Mental health has always been a part of my life. Formally diagnosed with mental health conditions since I was a teenager, I’ve certainly experienced lots of ups and downs as a result. I’ve done things I can’t explain, recurrently thought things that weren’t helpful and absolutely done things that I have deeply regretted.
But….through the pain and hard work it takes to manage my symptoms, I’ve also come away with an intense appreciation and love for others who share similar struggles. It is because of this that I have been working in some version of mental health care since my 20’s…and that’s been a long time (how long, I won’t say – ha!). Having mental health needs has concurrently allowed for me to have a great deal of compassion and empathy for others in like need. It has sometimes also been my Achilles heel: I care for people so much that when they hurt, I hurt.
It was during a time of great emotional hurt in the summer of 2019 that I realized that I needed a mental break. Desperately. Not a breakdown, but a break. I entered into short-term, outpatient mental health treatment and was able to get some time off of work in order to do it. It was the reset that I exactly needed.
During this timeframe, I often reverted to my love of crochet. While looking up on YouTube how to do a particular stitch, a suggested video on how to dye yarn popped up. The rest is history. I fell in fiber love!
Now, if anyone knows me they know that I can’t do one thing at a time. The same was true once I had the idea to sell my yarn. I just can’t get fulfillment from reaping the financial gain without giving back. And, since I know a thing or two about mental health, it was the perfect avenue to do so! Its been an absolute joy to be able to see the response that has grown so far. From seeing my yarn being sold in my first yarn store (StevenBe in Minneapolis), to being able to sell to others individually, and to even hear people tell me of their own experiences with mental illness, my joy in doing this has tripled, quadrupled, infinity-d (is that a word?). And the best part about this? I get to GIVE BACK and so do you!
But why the name, “Alive with Purpose”? I couldn’t legitimately think of another name. While it doesn’t scream yarn, it simply refers to the truth that we and all people with mental health needs are, indeed, Alive with Purpose. It’s inherent, automatic. No one can take that away from you. Believe it. I believe it so much that every skein comes with a label with that message pointing directly at you!
I leave you with this last message: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your past, present and ongoing support means the world to me.