Depression & Creativity
It's been over a year since I've published a blog post, so I apologize if this is a little rusty. Here goes nothing.
In my life, I have heard a saying along the lines that the most beautiful art comes from tragic individuals. There is an unspoken belief that the world's creatives only create via trauma.
As if we are only able to make these beautiful pieces, whether writing poems, photos, art, statues, etc., due to our troubled pasts.
Honestly, I believed this for a long time.
I wrote my first novel, The Human Zoo, back in 2015.
Quick plug, if you haven't already purchased a copy or read it, well, you should. It is a one-of-a-kind book. Also sorry this photo is so damn big, haha. This is the best link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-human-zoo-kasey-rocazella/1139337276
For the following 2-4 years, I refer to "Kasey's Dark Ages." I experienced such an influx of trauma during this time I literally almost didn't survive.
Writing was the only solace I found as I continued to endure through life. So I threw myself into hours of writing, editing, and plot mapping.
When The Human Zoo was published in 2021, I felt proud of myself for the first time. I didn't care how many I sold or if people liked it; I published a book, MY book. It was this drive that I believe helped keep me alive.
Now, it's a year later, and I haven't finished a second novel; I have endless story ideas, three works in progress at varying lengths, and no desire to keep writing. A part of me believes it's because I'm healthy.
I don't feel any less creative, though writing feels different, and I'm working through what it looks like for me now. Instead, what it means to me.
It's not true that only masterpieces come from a troubled heart. At the same time, I am yet to find my path to creating in the light rather than the dark. It's a more arduous battle than I realized it would be. Nevertheless, I adore writing, producing, and my imagination.
Still, setting boundaries and creating a healthy life for me has honestly come with some consequences. I feel this isn't talked about enough either. The things, feelings, and consistencies you lose from setting boundaries. There is a lot of grief when creating a healthy environment for oneself. I'm not saying I can't find a way back to writing because my life is finally in a good place; I can and will.
However, I don't feel this troupe is discussed enough the idea that depression equals art. I don't even know if what I'm saying makes sense since I'm still wrapping my head around it.
Here is what I've decided, though, after reflection, life experiences, and discussions with others:
You can be creative AND be healthy.
You can be healthy AND write about the darker sides of humanity.
Do I find traumatic experiences or all-consuming emotions help me to better writing? Absolutely. Do I believe this is the only way to showcase your mind? No.
Do I know how to end this blog post? Absolutely not.
I'll pull an Irish I exit.