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.

Asking for help isn’t always easy, but…

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Those of us who have chronic health conditions we face every day don’t always find it easy to ask for help with our health concerns. I, myself, am living with multiple chronic health issues, both physical and mental, and I don’t always relish the thought of reaching out to doctors or therapists for help when I need it.

Even though it’s not always something I want to do, usually I do feel proud of myself for taking that necessary step to get the help or treatment I need. It can feel isolating to have so many different health issues to keep managing when it seems like everyone around me is out living healthier and easier lives than I am. The truth of the matter though is that I’m not alone. And neither is anyone else out there who is living with chronic health issues. We may feel isolated, but there are many people spending lots of their time managing their health as a full-time endeavor.

So, this post is my friendly reminder to myself, and to every other person out there who is bravely living with chronic health issues. I’m writing this today to remind all of us: We are not alone. We can live quality lives. We just need to allow ourselves to reach out and ask for the help we need, when we need it.

We are all the only versions of each of us who will ever be. We are important, and we do deserve good medical treatment and happiness.

 

 

 

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