During a recent conversation about the creative advantages of suffering from ADHD, I made, in relation to my own condition, clinical depression, the following comment:
“I’m sure that my mental illness, clinical depression, gives me an insight, an x-ray vision, which is more pronounced, deeper, when I’m going through an ‘episode’ (except when it’s really deep – then, I ‘close down’ and don’t really ‘see’ anything!). Would I like to be able to wave a magic wand and have my depression disappear? I’d have to say “yes” because,
a) it can be hell for my family;
b) it does take me to some painfully dark places,
but I do know that if I didn’t have my idiosyncrasies, my peculiarities, my ‘differences’, my obsessions, my quirks, my eccentricities, I wouldn’t be me and much as I do drive my loved ones to distraction, and drive myself berserk most of the time, much as I do struggle to ‘hold on’, much as I often find it hard being me, living with myself, I can’t imagine being anyone else, being any other way. I guess, odd as it might seem, I wouldn’t want to be what people generally consider ‘normal’.”
I try to channel my energies in a positive direction. I have an obsessive personality but I try to use it to good/positive effect. I’m an ‘all or nothing’ person and I try to latch onto positive goals and use my obsessive character trait, this ‘all or nothing’ element of my personality, to fuel, to motivate, me towards a positive destination. When I’m going through a depression ‘episode’, unless it’s particularly bad, I tend to write/blog, to put down on paper (on my laptop) my feelings, my thoughts, so that I can help to raise awareness of the illness, help to explain, clarify, what depression can feel like so that the families, loved ones, friends, work colleagues, employers, teachers of sufferers can better understand the condition.
Suffering for our art: turning negative into positives…