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Being a Creative Person

I feel most artists understand that life is perceived differently by creative people. People who are not creative may not understand or think this is even true. But I have been a creative person my entire life. Art, music, and expression have been my best friends and therapies during the emotional and physical abuse I've been through. It took me awhile to learn that being creative is not just a personality trait, but a way of life.

Dealing with the emotional shifts of being bipolar can be exhausting. Creativeness has helped me channel that energy into something productive and healthy. I used to see my creativeness as something that is not that big of a deal. Like, yeah, I like to create things but it's not a big deal. It wasn't something that I had to do, it was something I just liked to do. Until I stopped doing anything creative for extended periods of time and the shifts in my mood and mental stability became worse. Then I realized that being creative was a necessity in my life, something that was and is an essential part of me.

I've been writing for most of my life. When I was very young I would fill up black and white speckled notebooks with observations about everything around me. I had literal stacks of notebooks full, front and back page full, of my thoughts. An entry was literally a real time documentation of my entire life. It helped me feel like I had some kind of control in a very uncontrollable situation. I felt lost most of my childhood. There was absolutely no stability. Everything could change in an instant. It made me anxious, depressed, and on high alert constantly. Writing was a way for me to control the world, even it was just a literal documentation of things around me.

When I was a little older music became my outlet. I play the bassoon and the drums. I was a bassoonist through middle school and high school. I played in orchestras and district bands. I had private lessons and played as often as I could. Any emotion I felt I could translate through sound. It was a physical and spiritual experience playing an instrument. It allowed me to speak without speaking and feel without talking to people around me (something that was forbidden). I could have went to a great college on a full scholarship (good bassoonists are a rare find) but without support from my parents I fell through the cracks.

As I got older and moved to a different state at the beginning of high school my music became less of a focus. I had to return my beautiful bassoon to my old school (they're too expensive to buy) and had a beat up, old as hell bassoon given to me from my new school. I don't think I ever got the damn thing in tune...it was completely worn out. So the dream of being a musician was tossed out the window.

Listening to music became the only thing in my life that really mattered. Throughout high school I became an avid metal head. I dived into everything from Kiss to Metallica. I explored every kind of metal...from Ratt to Slipknot. I went from Tool to Megadeth. While I became encapsulated by music that really saved my life multiple times, I started drawing and painting. Art was a pure expression of any feeling I had. I would stay up all night in front of a canvas. I was in my own world in my art. I felt such a deep connection with painting. I started filling up sketchbooks with the things I couldn't express in words. Just like I would write the emotions that I couldn't explain with images.

Painting, writing, music...all were my raw emotions displayed out in front of me. I have always had so many feelings inside me. Being bipolar has intensified these feelings, intensifying my need to be creative. Without a creative outlet I break down. I have to create, it's not just a part of my personality, it is my best friend, my listener, my mentor, my control, and my defender against me holding in the things I need to let go of.

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