Sunday, May 1, 2011

Depression, Procrastination and Creativity

It is interesting how procrastination and depression sometimes leads to creativity. I am going through a fairly depressing time at the moment. Last time I wrote a whole post about this I took some good-natured criticism from a couple of friends. They were concerned, of course, but also pointed out that I was having a public pity party. The term ‘poophead’ was included in one email (private joke).

Depression and my natural desire to avoid conflict have led to some procrastination in certain areas of my life. Every time I take a serious move forward I get trapped into taking another step back. People who know me over the long run know I make things happen, although usually on my own timetable. I often appear to be making no progress, then suddenly everyone involved realizes I’ve made the progress, hit the goal, accomplished what I set out to do and then some.

The current situation, which I can only talk about in circles for now, is dragging on. Part of that is my own procrastination and part of it is a big reason the situation exists at all. I made a decision about this situation more than five years ago but was waiting till I saw a clear path. Twenty months ago the path became clear but at this point I’m still only a few steps toward fixing the situation. Perhaps you can understand my frustration and, well, my depression.

My coping mechanism, however, has led to great strides in personal creativity. Some of it involves developing creative solutions to the situation and some is displayed in my writing and photography. I haven’t had writer’s block in a long time, for example; I keep finding things to say and share on this blog. My photo blogs are full of new and recent posts and even my poetry blog has a couple of new items.

Writing and photography have served as therapy for me going all the way back to high school. I still have original drafts of nearly everything I’ve ever written, all stuffed into a box on the floor next to my desk. Every few years I dig through the box and read parts of the collection, although it would be pretty depressing to go back and read all that stuff today.

Creative travel has helped me a bit this year too. I found ways to visit the two friends who I count on the most for my sanity, even though neither lives anywhere near me, and I am told I often provide the same for them. Fortunately I have other friends near and far who also provide support and diversion. I am a lucky man.

I usually try to end these posts with some uplifting conclusion. Won’t happen this time. I will get out of my personal mess and will be taking another big step in that direction this week. But at this exact moment all the friendship, writing and photography in the world can’t stop the sadness and frustration I feel right now. This is not a pity party, it is just me being totally honest and sharing that with anyone who cares to read it. I’ll feel much better by tonight or tomorrow but this morning I am swimming upstream in shit. Acknowledging it is the first step toward reaching the shore.

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