Alright, so here we go…
I was at a meeting the other night where, apparently, I touched on something that people without my diagnosis don’t have to deal with. That is, having one’s creativity recoil on oneself if it’s not outwardly-directed, so that one’s own life becomes the “art project.”
This is not in relation to appearances. This is in relation to how one conceptualizes the world, creates stories to explain it, sees ones place within it. Without writing and art, all the power that could be going into outward creation feeds back onto me, and it starts to re-make me in a way that causes me to seem different from other people.
D says that this is related to my illness. What I heard, from the person leading the group, is that it’s very important for me to have the writing and the art to channel these energies into, in order to maintain my own stability and health.
I was playing around with colors, earlier…not anything really worth sharing, but kind of amazing in that it got me engaged with something. M was asking what it is about psychiatric diagnoses and art that go together; for me, the answer is pretty clear. There’s such a history of neurodiversity and mental illness within the art field, that it’s not something to be ashamed of or hidden, here.
It’s pretty hard to be an artist and not show who one is, through one’s art. Over the centuries, there have been a large number of artists who, by either predilection or poisoning (or both), have had minds which were not standard for their time.
Writers are known for this to a lesser extent, but from what I can see, the problems tend to be chain smoking (something I’ve heard that people with schizophrenia are more susceptible to than other populations) and alcoholism. For me, that’s easy to imagine as well, though I’m not a smoker or a drinker (it’s difficult enough for me to deal with second-hand cigarette smoke [plus my grandmother died from lung cancer], and alcohol makes me sad and angry at the same time).
It would just seem that when one is a writer, one would need a break from one’s own mind (I’ve used meditation and medications in lieu of street drugs). I can’t speak really for these populations, though, because I don’t use these materials. What I know is that it seemed nearly all of the students in my Creative Writing courses were smokers, and arenas for open-mic readings often headline that wine will be there.
I’m thinking that people who have creative minds need some way to manage that creativity, and maybe the creative energy just really…more or less forces one into the arts, as a way of modulating that energy. The main reason I’m heading up to an Art AA, after all, is that I already had so many Art credits that it seemed something viable.
Got to go — will be back later.