Mental Illness and Creativity

Mental Illness & Creativity

Some people think that those with mental illness have this great ability to be creative. Well, I am someone with a mental illness and I can tell you I actually have a hard time being creative. It’s like in my depressed moods all I want to do is stare at a wall or sleep. The last thing I want to do is try to write a story whether fiction or nonfiction. I just lay on the couch having no energy and no motivation.

When I’m hypomanic my mind is so scattered, going from one idea to the next. Whatever I’d write probably wouldn’t make much sense, especially since I don’t sleep much. But this is just me.

I swear having a mental illness makes it harder for me to think, to bring my creativity out. I don’t know that having a mental illness can actually make it harder to be creative. This is just my own person thought because I know I love to write but lately have been having such a hard time getting into my creative flow.

Do any of you notice that having a mental illness makes it harder to be creative? What do you think about my statement?

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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highly sensitive person, Secret Anguish

Mental Health and Being a Highly Sensitive Person

As you all know I am back working on my book Secret Anguish which details my story of having mental illness. Well, what I forgot to tell you was that it also mentions that I am a highly sensitive person. And because I’m an HSP, I had to stop and research the symptoms of being and HSP again because it had been so long since I had done so. Well, I was reminded that HSPs are more emotional people and react more to situations and to interaction with others than those who aren’t HSPs.

This made me think, “Could being and HSP also have some bearing on my mental illness? Like could being so easily overstimulated make me feel anxious? Can it make me just want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers mimicking depression? Can it exhaust me and wear me down so that I feel depressed? Is the reason for my anxiety just depression and anxiety stemming from being an HSP?”

The answer to the last question is “no”. It’s not just being an HSP that has me feeling depressed or anxious. It may have some contributing factor, but I was born into a household with a very moody parent where I couldn’t do things right no matter how hard I tried. I was always criticized and the things I did well were never rewarded. I became so afraid of my father’s moodiness (including anger), that I was afraid to breathe around him because if he heard me breathe then he might remember I was in the room with him and then he might start unleashing his anger again.

Now, something I do remember reading about being an HSP is that, having gone through trauma like I did with my dad being the way he was, that you can become an HSP because of that trauma. However, I do remember having some traits of being and HSP as a child anyway, so maybe I was just born with it. Either way, whether I was born with the HSP trait or developed them, doesn’t matter. The end result is that I am and HSP now and that does have some contribution to my mental health.

I am a mom of two, a housewife, and we have one chinchilla, one chihuahua, and three parakeets. The noise of everything gets overwhelming, I get anxious and several times a day I have to flee into my room with the curtains drawn to rest. I also struggle to get out of bed because bed is comfy and quiet. If I get out of bed, I will be subject to all the noise and chaos of life again.

So now I have a decision to make. Do I include being an HSP into Secret Anguish or do I create a whole new book?

What would you like to see? Would you like to see the HSP trait as a book on it’s own, or included with Secret Anguish? Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Also, if you’re an HSP and have mental health issues like I do, I’d love to hear from you too! What do you find is the most difficult for you to deal with every day with being an HSP and how does it affect your mental health?

Reflections of the Heart, Secret Anguish

And Around We Go!

Just last week I wrote a post about shutting down work on my second book Secret Anguish. Well, there have been a change of plans, which I didn’t foresee.

Just yesterday morning I heard back from a literary agent I contacted just last month, and they want to see the first three chapters and a synopsis for Reflections of the Heart (my first book). So what does this have to do with Secret Anguish? Well, I kind of mentioned that I was working on a second book in my query letter, so now I’m like, “Well, what if they want to see work on the second book too?”

And I kept praying about Secret Anguish and if God really wants me to work on this book or not. I keep feeling a draw to write it no matter how difficult it may be emotionally. (I’ll still have to keep a close eye on my mental health.) And I have a LOT of work to do on it. I’m still in the phase of gathering my sources.

So this whole literary agent contacting me asking to see more of one book, has really motivated me to move forward with another book.

We never know just how things are going to turn out when we have several projects going. It’s just amazing how God can turn things around just when you think you’re done with a project, he says, “No, you’re not finished. I need you to work on this and finish it.”

So here I go. I’ve sent off the email to the literary agent with what she’s asked to see. And I’m back hard at work, on Secret Anguish.

