My stepdad was a 28-time published author. He said no one creates when they are happy. (well he may not have been the original to say that, but this is where the concept drove home for me). He was a highly empathetic, soulful person, but worked hard – and probably drank too much – to tackle his demons and understand the simplicity and fragility of life. He was accepting that “none of it mattered” – not in a depressing way, in a, “we are given one life”, “it isn’t a dress rehearsal so make the most of it”, and “don’t sweat the small stuff”. He found a healthy outlet to channel his angst. Writing. Creating alternate universes, characters, and pushing the envelop of reality.
I sometimes wonder, as I lie awake at night and a million thoughts run through my head, and think, “oh that is profound,” “I must write that down,” “I sure hope I remember that in the morning,” and as the thoughts continue like a runaway train, I think maybe being bi-polar isn’t all that bad. Now this statement could be very hurtful to those suffering with it. My intention is not to make light of what could be a crippling disability. The debilitating low, the depression, the inability to control, is horrible. And yet the amazing art, writing, and creation that comes from the highs people experience I admit is enticing. This manic state when creating comes with a price, but so many great artists, writers, creators experience this zonal intensity that I find fascinating. I can understand why people who suffer with bi-polar and make something magical during their manic state do not want to take measures to stop those swings. The fear of losing what you are great at and what gives your purpose and meaning in your life can keep you in a state of depression. When you are lucky enough to find your purpose and passion that feeling is invigorating.
On the few times when I do get out of bed and put my thoughts to paper, it is usually something I am proud of the next morning and I am glad I did. For two reasons, 1) I never would have remembered in the morning – my mind is no longer a steel trap, more like a sieve. 2) I go to bed with ease, the train has parked for the night. It is clear why experts say journaling is healing. I don’t usually have the discipline to do it, but putting your thoughts down on paper, getting them out of the circular rotation in your head, and for some of my thoughts gives them less power, brings a sense of peace. Seeing them in black and white, I think, “eh that isn’t so bad.” I have gone back and looked at some of the journals I kept in high school – woo wee that was some dark days. I am sure writing them down saved me.
My stepdad wrote every day. Whether he needed to or not. As he got older and was with my mom for the last 23 years of his life, he wrote less. He was happy. Well, he was content. He didn’t have that same angst to drive him to create something magical. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to. He loved to write, he loved the characters he created, but it just wasn’t there. The well was dry. If you are interested in mystery/fantasy novels check out George C. Chesbro. One of my all-time favorites. 😊 I hope you find your passion and purpose with the same ferocity my stepdad did, but without the angst.
Happy Friday Eve!
“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your be passionate.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi