I have been asked many times if I was more creative or a better artist when I was in the hell of the crazies. I have actually done research and written some articles on the subject, and the bottom line for me personally is that, yes, many of history’s best and most prolific creatives were nuts in one way or another. And that includes being addicted to drugs and alcohol.
As for me, I wrote more feverishly and was much more productive when I was living in England and off the fucking wall. My poetry was impassioned, inspired, and full of symbology that I am still deciphering now. I haven’t really written a poem of any note since 1994. I haven’t been moved to either. My writing has become this blog, the iWonderSisterhood blog, and the continued “beginnings” of a book about how animals facilitated my recovery. But no poetry, and nothing written in a mania.
I used to call what I now know is my hypomania, the buzz. During my last few years in the UK I had the buzz all the time. I was completely hypomanic, needed little sleep, and was more creative than I had ever been. Indeed I was more creative than I HAVE ever been. Medications and wellness have overtaken my prolific-ness. I can honestly say it is no longer the same. And if I am really honest, I miss that creative frenzy. I loved having the buzz.
But the truth is, I wouldn’t trade how I feel now for more great poems. Well, sometimes I would, but mostly I would rather just be well and eccentric and not be insane. Living in insanity is painful and exhausting, and I enjoy my life as it is – full of beauty, love, and peace.There is balance in my life now and I treasure it.
I think about the person I was a bit wistfully and wonder what else she would have created if she had been left alone. I have to search for my creativity sometimes now, and back then it was at my beck and call. I have indeed lost something that was very precious to me and I do grieve its loss. But I live in the light now, I see the stars, and when the darkness occasionally inundates me, I wait it out, in the certainty that it will pass. Now trumps then any day.