I hear my son in his room. He’s up so I must go for now.

Take care and God bless!

Secret Anguish

Shutting Down “Secret Anguish”

This has been a long arduous task for me to work on a mental health book on and off for over the last couple of years. For many days now I have worked on my book and almost every evening I have been dealing with intense emotions of anxiety, anger, depression, irritability. I have been in tears and curling up in my bed most every night just trying to get this book written. I’ve wanted to share my story thinking it would help other people but…

I must confess that I have decided to give up writing this book. It is overwhelming me and bringing up such intense emotions my therapist has suggested I stop writing so I don’t make my mental health worse.

I’m sorry to all those who were expecting to following me on this journey through writing my story and then buying the book.

May God bless you all as you go through your own mental health journey.

Secret Anguish, Uncategorized

Secret Anguish: Update

Months have flown by without a new post springing from my fingers. Life has been pretty busy with the holidays and all. But I have some time to update you all on what my current project is.

I’m working on Secret Anguish which at one point was going to be about gluten sensitivity, or what we thought was gluten sensitivity until we later found out I really didn’t have one. So now I am recycling the title and using for my story on mental illness.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, unspecified bipolar disorder with psychosis,  generalized anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and depersonalization. And I have been going through journal entries since 2005 trying to piece parts of my life together to make this book.

Well I discovered this morning, a journal that I had handwritten and yet typed up like I had done the others to make copying and pasting sections easier (when I needed to do so such as what part is PTSD related, or anxiety related and so forth). So now I have more work to do on top of what I was doing.

Once I get these journal entries typed up and sorted, I’ll be able to go back and work on piecing my book together. My goal is to have my book out before the end of the year. I’m going to work hard on reaching that goal.

Something else that has come my way is teaching my daughter how to create characters because she would like to write her own books. She is 9 and in third grade so I’m curious to see if this is just a passing phase, or if this is going to grow into something more. Whatever the case, I am having a proud mommy moment for the time being.

What are you working on right now? Is it a new novel or short story, a poem, maybe planning a new blog post? I’d love to hear what your’e up to. Or even if you have questions about what the story I’m working on I’d be happy to answer you.

Have a great day and for others who live elsewhere in Maine, be safe out there. Winter Storm Grayson has started unleashing his fury.

Memoir, Mental health

Behind the Writer

I’m sitting here in my office with the pellet stove roaring away. It’s comfortably warm in this room, but inside me is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. You see, I’m not just a writer. First and foremost I am a child of God and I suffer from PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. Why am I telling you this? Because I am going to be making blog posts about mental illness that will relate to my upcoming book about my journey through mental illness. And because I’m not afraid to admit that I have a mental illness.

Sometimes, I think that having a mental illness can make us more creative individuals because we look for creative ways to work out the pain that is deep inside. So deep it stays well hidden until we are alone and then we can contain it no longer.

Open the flood gates. Our emotions either come out as a trickle or a roar whether through tears, or through creative means. Or both.

So now you know more about me. But you’ll learn even more as I go along. 😉

Voice4Society

Article for Voice4Society

Okay so I have been working on this one article and have over 1000 words typed up, but wouldn’t you know it. Something already doesn’t feel right about it. I think I may have to go through it and do some reworking. My plan was to have this article done and submitted to Voice4Society by tomorrow evening, but I don’t think I am going to make the deadline I had planned. That doesn’t mean I am not going to try my darndest though. Sure as heck am!

I don’t usually work with outlines, but I think I may have to in this instance. When I am working on the article, I am not only typing up what I have written, but find that when I am typing, I am adding in things I hadn’t thought of previously, however, they may not be in the order I would like to talk about them. Hmm….

The next step, I think I will finish going through the motions of typing and adding in what comes to mind that pertains to the  piece I am working on. If it is one thing I have learned is not to rework something before you even have the rough draft. It totally interrupts the flow of creativity. Best to get everything down first and then go back and do some reworking.

I also need to come up with a title for this piece as well. It is about grief and I was intending to capture my experience with losing a parent while a teenager, however, there are other instances of grief and variances of grief that people feel when it is a parent, a sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, pet, etc. All of these have their own degree of pain and loss, depending on how close one is to their family, friends and pets.

Hmmm… my mind is going in a few directions now as I continue to type this blog entry. I see several ways I could go:

1) Personal experience article with loss of parent while I was a teenager

2) Personal experiences with losing pets

3) Personal experiences with losing a classmate

4) Personal experience with losing grandparents

5) Personal experience with losing a teacher/family friend

Okay… so this list can go a little further…..and these are all referring to loss and grief by way of death. It just occurred to me that there are other forms of grief as well such as school friends going off to college and losing touch, or parents divorcing, not being able to keep a pet due to allergies, etc. Grief takes many forms, more so than I had previously thought when beginning my article.

Huh….talk about so many ideas I am not sure which way to go for this one article. I will do some thinking and praying about this and will probably contact Voice4Society and see what they prefer right now. Won’t hurt to ask.

Well, guess it is off to get to work. Best of luck to all you writers out there! God bless!

Book Reviews

Rev. Robert E. Stoudt’s Valley of Depression, Mountain of Victory

Just a few minutes ago I finished reading, Valley of Depression, Mountain of Victory, by Rev. Robert E. Stoudt. In his book, Pastor Stoudt talks about this decent into depression, which we all know can happen in various ways, but for him, it was due to several deaths happening close together. When you read through this book you will discover how life became hard for him during his depression and panic attacks and what things he did that helped get through that valley of darkness and how God helped him back to the top of the mountain top.

This book is full of insight into the world of depression and how it can change one’s life, yes, even a Pastor’s life. No one is safe from depression and can people of all ages and of any race and in any career. Pastor Stoudt also offers several references into the Bible that support and add to his writing and show, clearly, how God is there to help you through affliction and that afflictions helps us to grow stronger and be more Christ-like, which is what we Christians strive for.

You will also find poetry and lyrics in this book that are a beautiful addition to this work.

I admit, I really felt for Pastor Stoudt in this book, knowing myself what it was like going through depression, and quite a while I was praying to God for help in my own writing because I could not figure out what to write about. When I started reading Valley of Depression, Mountain of Victory it was like BAMB! God had given me my answer. Like Pastor Bob, I too could write about what caused my depression and anxiety disorder and how my faith also helped me through to that mountain top. I could not believe through months of prayer and waiting on God for an answer of what He would like me to do, that my answer would come from reading a book. But that’s just the thing with God. He gives you answers when you least expect it and in ways you never think of. He is full of surprises and that is just one of the things I enjoy about my relationship with God. He never ceases to amaze me.

Above, I briefly wrote about Pastor Stoudt’s book, but I plan on writing a  more detailed review of his book soon. Then to follow that will be an author interview. So please check back in couple of weeks or so for those items.

The next book by an Indie author is The Spirit Keeper by Melissa Luznicky Garret. You can find out more about Melissa by visiting her blog.

I’ll be back soon! 😉

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of Camp NaNo – Early Morning

 

It’s just after 1:40AM when I’m writing this. I have been working on my book for a couple of hours, trying not to be distracted by other things. It’s VERY hard to do some times. When I started writing I had, 26,892 words and at quitting time I had 29,376 for a total of 2,484 words written this time. Now I just need to update the Camp NaNo site with my new word count.

I am working on chapter three right now and I so wanted to finish it tonight…er….this morning, however, when the screen starts to get fuzzy even though you’re wearing your glasses and your stomach starts to get upset and you can’t stop yawning, I’m guessing those are VERY good indicators it’s time to stop pushing myself into the feeling sick territory and go to bed.

I need to get my mind of depression and find something happy to think about before bed. Hope I can do that, but I have a feeling after my head hits the pillow I’ll be out.

I feel great after my accomplishment and getting further in this book and I pray all you other NaNoers are making progress as well. If not, don’t give up. Writing isn’t always an easy thing to do. I had a hard time starting earlier on the 24th but by late that evening everything just began to flow. Strange how that happens. You just never know when the time is going to be right for your those words to fly from your brain to the keyboard.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Never give up hope…at least not so early in the fight.” ~ Rayden, Mortal Kombat Annihilation

Miss watching that movie! Sorry. I had better get to bed before I start rambling some more. Night all and many blessing for another day! 🙂