Hello everyone, my name is Stephanie welcome to It’s Crochet O’clock. I’ve tried to film this video four times. This is my fourth time now over the past month and I have had difficulty and I have refilmed it so many times because I did not want to cry on YouTube So I am hoping that now that almost a month has passed by that my brain has had time to process everything that I am going to be talking about that I can actually get through this without crying this time. Cuz I don’t want to cry in front of you guys. I want to be helpful for you guys at all times. For those of you who have not been here with me from the beginning. I will give you a brief history It’s Crochet O’clock started from a fan group on Facebook for a TV show called My 600-pound Life If you aren’t familiar with that, there’s a doctor in Houston, Texas. His name is Dr. Nowzaradan, everybody calls him Dr. Now. He works with severely obese people to help them learn how to properly eat and he’s one of the only doctors in the world that will perform weight loss surgeries on people of that size. But he does so much more for the people He helps them get counseling to deal with their issues because food is an addiction. I’ve talked about this I don’t know how many times He’s just he’s a really really great person and some of the stories that are told are really really touching stories, and I’ve been a huge fan of the show since it started and the Facebook group was huge and one day one of the admins of the Facebook group posted that she had just read a study that people who have hobbies that involve your hands were less likely to binge eat than people who did not have hobbies that use their hands. So she asked all of us to share some of our hobbies that we were interested in And I said crochet. Because I crochet, a lot, all the time And then some other people responded that they crocheted as well and then there were others a bunch that kept saying that they wish that they knew how to crochet or that they wanted to learn how to crochet. So I sent a message to an to that admin and I said, “Hey I could help these people. Can can I set up a secondary group? You know like a sister group to this one just for people who want to learn how to crochet?” You know if I can help them on their weight loss journey because it’s supportive everybody there supports each other on their journeys I would really really like to do that and she said sure and all the admins jumped on board. That was almost a year ago now and the group has kind of died down partially my fault because Its Crochet O’clock took off, because it took all of 1.2 seconds for me to start the group and I decided that, you know, we were going to do a group project together and I contacted Jinty Lyons and I told her what I was doing and I said I would love to film tutorials for your Virus Meets Granny shawl because I think this would be great for them and I mean, boom, I had a website. Boom, I had a YouTube channel and that’s how It’s Crochet O’clock grew. It’s become a whole lot bigger than that, but I’m not a person that forgets where they came from and That group is how we started. So there’s a lot of people here that are from that original group and almost a month ago now we lost somebody very important to us. There was a cast member whose name was LB Bonner. He was from South Carolina. So I immediately connected with him because South Carolina is my home state. And even before his show aired. He was very active in the My 600-pound Life Fan group and he spoke to everybody. He helped everybody, he answered questions. He was just there all the time and then after his show aired Doing it again. After his show aired, He had his own Facebook fan page. Which he was very active on. He would wake up every morning, most mornings, and he would always post something motivational. In the afternoons, he was always talking about what he was eating He was always trying to help people that were following him on their journey. He was talking about foods. What was good for you, what wasn’t good for you. Portion control. And then normally in the evenings, he would always post a message before he went to sleep. We all journeyed with him He moved to Texas to go through the surgery and to go through the whole process and stay there. For the follow-ups, and all of that afterwards, we all traveled with him back to South Carolina We all shared in his joy when he reached his weight-loss goals We couldn’t see him because of his contract, but we all shared in in those moments with him. And then he got his first job and we were all so happy for him. And there was just so much celebration and things going on. And then, one evening, I was sitting in front of my computer and I remember it vividly. I was responding to somebody in the It’s Crochet O’clock Facebook group. We were chatting about a pattern and I got a message
