Back in November, I had what I’ve referred to as an emotional fallout. It was like an anxiety caused implosion which caused me a couple days of waiting and watching the grief I was experiencing. I consequently took myself to my doctor and asked for some anti-anxiety meds. While these were exactly what I’d needed for a very long time, this also caused me a new wave of grief for admitting to a failure to “fix” myself without them. Creativity couldn’t cure me.
I am a devoted self-development practitioner. I have been chasing a better more confident version of myself since my teens. I have peeled back layer upon layer in order to understand myself. And last year, I was devoted to developing a theory about how creativity can be used to battle and quell the anxiety monster.
I wanted this to be the outright answer to all of it. I wanted Creativity to be my savior, my answer, my magic potion. I hosted creativity challenges and participated in them and every time, I felt my soul grow. So when the first anxiety episode happened after giving a speech on the inverse relationship of anxiety and creativity, and then again after I held a workshop on creativity, I was devastated. I was an impostor.
I grieved for what felt like giving up and giving in. I wasn’t so much worried about the stigma of taking the medication as much as I was worried my theory had lost it’s wind, it’s proof in me. Like saying yes to medication was disproving all that I had worked on. And I was also sad that I hadn’t made this choice so much earlier because the relief that it gave me was astounding. No more underlying anxiety buzz in my brain means that I can carry out and finish more wonderful creative projects.
But now I think I am done grieving and I am moving into a less all or nothing zone and more of “whatever works” zone. I say do it all and keep doing whatever works. Happiness is all it’s cracked up to be and there will never be a disadvantage to being creative. It brings you joy when you permit yourself to give into it.
I’m not sure what my all or nothing attitude was supposed to get me. I can tell you that I am now engaging in another type of therapy called EMDR to dig specifically into why these episodes happened and how I can learn from them instead of feeling ashamed of them. And I am certain I won’t have another one again as long as I am on this medication.
Anxiety is a sucky way to live and your wellness plans are up to you. Yes you can tell stories about yourself but make sure that you are authoring them and that you work very hard to give them happy endings!
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