections are what make you so amazing. I’ve not met you in person but you make it possible to still feel a connection. With such a huge fan base I can imagine how difficult it is to not be affected by the negativity. People are so much more apt to share the negative than they are to share the positive. From one imperfect human to another; please remember you touch so many more in a positive way than you do in a negative. So many more appreciate your work and skill than there are negative comments. Every moment you affect another and change their life. You have built a legacy that will far outlast our lifetime! You Are Amazing!

  23. Thanks so much for sharing this very personal part of yourself. You’re so right that it’s easy to feel pressure or inadequacy when you cruise the internet. There’s always someone better, faster, or more creative than you. It’s hard not to feel that you want to do every project you see. Thanks for reminding me that my work is good enough and there’s more to learn when I’m ready. I’ve been crocheting for over 45 years, and there’s still more to learn and do. Thanks again for being you and sharing your talent.

  24. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate the reminder to relax and let go, to simply enjoy. Blessings to you and Daniel!

  25. It is an important message even 10 years down tbe road. Especially now, when many live by the number of likes. The older i get, the more i understand that difference is important in all things. Looks, body type, skill levels, talents, abilities, thoughtds. It helps jkeep us interacting and learning. I would love to be a flawless, A+crocheter, i am not. But love and positovity, hope, and dreams go into every stitch. I pray that the receiver is blessed with comfort from the item. It also gives me a new community i can pick and choose from.
    I sincerely thank you for this article. Have a creative, fabulous, and joyful week.

  26. Michael, I cried through all the videos. Especially yours. Because that is how I’m feeling right this very moment! I feel useless, good for nothing etc….. I’m trying very hard, but my glass almost always seem to be just empty. I type this as I lay in bed. I’m in my PJ’s about 85% of the time. Depression has been part of my life sine I suffered post-partum depression about 33 1\2 years ago. It took a huge hit when I lost my aunt, uncle, and finally my papa in 2 weeks time. Then the following year and 3 months later, my husband of 32 years left me via a text message. Then 2 years ago my 15 month old granddaughter passed away. A few months later I went thru a small nervous breakdown. I live in my son , daughter in law, and granddaughter’s renovated basement. You’d think I’d be thrilled, but I’m not. I’m a very religious person and believe All that God promises us in the Bible. And who am I to argue when he tells me that I am worthy! But yet, here I am, laying in bed. I found your group and it got me going. I had been knitting, ( but crochet was always my thing)! I’m not finished with my Spring Stitch Along. But I haven’t given up yet either. Thank you for your very emotional video that you posted. It was Very Brave of you to do so. You are such a Talented person. Your videos/tutorials are Awesome. One day in the future all will be good. But for now, it’s just ,’One moment at a time’. Thank you again.

  27. I have no sense for color either. My husband can do magic with color. I let him pic all my yarn! Lol. We have this in common.

  28. Mikey, I suffered with acute anxiety and clinical depression a few years ago as a result of work place bullying. I gained a tremendous amount of weight and eventually couldn’t cope with going into school anymore, I had been made to feel that I was a useless teacher and that I should have quit the profession years ago. My husband encouraged me to take up crochet as something new and different (I had been a knitter for years). Purely by chance I found you, thank you for everything you do…I now have a passion for both crochet and knitting and my health back, having taken early retirement. My house is full of yarn and it isnt always as tidy as it should be, I have lost 5 stone in weight and love going cycling with my husband. Life is good, I have a lovely supportive family and I feel as if you are a close friend, which I am sure if we ever met you would be.

  29. Thank you for this post. Crochet and the Crochet Crowd Community is helping me stay positive during my job search, which has been the longest I’ve been unemployed since the early ninties. I want you to know you make a difference. Thank you for being you.

  30. Thank you for sharing a part of your journey with us Mikey. I think the gratitude journal is a wonderful idea and even those that do not suffer from clinical depression could benefit from using this approach to daily life. It would put things in to perspective for us and help us realize how much we really have to be thankful for. I appreciate all the things you and Daniel do for the Crochet Crowd both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Thank you so much!

  31. I watched your video and I just wanted to (((HUG))) you. Hugs can be very healing. A sad person doesn’t always need your words. They need you to listen and show you care. And will always be there. We will always be here for you Mikey. We love you and appreciate all you do.

  32. Mikey,
    Thank you so much for opening up and sharing something so deeply personal yet relevant to so many people. Having community to connect to is of such importance to every living being. Lifting each other up and celebrating each accomplishment is such a gift we can give each other as well as supporting each other through the rough times we all suffer. Dancing in the rain is always easier if you don’t have to do it alone. Thank you for your presence, your voice and your heart.

  33. MIchael, thank you, thank you, thank you….for sharing this with others. The struggle is real and I believe you will have helped many with what you wrote. In this day of Social Media, I see others getting lost in it and losing the perspective of real life. Kudos to you my friend!!!

  34. so geat to read this,i am in my late 60s and taught myself to crochet off your site.soo grateful,i became so down seeing all people could do and i was barely doing more than granny square blankets,when i gave some to my grandkiids,they were so happy and told me how clever i am.you know.i am proud of what i can do now and dont dwell on what i cant.thanks.mikey,you are an amazing person who gives joy to so many of us

  35. so geat to read this,i am in my late 60s and taught myself to crochet off your site.soo grateful,i became so down seeing all people could do and i was barely doing more than granny square blankets,when i gave some to my grandkiids,they were so happy and told me how clever i am.you know.i am proud of what i can do now and dont dwell on what i cant.thanks.mikey,you are an amazing person who gives joy to so many of us

  36. Hello, I always feel like an armature but luv yarn so I continue. I have had many of your issues but try to hide behind bravado attitude. Thanks for your message.

  37. You are amazing! Today was the right day for me to read this message. I am working on a project that is turning out kinda wonky, but I am continuing to move forward. I paid $$ for the yarn (and now I don’t love it). But, I am continuing on and I’m almost done. As I get more of it completed, it is getting better but I’ve had to rip and repeat more than I’d like. But, I am learning…I will continue to learn…and I will enjoy the process. Hugs!!

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