Better with Art!

Like many others, I am prescribed medication by a psychopharmacologist to help keep my brain chemistry working at it’s best possible level. I have been told that some people discontinue taking their medication when they find that they are feeling better. I’ve never been one of those people. I have noticed, over the years that I have been under this sort of medical treatment, that my medication seems to be far more effective under certain circumstances.

I go through phases when I tell myself that all the creative activities I enjoy doing aren’t serving any real purpose. The visual art pieces I create tend to not be displayed in art galleries. More of the stage plays I have written have not been produced by theaters than the ones that have been experienced by theater audiences. Poetry and stories I write have generally not been read by large audiences. So, sometimes I wonder what the point is of my doing these creative activities at all.

Except when I get to thinking that way I am discounting a priceless and essential purpose that creating art in any form serves for those who create. Life is more pleasant with art. Using my creative skills makes my life infinitely more enjoyable, meaningful, and fulfilling than it would be if I were to stop doing those activities altogether.

I keep lots of records to manage my moods. I keep track, spreadsheet-style, of many daily activities I perform, along with meals eaten, and medication doses taken. When I make my entries on my spreadsheet I always find that my mood has been more stable, and my levels of contentment and happiness are higher, when I am regularly engaging in creative pursuits. According to the data I collect on myself my psychiatric medication is actually more effective when I am following a regular routine of creative expression in a variety of artistic mediums than it is when I refrain from such activities by telling myself that my lack of professional success in any of those areas makes them pointless to continue.

I was pleasantly surprised when I first noticed this to be the case. I didn’t expect that indulging in creative expression would actually help my mental health, but it really does. My life is more enjoyable and my mental health is far better with art. So, I encourage everyone reading this to go ahead and do something creative that you enjoy. In time, you may discover, as I have, that your world is a much better place than it was before you began regularly enjoying your creativity.

What If??

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People who write creatively are called to do so by inspiration; the Muse, if you will. People who write also are sometimes just as likely to listen to the Demons of Self Doubt as they are to listen to their Muse. That’s how people are. Sometimes we feel confident about our abilities and talents, and other times we wonder who we think we’re fooling.

I write. Primarily, I am a playwright and photo storyteller, though I also write novels and novellas. Like many others who have written before me, I am in regular contact with both my Muse, and also with my personal Self Doubt Demon. It occurred to me somewhat recently to wonder what might happen if I were to personify my Muse, and that Self Doubt Demon, and let them say in writing all the things I hear them saying in my head?

How would my Muse and my Self Doubt Demon behave? What sorts of personalities would they have? When given a voice of her own would my Muse be more effective in her efforts to keep me inspired and writing as she already normally was? And what about that Self Doubt Demon? Would she get more power by being given a voice? Or, would the hurtful things she said be instead diffused of their toxic power and seem utterly ridiculous to me?

I had to find out! I had to know. What if??

Since I have already established this blog as a place where I creatively manage my mental health I figure why not seek to answer these questions for myself here. I also hope that while I find out what happens when my Muse and my Self Doubt Demon are given the choice to speak their minds in print, maybe someone else who reads these discussions will find this part of my journey useful. Maybe observing what transpires in these particular blog posts will turn out to benefit other people, creative or not, in their interactions with their own Muse and Self Doubt Demons.

I have always felt that sharing our experiences with others both validates our experiences for ourselves, and it also helps us feel more connected to other people. We often discover when we share our experiences that we are more alike than we are different. Our shared experiences give us power to battle those Self Doubt Demons. I believe we all have both a Muse and a Self Doubt Demon, whether or not we are writers or creative people. I also believe though that we truly are all writers, and we are all creative. We all write our own life stories one day at a time, each day that we live them.

In this journey of personification for my Muse and my Self Doubt Demon I have given them names. My Muse is called Agnes. And that Self Doubt Demon of mine is called Rasi Tripe. I hope anyone who reads the correspondence which will accumulate here from them will enjoy reading it as much as they enjoy the other types of posts I’m making here. I have a feeling that Agnes and Rasi Tripe will have plenty to say to me, and I certainly feel ready to give my responses to them. Really, every post I make on this blog on any topic really is a response to either my Muse or to that Self Doubt Demon, and sometimes the blog posts on other topics address both of them. 

I’m mighty curious to see what they have to say to me. And there’s only one way to find out what will happen!

 

 

 

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