Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Not Feeling So Evil

There have been studies upon studies that show a correlation between people who work in creative fields and those who suffer from things such as depression. (I'd have to look up what all the mental health issues are that are common in creative types, and I'm not feeling evil enough to have a go at google tonight.) Of course there's no causal arrangement determined there. Are we creative because we're depressed or depressed because we're creative?

Alone it's interesting, but when coupled with the reality of creative pursuits it becomes downright confusing. Authors, musicians, actors.... ALL creative types suffer rejection--most even after they've "made it." (Unless they've made it HUGE, in which case, you'll have to ask someone else :P) Why would people who already have mental health issues put themselves through that sort of "punishment"? It's basically like saying "Hey, I'm already depressed, world, you can't make it worse..."

Or maybe it's exactly like that.

As a writer with depression, I can tell you've I've had days where I've gotten rejection letters and said that EXACT thing to my computer. "Is that the best you've got, universe? Pfft."

It's as if, at a certain point, the rejection becomes our way of dealing with the depression. Because it's something that is pretty much custom designed to hurt/sting/pick-your-pain. And when we're caught in the spiraling doom of an episode, it doesn't matter. It's like throwing a bucket of water on someone who is standing in a deluge.

And you know what?

Sometimes it works.

In case you haven't been told, you should never say to someone with depression (or other mental health issues) to "Smile" or that "It'll get better" or to "Cheer up." Because generally speaking if that worked, we'd all be doing it. But sometimes (for someone who has a modicum of control of their mental health problems), being able to tell the universe that it can suck it is enough to jolt us out of the spiral.

"Hey, you just flipped the universe the bird. What are you going to do next?"
"I think I'm going to get out of bed, shower, and leave the house today. And I might even write."

So, yeah. I'm not feeling so evil of late. The spiral is looming overhead, and I've been telling the universe to fuck off as often as possible, hoping to scare the doom away. And you know what? Some days, I truly believe I might just be more powerful than the depression.

I'm hoping today is one of them.


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