The death of creativity

Finally, the haze of the annual January downswing has come to an end, and I no longer feel like crap. (I did have a pretty bad case of the apathetics for the past few days, though, hence no Friday post. Ah, well.)

My overall energy and creativity is coming back, though it’s a stretch to say it’s completely back- and, to some extent, it hasn’t been completely back in years. For me, being on the correct medication combo that helped with my overall mood, did quite a number on my creativity. I struggle to think and write creatively, and trying to bead or do any of my other crafts usually just means I stare at the materials for a while before starting to sort them somehow. Sometimes this helps, and other times, well… My craft materials are well sorted, initially by color, and later by size or pattern or something else. If I’m really bored, I sort seed beads, which are the really tiny beads, out of my multicolor bin into individual colors. For years I just bought multicolor packets before getting into the more expensive, individually-tubed seed beads, and I have a two-pound bucket full of little beads that I’ve been steadily sorting through in moments of boredom for a long time.

To be honest, I’m not sure of the lack of creativity since I’ve been on my meds is entirely because the medication is somehow muffling that part of me. I, like pretty much everyone else I know with bipolar disorder, am vastly more creative when manic/hypomanic, and so I wonder how many of my creative “bursts of inspiration” were driven by manic impulses. These days, hypomania is pretty rare for me so I rarely have such bursts. The longer I’m on medication, though, the more my creativity is finding its way through, like a seed planted in a dark room with only a teasing glint of sunlight will grow in very interesting ways to get at that sunlight. It still doesn’t come as easily or naturally as it once did, but not being perpetually suicidal was worth the trade, I think. At least I’m still here to create, however much more slowly.

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