that LB had passed away. And instantly I went, No, this has got to be one of those one of those, you know, crazy news sources that just releases something and you see memes going across Facebook all the time if you know this person died and they’re like, Hello. No. I’m still here. Just trying to mess with you and Just earlier that day, you know, he had left a message and it was typical LB. It just looked like a normal message from him and just the type of person that he was. He just left a message reminding us that you got to tell the people that you love in your life that you love them and you know he was he knew that he had a lot of demons, but he had decided that he was going to face them head-on and you know, he had said things like that before and demons can mean So so so many things And at that point, you know all of us were still wondering if it were true. And then a family member came in and they confirmed that LB had taken his own life. People might think if they’re not part of a community online They might think that it’s crazy that we would be affected. But I spoke to LB. I spent time, my real time, speaking to him just like I do a whole lot of you guys, and When you guys, when life happens and you can’t be active in the Facebook group or you normally comment on every video that I make and then I don’t hear from you for whatever reason. I send messages out, “Hey. Are you okay? You know, what’s going on with you?” Because I care. And, you know. Even though I may not have met you in person. I still spend a great deal of my life Speaking with you and I think that a lot of us feel that way even though I’ve never met. Like you guys know Chantel with Fiberifik, I’ve never met her in person. I may never meet her in person. She lives on the other side of the planet, but she’s my friend Vanessa Smith lives in South Africa, I’ve never met her in person. Probably never will but she’s my friend Emma over at Pippin Poppycock. I talked to her daily multiple times a day never met her in person, but she’s my friend. If anything happened to you guys, and you guys were no longer there for me to speak to I would miss you So our community is still hurting. We’re still missing LB and I’m sure that we will for some time so I wanted to take… I wanted to take a minute to speak to you guys about the mental health benefits of crochet. If you follow my website or if you’re in the Facebook group Then you know that I did a collaboration with my friend Chris from Las Vegas. Who runs a YouTube channel called the Rewired Soul. I did a collab with him because his channel is all about mental health and abolishing the stigma that surrounds mental health and addiction and helping people. He is a recovering addict. He is a recovering alcoholic. He has dealt with depression in his life and he does wonderful, wonderful things over there. But I wanted to also speak about it here because it is so, so helpful to so many people myself included. So I wanted to tell you some of the ways that Crochet helps us. Not that I don’t think that that you know, because if you’re here Then you’re more than likely already crocheting but there may be some benefits that you just weren’t aware of that you can share with other people. The first thing that I want to talk about is stress. My life is crazy, crazy stressful and if I don’t crochet nobody in my life around me can deal with me because crochet is how I work out all my frustrations all my tension all my stress it just flows out into whatever project it is that I am working on and it works that way for a lot of people. The repetitive motions just calms me down and it gives me something to focus on just enough maybe Sometimes if it’s one of those easy patterns, it’s just enough to derail my brain from the stress and everything else that is going on. Another way that crochet can benefit our mental health is through a grieving process. Now I know that there are people here that watch my blog and during the time when Arizona was going on and when I was filming, Arizona I lost a very very very important person to me She was the person in my life that introduced me to a lot of fiber arts. She shared and if you don’t know, I have a crazy obsession with medieval fashion. She shared my love for it. We spent, I can’t tell you how many nights, staying up all night long going through books and looking at fabrics and discussing things she taught me how to embroider. And I woke up one morning and she announced that she had uterine cancer. You know, that was at the beginning of the week and they had scheduled surgery for the following Monday That was a Tuesday or Wednesday when when she announced it? And on Friday she was gone. She was just gone And I didn’t know what to do with that and I couldn’t pick up any of my crochet even though I knew that she would want me to continue creating beautiful things because that was what connected us. Originally we both loved love loved creating beautiful things and I knew that she would want me to Carry on with it.
I just couldn’t. But I had made an obligation. I had told Emma at Pippin Poppycock, That I would film the tutorials for Arizona Arizona had already started at that point, it had just started. So I was a couple weeks into filming but I knew that I needed to stay on schedule because it’s really easy to get behind. So I forced myself to crochet and to finish filming Arizona Then I didn’t crochet for about a month afterwards. I didn’t blog. I didn’t post videos. I wasn’t active in my Facebook groups. I just abandoned anything and everything that had to do with crochet and I blogged about it and there was a lot of support From you guys for me during that loss but I woke up one morning and I just knew that I needed to do it. So my cousin had sent me a Mandala madness kit and it had been sitting in the bottom of my closet for months months months months and I went ok I got to make something really really really pretty not that Arizona wasn’t pretty but I just needed something different in my life So I picked it up and I started working on it and I worked through 8 rounds of it before I finally stopped crying constantly and made it through.
