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I’ve posted another entry about how creatives heal from walking depression, and here are the highlights: These steps are simple to say, not easy to do, so make sure you get as much support as you can.
You are jealous of and bitter toward people who look happier than you feel. You say nasty things in an effort to shock yourself into action. You deprive yourself of creative work time (the artist as sadomasochist).
Creativity coach Eric Maisel calls this our “existential intelligence.” If our daily activities don’t carry enough significance ~ if they don’t feel like a worthwhile use of our talents and passions ~ then soon we are asking ourselves, “What’s the point? ” (Eric Maisel has published a book called which I talk to him about in this post, When Medication Isn’t Enough.) You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when you’re still getting by.
You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you.
You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.
Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.
This helps you exert some control and stirs up feelings of suffering that are perversely pleasurable.
Also, taking on new projects that prevent you from writing or making art lets you prove to yourself that you’re still strong and capable.
A glass of wine might make you feel really mellow and even ~ gasp! (That’s how I finally realized that I was depressed.) You feel like you’re wasting your life.
Some people have a high sensitivity to the inherent meaning in what we do.
So much of life happens somewhere in between being okay and complete breakdown—that’s where many of us live, and doing so requires strength.” ~ novelist Matthew Quick Walking depression can be hard to recognize because it doesn’t fit the more common picture of severe depression.
But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.
My life’s work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.