ARE YOU CREATIVELY DEPRESSED?
What the heck does “creatively depressed” mean? It’s probably not an official term lol but I call myself that sometimes. I’ve suffered with anxiety, depression, and being known as quirky or weird my whole life. People would call me quirky or weird like it was a bad thing?! I have come to really enjoy being quirky, so much so that I call myself A Quirky Crafter.
How many of you share my experiences even slightly? I’ve always been creative, not just with crafting, card-making, scrapbooking <– one of my digital scrapbook galleries, but also writing and making up stories.
When I was about 7 or 8, I would lie on the grass and stare up at the sky and wonder…what if there was nothing. Like, there was never a universe, or stars, the sun, moon, no air, no planets, no animals, or people, not even blackness.. just nothingness. That’s some heavy shit for a kid! I would think things like that for hours. And my dreams, oh my, even to this day I have the most vivid dreams, sometimes real life nightmares and night terrors from life experiences. But a lot of my dreams are just like watching a movie play out in my head. No wonder I’m always exhausted when I wake up ha.
Maybe creatives become depressed in part because of their deep thoughts? One thing I know about me is I am hypersensitive and very intuitive. Sometimes it scares me that I can know something before I actually hear or see it.
HERE’S HOW being creatively depressed AFFECTS ME
For the last several years my depression/anxiety/PTSD and such has gotten much worse. Especially after the loss of my 25-yr-old son, Johnie, aka The Death Fist, in 2012 to a tragic accident. I know this is a terrible photo but in his defense he hated having his picture taken lol. See the Death Fist?! ha
I even went through a couple of hospital stays for being suicidal, one time was too close for comfort. I was going through a really rough patch where I wasn’t showering, I was sleeping the day away, drinking a little too much (okay, a lot sometimes), not paying bills, I was just a mess. I completely neglected everything. I didn’t do any crafting at all, no reading, barely any housework, not much cooking. I would just sit and stare at the TV or sleep. I even lost a bunch of weight from not eating. This caused some major relationship and health problems.
FINDING A PASSION!
After several months at my worst I’m happy to say I am doing so much better. I’ve not self-harmed in quite some time! I realize the depression/anxiety will never go completely away it seems but it’s under control for now. Therapy and the correct med doses are a big help. I’m actually back to doing the things I love: creating, cooking, eating, smiling, laughing, and talking to my friends. Now I know what to watch for, so does my family, and I’m really trying to work on my issues. I have started writing again, I love to write poetry, I love to journal, I love to create and maybe one day soon I’ll share some.
LEARNING NEW THINGS
What’s helped the most is finding a new passion, throwing myself into learning all about blogging, WordPress, and I’m learning a little more CSS & HTML. I’m still working on exactly what my niche is, my brain is always pulled in a million directions lol, as creatives usually are. My real passions are making things, sharing my creations, helping others, sharing my thoughts, and baring my soul.
Following the losses of so many creative people I have admired: Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, the list goes on and on… I realized that what I had heard for so many years is true, creatives tend to suffer in silence with their depression. I want to be one of the ones not ashamed of depression and anxiety. It’s a big part of me but it’s NOT all I am. No one should feel they have to suffer in silence.
If anything comes out of my blogging I hope I can share my story with at least one person with whom I can have a positive impact on and maybe give them encouragement and a reason to not give up. I refuse to suffer in silence any longer and no one else should either. As I work on this post I heard that an acquaintance that I had made shirt designs for took his own life. That to me, made it even more important to share this post.
THINGS I HAVE FOUND TO HELP ME COPE
Along my journey a few things have helped me ease out of the deepest depression. I’d like to share those with you. There are many, many choices for journaling (bullet, art, Bible, traditional diary style, etc) there’s no wrong or right way to journal. Main thing is just do it. Open a notebook, journal, scrap of paper, throw paint on a canvas, sculpt something, it doesn’t have to be fancy and definitely don’t worry about perfection, just start pouring your heart out. Heck, if you aren’t into journaling maybe song writing is your thing?! It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct or in perfect form. This is your heart and soul. Don’t worry about making perfect sentences or anything like that, just start writing and/or creating. Whatever comes to mind, don’t overthink it. Although I love the Bible I know not everyone has the same faith, but anything that gives you reason to live grasp it and please, don’t give up.