But it helped me, tremendously. Another way that crocheting helps us is it, it helps with our insomnia the restlessness you wouldn’t you wouldn’t think so because you’re actually doing something and you’re being active you think that it would do the reverse for insomnia or restlessness, but it’s not. If you pick a simple pattern that you don’t have to look at it. Perhaps like granny squares or a ripple blanket or something like that that you don’t have to look at a pattern constantly for and you just sit there and get yourself into the repetitive motion. What that does is that calms your brain down. It calms our muscles down It calms down everything about our person and once we can calm down Then we can go to sleep. So it helps tremendously with insomnia and restlessness. I know that it’s crazy and it’s the exact opposite of what most people would think but it’s not. And it truly, truly works. So if you suffer from insomnia you might actually want to pick up your crochet or tell somebody that you know to start crocheting. Teach them how to make granny squares so they can get some rest because when we don’t rest and we don’t get properly charged up as we should as human beings. It makes us very irritable and it makes us angry and cranky and nobody wants to live their life like that. So it it really really does help with that. Another thing that a lot of people don’t know about. Is that the Mayo Clinic did a study a couple years ago on the effects of knitting and crocheting and people who were likely to get dementia like me. There is a strong history of dementia in my family. So there is a very strong possibility that I will suffer from it as well. So what they did is they took a whole bunch of people and they studied them. And they found that people who crocheted or knitted were 50% more likely to have the effects of dementia reduced than the people who didn’t. And it may seem. I mean it’s a 50% chance. Those are, I mean, half and half odds. That’s wonderful, you know something we’re creating something. Wonderful. It has all of these other benefits for us and it may help reduce the effects of dementia. If you know that you’re prone to it, that’s just huge. At least for me it is, because I’m terrified of it. I don’t want to… I don’t want to deal with it and I don’t want my family members to have to go through what all of us have gone through with and I just don’t want it. So, you know, not that I was ever going to stop crocheting before but if you know somebody who has a history of dementia in their family, you know, tell them to start crocheting or knitting because it does help. So we see it all the time on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook and all of that, you know you finish something and you are just proud. Look at what I made Deidre’s website. The Creator of Sophie’s Universe, -Look at what I made dot net. It’s so true. You want to show everybody. Look at what I made. And then everybody responds back to you and it boosts your self-esteem So if you have self-esteem issues, this is something that anybody can do. Anybody from any walk of life can learn to crochet or knit. If you want to. And you can make something awesome and you can show it to other people. You’re just proud whenever you, you work through a pattern. There are so many people, I’m gonna use Sophie’s Universe because Dedri who’s the designer of Sophie’s Universe. People call her the modern “grandmother” of Crochet. Not that she’s a grandmother. She’s not old enough to being a grandmother but, when she created Sophie’s Universe, and I know this for a fact because I did a polling on it in December. The 20 most popular crochet alongs. So many people, so many people said that they either, learned to crochet just so they could make that blanket or that they came back to crochet because of that blanket. So many people said I will never be able to do that. She teamed up with Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell the youtube channel. They did video tutorials. They had pictures. There’s a Sophie’s Universe book that walks you through every single step and stage. Yes, you can make that blanket. I use it as an example all the time when people tell me, “I can’t make that.” Yes, you can! And then when you nurture them, and you help them, and you answer their questions and they come back and they are so happy. They’re like a little five year old, showing their mom, like look at what I made. Yes, you made that! I can’t begin. We all know as crocheters the boost of self-esteem that it gives us whenever we complete a project and we can share it with our people or not even share it, just look at it. Go, “Wow, I did that?” that we know that the boost. So don’t forget about that. If you know somebody who suffers with self-esteem issues, share the love of our craft with them. And help them create something beautiful and step by step by step by step We can combat that and eventually, you know, they may be the next Dedri. You never know. They may be the next Emma from Pippin Poppycock. They may be that the next Helen Shrimpton. Creating all of these beautiful designs. We don’t know and all it needs is just one little boost of self-esteem to get the ball rolling. Anxiety comes in many many many different forms And because it comes in so many different forms people experience it in many many different ways. I do suffer from anxiety, but not nearly to the extent that a lot of people do Anxiety for me is, everything is just going through my head all at once and I start sweating and and my heart starts pounding really really hard and I can’t focus because everything is going on in my head all at once and I got to do this and I got to do that and oh my God who’s calling here. And why is my email? Why won’t my email stop and oh my god the kid needs to eat, why do kids need eat. Just everything all at once just rushes on you and it’s just normal everyday stuff But then all that sometimes, you know, You just walk around a corner and living your life going to go get a glass of water and all of a sudden boom everything falls on you all at once here like all I’m so behind with life. I stop, everything. right there because I’ve been able to teach myself to recognize that this is what’s going on and I immediately go over and I sit down. And I