As a writer, I lump myself into the category with confessional poets, like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Plath and Sexton both committed suicide.
As a regular person, I lump myself into the category with other friends that have mental health issues. Mentally and emotionally, we have all lost our way at some point. Some of us have gotten back on track. Other friends are still walking that fine line of stable and trainwreck. A few of my friends have committed suicide.
Although, my emotional state is fine at the moment, I worry that all of my triggers will come over for an extended visit and will break me into pieces again.
Six years ago, I stopped going to therapy and taking anti-depressants. I don’t want to go back but I will if it’s necessary.
All of those feelings have to be kept in check. I do a mental health inventory on a regular basis. Am I depressed? Is it time to go back to therapy? Do I need anti-depressants again?
Depression is a slippery slope. Before you know it, all of the feelings are too overwhelming and we’re back to the breaking point. Then we’re begging our therapist to come out of retirement because she was “The One.”
I love the Project Semicolon slogan, “Your story isn’t over yet.”
It’s true. Our story isn’t over yet.
Lives intertwined…..Thank you.
You’re welcome. I wrote this yesterday before our conversation. Same wavelength for sure.
It sounds like you know yourself and your patterns fairly well by now, and that’s a good sign, I think. It’s good to know where your triggers and your limits are, and to allow yourself to have those limits, i.e. to not beat yourself up for ‘failing at life’ but to (as a friend of mine put it) ‘do what works’ and get the support you need at that point.
Plath and Sexton… yep. There’s also Dylan Thomas and Elizabeth Bishop, etc. A lot of very gifted poets and artists had mental health / emotional problems. But keep in mind that there are probably many, many more out there who found ways to live with the hand they were dealt.
I suspect that what makes people artists is, at least in part, a heightened sensitivity. To what, you ask? To anything. (Check out Elaine Aaron’s “The Highly Sensitive Person” for more on the concept of high sensitivity.) Sensitivity is a blessing and a curse, if you want to look at it that way — you’ll notice more / other things / more strongly than most people, which can be thrilling or interesting but also overwhelming, blinding and deafening if you don’t know how to protect yourself from too much input. Which is why learning your limits is important, as is not looking at them as signs of personal failure.
I love the idea of ‘radical acceptance’ of things that we cannot change — and, well, as far as I know, we can’t really change the neurological make-up of our bodies.
I try to remember that many authors, artists just deal with it. Whatever the it is. There are so many people – musicians, artists, actors- with mental health issues. I learned that their life is not my life and doesn’t have to end the same way. But I have to stay on top of those triggers. Thanks for the information! I will check it out.