Using Creativity to Reach Out

new awakening (2)

Art Therapy in the 1990’s

 

Expressing Emotions, Attaining Good Moods, and Reaching for Goals

When you have a million things on your mind, and then for a certain time they all come to the forefront and demand your attention – Creativity is often a tremendous way to both embrace and then release those feelings.  In some cases this experience can result in art and other positive work that can continue to hold your feelings, while also giving yourself independence and identity.  Not only can creativity produce art work and functional machines – solutions, but its main drive may at times be found in communication and expressing oneself.  We interact with and talk to the world through creativity.

It would seem to me that the drive in some people that can create great triumphs, can also lead to significant mood changes.  We are happy when we reach goals, and get our message across.  We may be sad or angry when we cannot achieve goals, or we are misunderstood.  Creativity can express these moods, help change these moods and be a part of the goal-pursuit itself.  Often it is easier to see this happening through specific works of creativity, but it still can be hard to understand what other people are feeling or going through.

I have lived with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder for over twenty years.  I have not had a clinical episode in over fifteen years.  Living healthy became imperative to me when I had my first child.  The responsibility drove me to leave my dreams of rock music, and constant partying to find full-time employment, complete an apprenticeship as an electrician – and eventually have a number of years as a successful foreman, and in electrical service work.  My son still lives with me, and I have played a big part in raising him and his younger brother and step-siblings as well.  Between all the boys, I coached youth baseball for over ten years, and we achieved nine championship titles!

Through all this time, I have maintained balance, but MOODS still happen.   Anxiety, joy, and all the regular moods that most people experience – come in and out of my life too.  However – living with bipolar and depending on what is going on in life:  sometimes the feelings of anxiety and joy are quite a bit more pronounced.    Often in coping, I have turned to music or writing to express these feelings.

Most people living with bipolar disorder have experienced depression.  I have not experienced clinical depression.    Anxiety – on the other hand, has at times been a beast to be reckoned with.  On some days:  I get lured into its trap – and it can be hard to break free.  We all have difficult lives in some ways.  Learning to adapt and find new perspectives through creativity has helped me reduce anxiety and maintain wellness.  The problem that I had with mania has largely been overcome by good health.  I have realized my responsibility towards other important people in my life (and myself), and that living too fast, and losing touch with day-to-day reality, is not an option.  Balancing physical health like sleep, exercise and diet, and having good social relationships are huge factors.  There are many other factors as well (see www.bdwellness.com).

In so many ways, taking time to be creative has brought more satisfaction to my life, and has helped me get through difficult times.   It helps express emotions.  It helps attain good moods, and it helps people communicate.  How has Creativity helped me most?   Creativity gives me inspiration, and helps me realize that we can achieve our goals.

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