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Posted: 4th June 2021

Stitch Away the Stigma

We spoke with Natalie about her new support group - 


IMG_20210528_094206_396"1 in 10 of us are affected by a loved ones addiction and it can make you feel forgotten, unseen, unheard; like their addiction is taking over your life. I began hand stitching thoughts that came into my head as a way of trying to cope with my Dad’s alcohol addiction. I found the repetitiveness of the stitching so therapeutic and calming; the act of channeling my thoughts into something physical so I could see them was extremely cathartic. It stopped them looping over and over when I felt like his addiction had started to take over my own life. This helped me to regain some control over what felt like an impossible situation to have had forced on me.

Do you feel like you need an outlet for some of the pain, anger and trauma that comes with loving and caring for an addict, and would like to have a go at stitching your own piece? You need absolutely no experience in hand stitching, this does not need to be a work of art, but an escape for you and a way for your voice to be heard when you often feel forgotten. 


How to Get Involved

I will send you 2 pieces of hand dyed fabric, thread, needle, some instructions and a return stamped envelope. All I need you to do is stitch something that comes into your head when thinking about your loved one and their addiction. You can keep one of the pieces as a reminder of how strong and resilient you are and the other gets sent back to me. I am then going to stitch all of the pieces together into one large wall hanging. I want it to represent the voices that deserve to be heard; that we see you and hear you, and that you are not alone in this. We want to display the wall hanging and share it with as many people as possible to express the often hidden effects of addiction on those around the addict."

If you would like to be a part of #stitchawaythestigma you can


Instagram: @natalieneedhamtextileartist

Please note this group is not organised or affiliated by York Mind

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