Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trauma and the Creative Process

My name is Em and I am the other half of this team.

"Wait, what? You don't blog here! I have been reading this blog for months and I don't even know you!"

If you are new, or if you are one of our long time faithful followers, you may have forgotten or didn't even know that I blog here. I do blog here though I promise! I have been on somewhat of a hiatus.

Let's chat.

Some of you may remember my husband Chip, he's legitimately the best. I don't know who I bribed to get such an awesome partner in life, but man I did good. Chip and I have been married a little over 5 years. They have been both the best five years of my life and at times some of the most trying. Some days life throws some really difficult challenges at you. Lucky for me, Chip has been right by my side through them all.

Over the last three years, and more prominently over the last year one of those challenges for us has been infertility.


I said it.

It's funny how one little word can have such a huge impact on our lives.

I have been MIA from the blog mostly because of this life challenge. Now, this post isn't to ask for sympathies, or tell my sob story, this post is about what is going on in my life. Real time. This blog is about us, our journey, what we are learning, what we are struggling with, whatever we need it to be. Today I need this blog to be a conduit for my process.

We had been suspecting that infertility was a very real thing happening to us for a while. We had been to one doctor, had a horrible experience and shied away from that route for a while because of the bad experience. We finally drudged up the courage to go back at the beginning of this year and our fears became our reality. This process of starting a family was not going to happen by our own accord.
For us, this was devastating. There is an entire world of infertility that I won't go into (at least not at this time), but all this to say that this whole process of doctors appointments, tests, waiting, research etc. has completely and I mean completely zapped my creative process.

Every spare inch of energy I had went to being ok, to being happy despite our circumstances, to keeping up with this time intensive process. All of this left little to no room for my soul to express itself creatively.
How do you create and make and craft and enjoy when at the time it all feels really frivolous and every waking second you are constantly thinking about something that you aren't capable of accomplishing?? 

You don't. 

Your creative process ceases to exist. Your body goes into survival mode.

Trauma doesn't have to be a car crash, or anything of that nature. Your body, mind, and soul can go through trauma in other instances as well. Say, three years of mourning something that won't happen, that would definitely be considered trauma.

 I know that at one time or another each of us has had some sort of trauma. Whether it be losing a friend or relative, having to have some sort of long recovery surgery, chronic illness, divorce, infertility, having loved ones who are seriously ill, financial burden, loss of job, natural disaster, family issues, childbirth, big or frequent moves, being in the throws of being a parent can often be traumatic, etc.
 Any of these scenarios would be one that could very easily zap your creative process. We go from care free and easy going to merely trying to survive in the blink of an eye.

I am here to tell you two things:
First: It is 108% OK to not be creative during this time of stress and healing.
Heck, if you can get up and put on pants, you deserve a cookie. Life can be really really hard. There is pride in getting up, dressing (up), and showing up. Don't let anyone tell you different. There may be a few days that it is all too much to get out of bed. We all have days like that, and if I didn't have a job, that would have been me for some of the last three months. It's ok to take a day or two to do that, but don't let it become a habit. Beds are quicksand for our get up and go, don't let them suck you away.

Second: TRY. Try being creative, you may be one of those people who thrive creatively during times of high stress. Think of Van Gough, all of his work thought to be genius, and he went through serious bouts of mental health crisis in which he still painted. Despite how he felt on the inside, his outside creative work was stunning. I imagine he felt some therapy from painting, as many do. Give your creative self a try, you may just be a creative crisis thriver, one whose work is even better during times of high stress and trauma because you use it as an outlet for yourself.

I am not one these people. When it feels like everything around me is crumbling, I feel the need to be in control of something and when my current project isn't pure perfection I have a breakdown. Recognize if you are one of these people and know your triggers.

Please know that even in worst of the worst, the depths of the muck, and hardest of the trial, that at one point you were in another trial and eventually, despite all the odds, it passed. Something changed and it eventually ended. I can't tell you how it will end, but I know that in some way shape or form, things will get better. Until then, strap in, hang on tight, find a good support system, and weather the storm. I'm pulling for you. (Think High School Musical) We're all in this together!

All of this to say, I'm sorry for being so out of the picture here, but please know I am doing my best. The blogging Em had to take a beat so that pay your bills, remember to eat food, still go to work Em had a fighting chance. I am 110% ok with that.

There are ebbs and flows to life, and right now my life is flowing in a direction of survival. With that being said, now that I have recognized that I was in a creative process crisis I will better be able to deal with said crisis, and can start to get back in the saddle. I hope that maybe this post helped someone. Please know that for you who are struggling, I see you. I wish a post like this had been here for me over the last year, so if any of you are in a creative crisis right now, know that I am pulling for you! I am cheering you on! I am you! We are here for each other. We can do hard things. We will prevail!

I love you guys. I have dearly missed my Pinstrosity family. This blog is an important part of me, and I am blessed to have the platform that I do. I hope that this can help someone, even if it is just one person, that one person is so unique and important! If you know someone really struggling and you feel like this could help them, please share.

I love you Pinstrosipeeps!

*Picture Credit Marquette LaRee*

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.