Choose one: You can either have creativity or you can have mental health.
That’s what I wrote about a month ago. It really seemed that was the choice that was laid out before me. I had started taking medication for my depression, and my creativity faded. I’d seen it happen with others, so I wasn’t terribly surprised, but it wasn’t exactly an event I was excited about.
After that post, several friends who routinely practice their creativity wrote to me to tell me: Yes, there is creativity after depression meds, but you have to work in different ways to find it. Sometimes you have to fight for it more. It’s not gone; you just have to go hunting for it.
Wouldn’t you know it, they were right?
I’ve still not refound the creativity I had before the meds, but I can see it through the trees of the forest. I wrote and submitted a piece that, while not my strongest, I think is decent. I’ve posted some stories on my other blog that talk about my ministry.
The writing is coming back.
I’m very pleased with this turn of events. It has shifted. It’s taking me a lot longer to shift into writing gear; my old rituals aren’t “triggering” my mindset the way they used to. I’ll spend a lot longer staring at a white screen before I type anything. But… if I’m patient… it comes.
It was a false dilemma, and I’m content that it was false.
It’s funny how those things happen to us, isn’t it? We think we can have either one thing or another… when maybe we can have both. It just takes a little work.
Which also goes to show: You don’t need to have depression to create. Sometimes creative people prize their mental and emotional problems in weird ways.
If that’s you, let me encourage you: Get help. You don’t need the darkness inside you untreated and unaided to be able to produce art.
As far as my depression – it’s still there. It struck last week, but it was… not as intense, though it was present. Instead of punching me in heart and incapacitating me, it was more like a bigger brother wrestling the little brother down – you’re going to force the other person down, but the goal isn’t pain.
We’ll see how it continues, but for now – this is good. I am content.
And now I just need to get going on the writing and figure out more what will work in this new status quo.
Have you ever had to reset your writing rituals for any reason? How did you figure out what worked?