crochet and it doesn’t even… I have so many silly little things laying around the house because there’s no pattern. There’s no rhyme. There’s no reason just whatever it is Whatever yarn it is. Whatever hook is there I don’t even care if it matches I don’t even care if it’s the the tool that I should be using for that yarn and I just pick it up and I start working and just going. Because if I don’t then then I’ll start crying or I’ll get angry and people like three doors down will be chewing gum and it’ll annoy me. And I don’t want the people that I love that are around me to Have to deal with that so I force myself to stop and even just stopping life stopping everything for ten minutes and sitting down and working with the yarn helps me so much. Now, I’m not saying that it would be a fix all for everyone. because I do know that there are a lot of different ways that people experience anxiety. But maybe, maybe just maybe, if you experience anxiety and you know. Maybe you could do like I do and you could make sure that you leave yarn in every room of your house. I’m not lying. You guys can ask Katherine. There’s yarn in every room of my house. Not a lot. I don’t have hordes of stash everywhere. But I know that in every room of my house if something happens I can reach over and and I can grab yarn. And I can start working and I can think through whatever my issue is and then I can come back to it and discuss it or deal with it, whatever it is. It might be helpful for you. It might be helpful for somebody that you know that has anxiety they can maybe they can do like I’ve done and try to train themselves to not be paralyzed by what happens and to pick up yarn instead. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try. I’ve left the big one for last and the reason that I’ve done this is because It’s huge. And, it affects so many people and that is depression. Depression is a very very deceptive mistress. Who wears so many different faces. Nobody in a million years would have ever thought that Robin Williams would take his own life. He was the one that always made us laugh. He was always smiling. Every that’s the reason that everybody was shocked because people don’t understand that depression wears so many different faces. You never know who might be suffering from it. Depression just like anxiety affects All of us in different ways. It could be darkness. It could be feelings of worthlessness It could be, ‘nobody wants to be around me.’ There’s so many different ways that depression can affect us. But there’s also so many of those ways that could just be eliminated through crochet and knitting. And I’m not trying to tote crochet as a ‘Fix-all’ for everything. But it is a definitely a tool that could be placed into the arsenal to help us build through things. You know, community is a big thing with crochet. There are a lot of communities a lot of cities a lot of towns that have gatherings, stitching gatherings for knitting and crocheting both of them together where you can go and you can hang out with like-minded people. You can learn from them. You can learn about new yarns. You can work patterns together. But for those of us who aren’t in communities that have those gatherings, you know, we have our online communities And I don’t know what I would do without…
What did I do before I had It’s Crochet O’clock? I have no idea what I did before I had all of you guys wrapped around in my community We talk about everything. We share our triumphs. We share our sadness with each other. You know, we work on projects together. We congratulate each other when when we’re finished Just the community that we build around ourselves lifts us up and it helps us stay away from the darkness. At least for me it does. You guys always make me feel better. So I think that if you are a person that is suffering from depression and you enjoy crochet then you might try to find a community online, that fits within your style. You know, not every community is the same. At It’s Crochet O’clock we enjoy researching things. We spend hours researching patterns and the history of this and the history of that and we like to learn about you know, the history of yarns and the animals that it comes from and all that crazy stuff, you know, we all love to do that stuff. But there are other people that don’t and they just want to you know, talk about yarn or the latest hook that’s come out or the next pattern that’s coming out from XYZ designer. There’s all kinds of communities out there for you to join that you can spend time with and you can work on projects together. Share common interests and I think that it would help relieve depression. There was a, I believe it was CNN. Please don’t quote me, but I do know that they were in a study and it was 3,500 knitters, so I’m gonna say crocheting too, because I mean, it’s the same thing we work with yarn we make pretty things. And 81% of the people who responded to this survey that was going on, said that they were happier when they were crocheting or knitting Than they were when they weren’t and these were all people who were diagnosed with depression 81% of them said that they felt happier when they were able to knit That’s pretty powerful So while I know that, depression has many, many different faces. if you do know somebody who is suffering from depression I implore you to extend yourself and explain to them that the stigma around crochet and knitting that it’s “a grandma hobby” is not a thing anymore It’s just not! There are so many young people, so many middle-aged people, that are crocheting and knitting. It’s come back in to Vogue and there are so many beautiful things That they can create. Just extend yourself, you know. Even if it’s just to introduce them to YouTube and go, you know what, you can sit in the privacy of your own home and mess up as much as you want to and nobody would ever know and there’s hundreds of youtubers, just like me, who will teach you in different styles. there’s somebody out there that you are going to click with that will help you learn. Just extend the craft out to them, because it really, really, really does help. So the last thing I’m going to talk about today is I know that I’ve provided all kinds of things that could help with depression and all of these other issues.
