Friday, July 10, 2009

So what happened to "I am depressed, I can't create art"? Two things:

1) I don't tell people when I feel like shit. I lie down and hide. I only talk to people (face to face, on the phone, via my blog etc) when I am feeling better. All my recent blog posts were made on "better" days. There were horrible days in between, though I do think I am getting better.

2) Despite my flippant comment "painting as an effective, relaxing therapy for people with psychological problems. Bullshit." I have found that if I can get past the initial inability to do ANYTHING, including draw, then creating art actually does help a lot.

It ties in with the book I am reading at the moment, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I know too much about neuroscience to put much faith in the "left brain vs right brain" oversimplifications. But I can get my head around a "verbal-analytical mode of thinking vs non-verbal perceptive mode of thinking" which we can call "left mode/right mode" if you insist. My "left mode" thinking is very unhelpful at the moment. It tells me all sorts of stories all day long about how useless, ugly, incapable, lazy, worthless, despicable and foul I am. That mode wrote the I'm depressed post. But my "right mode" doesn't speak to me in words because it doesn't have words. It can see shapes and forms, light and dark, colours, relationships, and it takes delight in those things. By drawing and painting I can switch on this "right mode" of simple pleasure and simultaneously switch off the self-hating loop tape of "left mode" thinking in my head. The fact that I get something I can hang on my wall at the end of it is just a by-product. The hour or two of peace and self-acceptance is the primary benefit right now.


Yellow said...

I used to get bulled at school, and participating in class discussions in subjects like goegraphy & science only gave the bullies ammunition, and could leave me self-conscious and self-doubting. (This is said with hindsight as a 37 year old - It was much more subconscious at the time) but in srt class, where little talkimg was done I could escape inside a world of hand-eye & right mode existing for an hour at a time. I found it very calming, and maybe that's why I did well at it, though I didn't do badly at the other subjects. I just found art a safer place to be.
It's interesting that although you've identified that the left-mode is set on a self-hating loop, but that you can't get ridof it yet. Don't worry overmuch, the drugs will help with that, and by finding ways to cope better you'll find you'll fail less, or at least realise that failing (breaking a glass, splling coffee, mis-judging situations) isn't the end of the world, and you'll eventually get out of the other side.
You will get there, you are gettiing there. you're already in a better place than you were in February half-term hols. I love you big sister.

Bill of Ballaugh said...

I love you too Mel, and I'm proud of you, and I'm glad you're my friend, and I love talking to you as I value your intelligent and perceptive input into my life, and I love your art work, and I love your patchwork, and I love the grandchildren you gave me, and I love the way you interact with them, and I love........ well, this could go on but I'm sure you get the picture. God bless you and hold you in Hid ineffable Love.