March 19, 2020
Sometimes coming out of depression, anxiety, or substance use can feel like you have been in a dark box, locked away, without light. It may seem hard for you to let the light in again. Life can feel overwhelming when you are looking to find mental health again. There were so many things that you used to enjoy doing, but that seems like a different life. Can you even do them anymore? Can you be creative again? And can creativity help you heal?
From Darkness to Light
When you are emotionally shut down for any reason, it can feel difficult just to write your name, let alone create a poem or write a story. Your mind and body can struggle just to keep going and get out of bed most days, you hardly feel like singing or composing a song. Your body is in a sort of survival mode, and even survival may seem difficult at times. Whenever you are ready to start healing, whether by your own choice, or with “support” from family or friends, coming out of the darkness of depression, anxiety, or substance use can be very difficult. You are coming out of a period of time where your brain wasn’t working properly, which likely caused side effects in your body, as well. Perhaps opening up your creativity can feel difficult or premature, like someone turning on the light when you were asleep in the dark. However, sometimes, flipping that switch opens us up to a level of healing that is exactly what we need.
Thinking Out of the Box
Sometimes it is a single idea in your mind, like a ray of light, and by following that idea, you begin to create again. Other times, it takes work. Someone hands you a pencil, a crayon, or a paintbrush, and tells you to just let your hand move to start the process of healing again. Either way, it can feel slow and painful to rediscover your creativity, or to discover creativity that you didn’t realize that you had before. The healing in creativity comes from allowing your body and mind to connect again in a way that only creativity can. You will be doing other things in treatment that will be based on following directions, exploring emotions, and re-training your mind to be present and in the moment. But creativity is thinking outside the box, or often not even thinking at all. It helps to heal your soul in ways that other activities cannot.
Poetry in Motion
Creativity can also heal by helping you to express things that words cannot. You may have always struggled with verbal communication, or maybe your experiences and emotions now are difficult to put into words. Perhaps dance is your thing, and you will be able to express with music and movement the things your words cannot say. Writing can put words where your voice may struggle to be able to. Whether you are writing poetry, a story, starting a book, or just writing in your journal, it can feel very cathartic to let words flow through your arm and out to a computer or a pencil or pen. Or if words are not your thing even in written form, perhaps you could sculpt or create some kind of 3D art that expresses where you are, where you’ve been, or where you want to be. Whatever you choose to express your creativity, it is not whether or not the finished work is museum-ready that is important. It is that you have opened up the communication with your soul and the rest of the world through your creativity. You are alive, and your creativity can only grow from this point. That is healing.
All the World’s a Stage
You may not wish to, but many people like to share their creativity in healing. Sharing your pain, your growth, and your most intimate emotions surrounding your life experiences can be healing in and of itself. After all, most art is exactly that, and connecting with one another’s creativity and shared human experiences is what makes art so beautiful. If you are so inspired, write an article or story about your experiences, or even write a book. Choreograph a dance and perform it for school, a talent show, or other gathering. Write a song and record it to share, or perform it live. Paint, draw, sketch, sculpt, or just create in any medium that you choose. Just express what it is like to have mental health or substance use issues, or what it feels like to come out of that darkness and be alive. Make a movie, write a play… truly, the world is your stage. Yes, absolutely, creativity can help you heal. Creativity helps you reconnect your mind and your body, and helps you to find your soul again. Creativity can help you communicate in ways that spoken words cannot. Your creativity can help you bring yourself out of the darkness and into the light again. You can remember what it is to feel, and feel all of the emotions again. You can take those emotions and channel them through your creativity and create something to show all the world what mental health looks like. The world is your stage, you only have to turn on the lights.
Find your creativity. Explore your healing. Call Potomac Programs 1-855-809-0409 today.