But I also wanted to let you guys know about something that you may not know about. I contacted -better help dot com – and I want you to know that they immediately responded to me. And this was after hours, like this was late in the evening, my time, when I contacted them and they responded, you know Almost immediately right back to me. And those of you who frequent with me and hang out with me You know that I can’t stand it when companies don’t respond with in a timely fashion. But these guys were on top of it They responded immediately to me. They asked or they answered all of my questions that I had about their product, their service that they put out. And if you aren’t familiar with it; Better Help dot com is online counseling and therapy services, but they focus on Getting you the help that you need at an affordable price. It can cost, you know some, $150 a visit to go see a therapist. And a lot of people don’t like to go see a therapist for the stigma that Surrounds mental health, they don’t want people in their town to see them walking into a therapists office They don’t want to take a chance on anybody knowing that they need therapy. because they’re embarrassed or for whatever reason a lot of people can’t afford to go to a Therapist and it’s not covered on insurance plans or you just don’t have insurance. Well, Better Help, helps with that. First and foremost, you can find that there’s plans from like $35 to $80 a week with them. They also offer financial assistance So you’ll go through the website you’ll land on the website. You’ll answer a survey you can apply for financial assistance through them to drop the price even more to a more affordable rate for you or somebody else that that you may know they’ll team you up with a licensed therapist or counselor. You can switch at any time if you decide that you don’t like them. You don’t have a building that you have to walk into. They will talk to you via text. They will talk to you online. They will call you. They will video chat with you. However, it is that you feel most comfortable they are there for you and you get one actual session a week with them. But for the rest of the time they’re there for you now, they’re not in emergent Situations they don’t replace things like calling 9-1-1 or something like that. But their counseling services to help you with whatever it is that you are suffering from and I wanted to speak about this because I do know that the stigma is real around mental health, but you are not alone and there are places that you can go. It’s 24 hours a day. I mean, it’s just. I can’t speak highly enough about it guys. Even if you’re on a budget, they can help you. Talk to them. The people that I have dealt with were super, super great people All of your information is secure. You don’t even have to use your real name. If you don’t want to they do require that you give them an emergency contact number and name for for someone you know that you trust But other than that, you don’t even if your name is Sally you can tell them that your name is Soup and they won’t even know what your name is. and one of the questions that I did have for them as I told them, you know I have Subscribers and people that follow me from all over the world and I wanted to know if this was just a US-based situation or if it was a worldwide situation, and I’m happy to report that anybody anywhere in the world can access Better Help dot com and you can get help. The only thing is is that most of the counselors and the therapists that are there only speak English So you will need to at least be able to speak English to utilize it. But other than that Anybody anywhere can use Better Help dot com. Through my correspondence with them. They did offer me an affiliate code. I will put it in the description box below Right here on top. It might be easy for you to remember but if you don’t want to use it, listen, don’t use it. I just want you, if you need help, Go and get help. They are there for you. The community here the crochet community, It is here for you. And like I said before, Even though I haven’t met a lot of you if all of a sudden, you know life gets too busy and you’re gone for a couple days and You’re active in the Facebook group or you’re active over here and then all of a sudden you’re gone. I notice. I notice. And I miss you and there’s a lot of other people that would miss you, too. And I know that it is so strange to say that You know that you care about somebody that you only know online, but we do you know We’re humans and only people who are in online communities understand it. So I do care about you guys I want you guys to get help and I want you guys to have these tools and to know about these services. Because you all might also have people in your real life that that need them and you can offer it to them. Just casually mention betterhelp.com You can leave off the slash crochet. Just better help dot com. Just mention it to them. Let them go there. Let let them look. You know, you just just We all have to work together to try to combat this. And we all know that crochet has many many many different benefits for our mental health and for our physical health so keep sharing all of these messages. Share them to your timelines on Facebook. Share them. Share your crafts on your different social media platforms. Be proud of what you have done. Share this message, you know, if you yourself aren’t comfortable with Speaking with someone in your life and you know that they follow your facebook page frequently click that share button and share this message and then pray that that person watches it and They might become part of our community or maybe because they know you they don’t want to be a part of it But they go to better help and and they get some help. You never know. What impressions you will make on somebody. But we do make impressions on everybody that we meet and we have a chance to make a difference. Even if it’s a small one, it can turn into a snowball effect and in the end make a huge difference for somebody. So, never be afraid to share your love of the craft with anybody that you know. Be proud of what you do because you create something awesome. You create something beautiful. And you’re fabulous for it. So I’m going to stop there. I’m sorry if I cried just a little bit. It was a whole lot worse in the other videos, but I’m going to stop now. And I will see you in my next video. cc by Ida