Creativity and self-reflection

There are two things that I mean to tackle in this post:  1) the experience of continuing to be on medication; 2) approaches re: homework, for this final week.

To get to the second, before I forget:  There are 16 total drawings that I need to complete before next Tuesday.  I have already accomplished two, leaving 14:  two per day.  It’s not hard; it just takes time, and some method to get over trepidation.  I am concerned about trying to make the portfolio fantastic, thus attempting to find and copy images that are difficult but inspiring, making my job harder.  But that’s the part of me that likes to excel at everything.

I am thinking of trying really hard to just power through these as quickly as I can, in order to finish early.  Like:  don’t even try to space these out and give yourself a break, just work really hard and do your job, and if you finish early, so much the better.  If you don’t finish early, you will have (obviously) picked the right approach.

The other thing which is related (though somewhat abstractly), is kind of my relation to myself and the world after having been on these medications for so long.  The specific medications that I’m on…well, these things don’t work the same for everyone; so really it probably wouldn’t help (much) to name them.  But I am on two medications which are given in relation to becoming detached from reality, and one medication for anxiety.

The last one is (or was) also for depression, though it’s rare that I have a depressive episode, now.  (Generally, the worst I get is irritability from hypoglycemia, and that’s an entirely different etiology and treatment framework; though sometimes in the past it’s been hard to psychologically separate the depression and the irritability.)

The reason I don’t really talk about the specifics of my illness, so much, is that there’s such a large stigma against it in my society that actually naming it would both be misleading (due to rampant false information) and stigmatizing (due to judgment based on false information).  I’m pretty sure that people here who are in a similar boat know what I’m talking about, though…I’ve used enough key concepts.

…Given this, all three of my medications affect my brain.  Two are SSRIs, one is a neuroleptic.  My experience in Creative Writing and in Art…I feel like they have both been seriously impacted by all three of these medications.  Granted that it’s a good thing that I’m on them, because without them, the person who is the greatest danger to me is, well, me.  It’s kind of hard for me to get away from myself, so there you go.  🙂

What I was thinking on the way home from work, today, is that the longer I remain on these medications, the less magical my life seems to be.  It has actually been characteristic of me that I’ve…taken my own spirituality, for instance, somewhat seriously.  However, it’s possible to get farther onto shore than the water’s edge, so to speak.

By that I mean that when I was younger, it was easier to really delve into these topics with the faith that there was actually something there.  Granted that I was much closer to death at that time; so being really spiritual kind of helped me stay just this side of the knife-edge.  At this point, I feel like I’m mentally and emotionally much healthier.  But there are times that I really feel like I’m going in a different direction than I did when I was younger, and that it’s OK, even though it’s a radical departure from territory which other people would see as the realm of insanity.

I’m still somewhat mystic as regards what thoughts I’ll entertain.  Like today, I was thinking about a rather chaotic bit of music I’d run across on a video game soundtrack, and linked the chaos with the idea of cancer — something which diverges from a natural order (no, I don’t think religions [or cults] are a source of that) and proceeds to use up disproportionate amounts of resources until either it or the host dies.

This was connected with my having noticed a number of titles as I was shelving as relating to “the power of Darkness,” or whatever.  (I think it was a Star Wars reference.)  Having been in a place where I was exploring — a long time ago — the concept of “darkness” and had identified myself with a somewhat Lunar role (which might call up my more recent Water explorations)…it’s hard to draw me in with that kind of stuff, at this point.  Maybe, as a person now in their mid-30’s, I’ve outgrown it…it’s possible.

A lot of people who really pride themselves on identifying with “Darkness” are in a stage where they don’t seem to be feeling great about themselves, and whatever is driving them is something they aren’t aware of.  That can be really fine, though there needs to be awareness that if you work at uncovering it long enough, you’ll eventually see what’s driving you…and at that point, you either willfully go back to doing things that may not work, or you change.

And it’s boring to keep doing things that don’t work, especially when you know they don’t work.  There is a lot of drama involved, yeah, but actual progress is not made because the method is not effective because the system is not understood.  It’s scarier to switch methods, but someone who is used to being on the dark side of everything can probably take it.  There are scarier things imaginable than approaching real-world problems with a different tack.

The difference between entertaining mystic thoughts now and having entertained them before, is that I don’t see those thoughts as real, now.  From the start of my fiction writing — and before, now that I think of it — I have had something of an issue with separating “fantasy” and “reality.”  It made me a good author because I could wholly immerse myself in the world I was creating; the fact was, though, that I was unaware that I might have been creating that world.

When I was younger I would draw inspiration from people like Anne Rice (who talked with her characters as though they existed outside of her sagas and her mind [not to say they didn’t]); but having aged and having my neural framework altered by medication for about half of my lifetime, now…I can see that there’s a clear question as to whether what I experience is in some way equivalent to what the world is.  And that question is without an answer at this point.

The query that seems to be in my mind is whether my creativity really matters if it is applied to problems which are not real-world problems.  If it all exists in my head, only, is it worth it?  It’s clear that my faith in myself as a Creator has gotten me this far; was that faith, though, either misplaced, or a structure born out of necessity to keep me alive?

I’ve got to go, right now.


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

One thought on “Creativity and self-reflection”

  1. I think the question of art’s relevance that you’re asking . . . . In one way or another, we are all stuck to the realities from inside our heads, but that doesn’t mean that our experiences are meaningless to others. There are many people who can relate to us, and the art we do is for those people.

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