Bi-Polar, "The Artist's Catharsis"
In my twenty plus years I have been in recovery, from PTSD. And other manifestations Of My first 21 years of living, I have had one companion that never ever once abandoned me, or hindered me from some personal joy and freedom. That would be art. I was never encouraged to be artistic. No one ever asked me if I wanted to do it. No one explained to me what art could do for one in severe recovery. Yes ironically, I come from a family of that had talent in being artistic. My biological Father , I found years later, that he could draw and wrote poetry prose and rhyme. My father was embarrassed and very protective and secretive about his artistic endeavors. He shared his deranged artistic dreams and nightmares with me and in secret. Like some how he would be less of a man if he admitted he did art. My uncle, could act, and also write poetry. My grandmother was most instrumental in unconsciously inspired the muse to strike me. She and my grandfather were rock hounds and jewelry makers. My grandparent painted, decopauged, she wrote stories, and was always making. Something. She danced among the roses in the in secret, early in the morning, just like I did. My fondest memory was. When I spent summers with her, she would make scrapbooks way before they became commercial and popular. I still have a few of her books left. Filled with vintage images from very old magazines. She encouraged me to take iniative in just creating. It was the one arena I could express my emotions without fear of speaking out of turn and paying the consequences. I wrote my first my first long story when I was ten. I made an illustrated Christmas book by age 13. I started my ongoing journals at age eleven and have kept one ever since. . My mother was a singer who could play the guitar and did many artistic things, such as calligraphy and paintings. My grandfather built things and was excellent and writing and music. He wrote a state song for Idaho and it got published and recognized as a legal state pride song. My father and grandmother were very adept at photography. I picked up the shutter bug there. My father could speak well publicly and was great all at being in positions of power. My brother, is adept at digital art and music. He is a master at physical fitness. He is lucky to be alive. I come from a family of three generations of Veterans.
In my own travels and travails, I learned art could be a tool for expressing things that words failed. I would have bouts of time in my life where art was the only healthy outlet. I ever had. My mind is abstract and unpredictable. I learned to put my dark bouts of depression. Or elevated mood or mania. I could pur my rage, my passion, my sexuality, my hopes, my live anything I wanted to pour into it. This lead me to several scholarships for vocal talent. For opera and musical theatre and drama. I later became a belly dancer and everything thing else that seduced my artistic side. I am a very visually stimulated person as well as audio. My writing has also been a catharsis. I've. Been in a particularly deep funk in the last month. I have once again found myself in that reflective time of the year and something inside me is changing and a seed has been planted inside of me. It will come to fruition. I first learned artistic therapy when in many of a series of psych-ward hospital stays. It's been over 17 years.
Art allows me freedom to let the flow of ideas and watch them form into manifestations. I don't always know what the end project will be. But that is half the magic for me in itself.
Art doesn't have to have guidelines. It doesn't have to make Sense to anyone. It doesn't even have to be likeable. But it still art nonetheless.
Imagine an artless world. I'm not sure sometimes that it would be worth much without it. Art is a force of nature. Humans are hard wired to believe, to express things that science can't. Always define.
When the muses or muses strike. I am happier when I follow my heart and instincts.
If we could nurture a world to just be and be trustworthy to thyselves, I believe that life would be healthier and eventually find balance and disable the power that toxic shame does to assess of people.
Embrace your art. Embrace the gifts of your manifestations of Mental Illness. Show and emphasize it's strengths and weaknesses. No escapes from the human condition. Nor should they.