Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Combating Sadness with Creativity by N.M. Mac Arthur

Having struggled with depression for most of my life, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to not only find inspiration, but also hold onto inspiration long enough to channel it into something creative. I always seem to stumble upon ideas whilst I am at work or right before I go to sleep—in other words, at times when I am literally incapable of creating anything. I am sure most of you reading this have found yourself in similar situations and know all too well how frustrating that can be.  The trick is making time for that inspiration when it does come, even if it is not as soon as the urge hits you.

I am guilty of putting off my more time-consuming hobbies like writing and sewing in flavor of watching TV or playing video games for hours on end after a long day of work. As silly as it sounds, sometimes you need to give yourself a good hard push in the direction of the things you love in order to get the inspiration train rolling again. If ideas for new projects strike me at an inconvenient time during the day, I make sure to make some time to write or work on a sewing project later on in the day. Evidently, your creative pursuits are calling to you, you merely have to pursue them.

Being a creative person, one that is way too hard on herself at times, I can feel very guilty going months without creating something. It makes me feel like I have given up on the very few things that make me unique (even if this is not necessarily the case). And that, in turn, can make my depression and anxiety flare up. For me and people like me, it is so important to make time for writing—to nurture it so that it may flourish and grow. It is too easy to put off creating in favour of more mind-numbing activities, especially when you are down. But pushing yourself to write, draw, paint, sculpt, read, sew, or whatever it is that you are passionate about can greatly improve your outlook, even if you have to give yourself a little nudge to start again.

When life has you down, it seems all too easy to give up on the things you love in favour of wallowing. I know, because I have been there. The most important thing is knowing how to stand up, dust yourself off, and get back to doing what you love, no matter what that may be. Doing what I am passionate about creates a sense of purpose and contentment for me that nothing else in the entire world can duplicate. Writing and sewing is a huge part of what makes me me. Those two things have greatly helped me combat negativity in my life, no matter what forms it has taken.

Thus, I encourage you to do what you love, even if you have to force yourself back into it. If the inspiration strikes at an inconvenient time, don't let it go. Hold on to that inspiration and utilise it when you have some free time. If you are down, don't let yourself wallow in it by vegging on the couch and watching TV—create something! If you are a creative person like me, perhaps doing this will help get you out of your funk and back on the road to happy.  I know it is not always easy to do this, to push yourself when you don't want to move, but I have found that some of the most difficult obstacles in life can be the most rewarding to overcome.

N.M. Mac Arthur

Where to find N.M. Mac Arthur