let's talk about the feelings / creativity as coping


I want to start by thanking all of you lovelies for taking the time to stop by.

If it hasn't been obvious enough, I've been super nervous about putting myself out there & for years my insecurities have had the final say. But I'm working on that. I'm working on a lot of things, actually.

So let's start from the beginning.



When I was in high school I was diagnosed with major depression and an anxiety disorder. It's always tricky at that age - the stresses of school and mean girls and maybe breakups, bad grades, and the list goes on and on. Most of those years I boiled it down to that, and sometimes that's really all it is. And that's okay too.

But for me, the dark cloud was relentless. The ache was unbearable like a stab wound that wouldn't heal and I was convinced that I had stabbed myself.  But when I found out it wasn't just lack of sleep and a poor diet (those ended up being symptoms, not the sickness), it was a relief to know that I could find help. And I was determined to not let this diagnosis defeat or define me.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, friends. Just the beginning of what's been a wild ride, running through a dark forest, desperate to see the beauty. Seasons have come and gone; I've had bright lights and dark holes, each season digging deeper into me.



Everyone has dark days. Sometimes you wake up and your heart hurts and you have no idea why. Sometimes this happens most days, and when it’s really bad, the best thing to do is tell a doctor. It’s so important to talk to a professional when you feel like the world is too heavy for you to carry.

So maybe you don’t believe you’re a creative person. My personal belief is that everyone is, but that's a conversation for another time. Maybe you know that you are an artist. Maybe you’re not a writer or a painter, but you see colors and hear sounds differently than others, and those colors and sounds can be quite overwhelming. This is what I believe to be the burden of creativity. (I plan to make a post on this in the future). 



I remember the moment I identified what this was, and how I could relieve the burden. I noticed that when my anxiety gets really bad, my thoughts just swirl around me and make me feel like I’m suffocating. So I realized that if I could just harness these thoughts and turn them from smoke into sand, making them tangible, I could mold them like clay in my hands. 

So I started journaling. Every day. Even if it was just a few scribbled sentences or sometimes ten pages long. It didn’t have to be fully coherent, just taking those words out of my head and making them prisoners on the page. ‘Taking them captive’ as Paul would say in 2 Corinthians. 

Journaling eventually turned into poetry which became my most powerful weapon against the dark thoughts. I could put them on a page and realize how small they are. Those little letters forming little words that had been taunting me relentlessly. I could crumple these words in my hand and breathe a sigh of relief. The world felt lighter.


We  all carry burdens. No matter how ‘perfect’ someone’s life may seem, there is always something weighing heavy on their hearts. It’s just a part of the humanness. And it’s an incredible feeling to take these burdens and turn them into something beautiful. Something you can hold in your hand. Something you can share with others when their burdens are too heavy to carry. And the more we all relieve our own darkness, the more we can shine a light for others. And what better purpose is there than that?

Be strong, dear friends. Please don’t be ashamed or afraid to share the things that hurt. Share them with a loved one, share them with a piece of paper, take the darkness in your hands and weave it into a creature of light. We're all in this together.

xo
Ashley


Listening to:

21 comments:

  1. I have major depression and anxiety as well, I am 14 and have been struggling for 2 years already. My family wasn't aware of it until January 8th this year when I nearly lost my life by swallowing 3 1/2 bottles of pills in an attempt to end my life. Family and friends have been helping me and supporting me through my long everyday battle. Music has also had an immense role in convincing me that I'm not alone (especially twenty one pilots). Also I love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is amazing. Just such beautiful writing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is always nice to hear others stories who go through the same things as yourself. I know it's scary but very much appreciated. Xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. i kind of feel the same way about what you said about the colours and sounds being too much sometimes. I love writing so so much but in the past few months i had so much on my mind that writing seemed like the hardest thing to do, especially because when i start writing i do not stop until every single thought of mine is on the page, but recently i've started writing again and i really really enjoy it again.
    i'm not sure this made much sense.
    Thank you as always for your great posts x

