Saturday, 6 August 2016

Creative block and bad times

Creating is usually my escape, but when a block hits it feels like there's no where to turn so I thought why not try something new.
Honestly it's kind of helped.

I don't really know what the point in this post is.
I've had a draft of this hidden on my phone for well over a year, and have sporadically added little snippets.
I've found reading other peoples experiences oddly comforting, just knowing that other people are going through a similar situation helps somehow.
I'm rubbish with words, so apologies for the poorly written repetitiveness.

But even if this makes one person feel less alone, it'll be worth it.


Creative block sucks. Bad times suck. But you're not alone

Some days are great, you wake up with a bounce in your step and all the motivation in the world to achieve your dreams. Working endlessly seems nothing like a chore, hours pass they turn into days and it's nothing less than pure joy every single moment; watching the completed tasks pile up, ticking off your to do list one after another - you're getting somewhere! Look! You CAN do it!
The ideas flow endlessly, your pen can't keep up with your thoughts, your phone fills up with notes as the creativity snowballs - Nothing can stop you now!

Or can it?

Out of nowhere a little flutter, Just a wee dip in your energy. Barely even noticeable.
The realisation hits, catching you off guard.
Things ARE going well. They're going TOO well..
You push it to the back of your mind, pretend it's not true. Avoiding anything that will start the downward spiral - hiding posts, avoiding people, scrolling past news articles, skipping songs.

You throw yourself into your work, hour after hour, day after day. You watch your skill level deteriorate, your pace decreases. Every project becomes hindered and forced. "Down a few more coffees; you're just tired that's all". "Waken up a little and you'll be fine, you can do this."

Have a nap, maybe that's all you need. A quick sleep to freshen up, let your mind catch up and rest. An hour, just a wee hour and you'll wake up feeling you again and ready to face your tasks with a more level head. An hour passes, Maybe just one more. You set another alarm, building a pillow fort and barricading yourself from the outside world. It feels safe.
Hours turn into a day, one day turns into two, next thing you know half the week is over. You start to feel frustrated, wasting time isn't a option there's too much to be done, people are relying on you. The over bearing weight of responsibility weighs heavy on your shoulders, quickening your heart. Panic sets in. The kind of panic that turns your stomach and interrupts all thoughts.

You feel stupid, you feel useless. Why are you so weak? Why are you being like this?
Everything was going so well, nothing went wrong. So why are you such a mess?

Some days are worse than others.

But they're manageable; fire on the happy tunes, crank up the volume, belt out the lyrics until your lungs and throat hurt. Maybe some comedy will help, force yourself to laugh, the weight seems to ease a little. You feel a glimmer of freedom. regain a little thinking space. A brief moment of calm and relief - you almost feel human again.

But, Sometimes no matter what you do, you can't shift that feeling of dread. It eats away at you piece by piece, leaving your mind empty and unable to think. 
Your body numb and limp. A unbearable weight creeps up on your chest restricting every breath. It's exhausting. 

Mustering a smile in the presence of others is so easy, crack a few jokes and pretend everything is okay - their reaction fuels the charade, if you can't cheer yourself up at least you can give others a giggle, maybe make their day a little easier somehow so they don't feel the same. They probably see through it clear as day, but you almost believe your own act; but when once again you're alone with only your own thoughts for company - the emptiness overwhelms you. Like a wave washing over, taking with it your energy, your enthusiasm, any ounce of motivation, drowning out every last remaining speck of strength and happiness you were clinging onto.

Left with nothing but a shell of your former self, With a hollow pit in your stomach twisting and turning. A uncomfortable reminder that bad times have returned.

But things do get better

You know this, you know what you're feeling is only temporary.
The good times will return, they always do, and you'll once again be productive again.
It just takes time.
You don't notice it at first. With the completion of even the tiniest tasks you feel a small sense of achievement, 
you feel the spark reignite, the weight begins to lift. It drives you, pushing you into tackling bigger projects. With each accomplishment you feel air fill your lungs again, the tightness in your chest relaxes, the lump in your throat vanishes, your head clears, the numbness in your body subsides. Before you know it the bad times have passed. You feel alive. You've fought another battle and succeeded. You're you again. 

You can do it. 
Things do get better.
You're not alone.
Stay strong.

Useful helplines and links
Mind :
(Black dog campaign)

(UK & ROI) : 116
Lifeline (USA): 1-800-273-8255

I wish I had some advice and a better way to end this terrible word vomit, unfortunately at this moment I don't.
But maybe i'll edit this with a clearer head and have some wise and wonderful words to share, or maybe just a pretty painting of some sorts.

If you made it this far, well done and thank you.

Check out what I do when I'm not writing nonsensical ramblings

Etsy: NocturnalCreationsx
@JeniJGuthrie (Nocturnal Creations)
Youtube: Nocturnal Creations

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