Here are just a few ideas, these are just suggestions that I have personally used and loved. These might not be right for you and that’s okay, there are so many options. Follow your heart and soul. Be sure to have fun finding and trying out new pens, papers, paints, etc. The little girl in me still loves stationery, stickers, pens, pencils and all of those fun things! Michaels here I come!
1) Art Journaling!
One book I love is Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley of Ranger. I spilled my heart out in mine, I’ll share a spread soon. The pages are nice and thick which allows you to really build a nicely layered page without tearing or bleeding through.
Ranger has a huge line of supplies to assist you with your journaling, such as, pens, inks, markers, rubber stamps, and it’s sooooo much fun to do! Oh, and don’t miss out on playing with Gelatos by Faber Castel!
2) Bible Journaling:
I discovered Bible Journaling kind of by accident. At first I was taken aback, I mean, doodling and coloring in my Bible? OH the scandal that might create, I can almost hear my Daddy and Grandfather from Heaven fussing at me! But then I found the Illustrated Faith line of products and learned about Shanna Noel who is the pioneer at the heart of Bible journaling. She opened my eyes to see that God would be honored for us to use His word as a way to express ourselves creatively, study, and worship while we do!
3) Bullet Journaling!
Such a fun way to document and journal. I prefer a dotted journal but there are gridded ones and lined ones. Something about those dots though makes me smile. It’s so much fun to add little doodles, headings, make lists. Check out my Pinterest board that’s dedicated to Bullet Journaling for lots of ideas. I like this Dotted Journal by Scribbles That Matter I have it in pink. The pages are smooth and durable and virtually no bleed through, there’s even a pen test page to test your pens on before you mess up a real page! Its faux leather doodly design is so much fun! It has a pen holder and a strap to hold it closed.
4) Guided Journals
Such as Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude are great if you need journaling prompts. There are many others available but this one is only $6.99, sweet deal!
5) Traditional diaries
You might prefer the traditional diary, complete with a lock, or a simple notebook. There are so many options that I’m sure you will find just the right thing.
If journaling isn’t for you don’t fret, you will find your passion whether it be cooking, exercise, volunteering, blogging, the sky’s the limit! I apologize for my wordiness, apparently I’m quite passionate about this subject lol. OH, I almost forgot to mention coloring. I absolutely love ‘adult’ coloring books. There’s something so relaxing about coloring. Get a couple and try it if you haven’t yet. It’s-so-much-fun!
Drop me a comment, share a project of yours, tell me your story if you like.
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4 thoughts on “How I Deal With Being Creatively Depressed…”
I’m so sorry about the loss of your son. I cannot imagine how hard this must be. I’m happy that you have found ways to cope and have let your creativity flow. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for years and while I love to craft, there are some days I just don’t want to do anything but sit on the couch and do nothing. Especially around the holidays. The ideas you’ve shared are very inspiring! Thank you!
Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear you suffer from depression and anxiety as well. I am so happy to have a place where I can write my thoughts out. It makes me feel so much less alone. I hope you find peace around the holidays, it really is a difficult time for so many people.
So glad you are starting a blog and helping other creatives. It is sad that so many of them suffer in silence. I am sorry that you have been struggling with some big things in your life. Glad you are back to enjoying life more. I know that my creative interests help my process and bring joy to my life. And when I am not creative, my life loses some of it’s joy and I get cranky.
Hi Theresa, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m quite passionate about sharing that mental illness is not something to hide or be ashamed of. I really want to try and inspire and encourage others through their own struggles. <3