greeting card by storeyshop
Living a creative life has many struggles, mine has been one that many others share.
Since I was about 12, I have struggled with depression. It runs in my family – both sides. There were times when my depression manifested itself in anger, other times it takes the form of crippling sadness, still others complete lethargy.
Most often, my depression has been the result of feeling stuck and a dangerous cocktail of feminine hormones.
I was often depressed in high school, a place you could not pay me enough money to return to. I was rarely intellectually or creatively stimulated and was certainly on the outside looking in of the social scene. In college, my depression returned only once: during my senior year when I felt stuck approaching the inevitable collide with “real life.” In the years after college, I suffered while working in a dead end job with no local friends and again, after I became pregnant and felt the “stuckness” of not knowing how I was going to care for myself let alone another human being.
There have been times when being stuck felt final. That there was nothing else and I was without hope of being unstuck. Needless to say, these have been times when I was full of fear, even if I couldn’t feel many other emotions. Many times, I was very self aware of these times: standing in the stock room knowing I couldn’t make another Christmas in retail, being at the grocery store when I was 12 weeks pregnant knowing I had to eat but just not having the will to make myself eat. Other times I have suffered in a cloud.
But I have always bounced back.
I have taken medication, met people, found creative outlets. Getting unstuck, I’ve stretched & expressed myself back into life even when the odds were against me returning home from work safely. Somehow I end up harnessing the awareness of my depression to get unstuck & reclaim my own creativity.
I’m sure this is no great revelation to many of you. So many ambitious, intelligent, creative people experience debilitating bouts of depression.
Somehow, this pain informs & inspires the very thing that seems to cause us to suffer: creativity. We channel our experience into art, writing, social action, craft, music. We latch onto the one thing that brings life – true life – back into focus. Even as our creative self beats us down for being stuck, our creativity makes us see the world more clearly, hold our heads up high, and smile. It’s a story that is not new to history and certainly will not be erased in the future. I know that I am a far more passionate writer, mother, designer, and business owner because of the deep down stuckness I have felt and the desperation to continue to nurture my creativity, leaving “stuck” in the past.
Living a creative life is not without struggle. We are not always happy people covered with tacky glue & acrylic paint & threads of a newly sewn dress. For this We Scout Wednesday, I challenge you to share a struggle from your creative life – whether it’s about the pressure to create, your talent, lack of time, meager education, etc…
What do you fear holds you back from living the creative life you aspire to? What do you struggle with in living creatively?
Share your struggle on your blog, Flickr stream, Facebook page, Twitter stream, you name it, and enter a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Kindly link back to Scoutie Girl in your post so that others can find more on the topic.
for further reading on “being stuck” and getting unstuck, check out kelly diels’ post series on the topic starting here with How to Get Unstuck: There is No Stuck.