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can definitely relate to everything you have described here as I go through the same maddening thoughts. I have too turned to writing and poetry and feel just the same about that as you do. Thank you for the wonderful post, honestly something I needed to hear today.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your advice is truly amazing. You explain it so everyone can understand and use it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is so cool and relatable honestly. I journal a lot to see my abstract thoughts turn into a physical form that I can easily see and dissect. Otherwise they'd be a kind of soup in my head.
    As someone who has dealt with anxiety their whole life it definitely has helped.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so cool and relatable honestly. I journal a lot to see my abstract thoughts turn into a physical form that I can easily see and dissect. Otherwise they'd be a kind of soup in my head.
    As someone who has dealt with anxiety their whole life it definitely has helped.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I LOVE FINDING PEOPLE TO RELATE TO! THANK YOU! I always spend my time thinking about what i want to be and accomplish and just trying to find a purpose. i'm a small dot in a big galaxy and that thought eats away at me somethies AND OMG I JUST LOVE SELF-EMPOWERMENT! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! GOD BLESS ����

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's good to know that there are other people who are going through this too. Knowing that someone out there understands it sort of gives you the reassurance that if they can do it you can too. Thank you ❤

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was such an inspiring read. I thought I too use poetry and journaling too cope with my anxiety and depression and I thought I was the only one. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I takes so much courage and I greatly admire you for that. All the love. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. beautifully written, thank you. you're such an inspiration, and the way you explained these things just connected my weirdly placed dots. again, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for sharing how you feel Ashley. You have become an inspiration to me. I write poetry as well and sometimes I find it hard to keep writing and to keep sharing what I've written, because of fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough. But I always feel better once I set that fear aside and write something down. The way you've described it is wonderful. Taking the burden and turning it into something beautiful. That is what I am going to fight for.

    I think many of us know you through your brother. I want you to know that though I discovered you through Josh, I stayed because of who you are. Your poetry has amazed me for a while and this blog is a true inspiration. Keep being you. You are awesome. I am already looking forward to your next post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You took my breath away with these helpful words!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have a journal too, a journal I carry with me all the time and whenever I feel I'm about to bust I write on, is more like throwing up whatever is in my mind and it really helps, it's probably the most effective solution I've found for those moments.
    I never considered myself as a creative person but I had to find something to do with all that energy and thoughts I had inside and luckily I choose writting, it's not poetry I think but it's something, and sometimes it ends up being beautiful.

    I'm kinda new at this so I have no idea what I'm doing, which is nice sometimes because I have no boundaries but it's also nice to read about someone who's been doing it for a while, so thanks for sharing lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You're such an amazing writer. This really resonates with me

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow. I have never been diagnosed with depression and anxiety (although I probably should have gotten help a long time ago), but this just made me think a lot. And become very emotional, which only happens when I realize that I relate to It too strongly and I finally have seen the truth that I kept trying to pretend wasn't there... I started journaling at the age of 7 and continued to do so until around 14 years old. I just remembered it used to make me feel so good. I have always been a rather anxious person, so writing things down on paper always felt so relieving. I make lists and notes for myself all of the time for other things in my life, like to-do lists. Otherwise I would be going through the list over and over in my head and not be able to think of anything else... now I'm starting to realize that I do the same thing with my thoughts and worries. But if I were to write it down, like in a journal maybe my mind could just calm down for a moment and feel at peace? Maybe the dark thoughts would go away become I am transferring them onto the paper, and away from my mind? I'm speculating here, but I think I am going to give it a try. Thank you for your insight and I can't wait to read the rest of your blog posts! I'm starting from the beginning and going up! I haven't been able to get out of bed this afternoon, but reading this and realizing there are other people with struggles greater than my own are able to do get up in the morning then so can i. I know it's scary to put yourself out there (honestly it's one of my greatest fears) but look how much good is coming from it? You're an amazing person for putting your fears behind you to help other people, and I cannot wait to see what else you have written!

    ReplyDelete

 

ashley dun © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger