Having The Courage To Be Scared And Crazy

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I am, by nature, a very creative person, but unfortunately while this might be boon and blessing when it comes to imaginative pursuits, it makes living life rather difficult because—well, in short, I have found that the more creative you are, the crazier you are.

My imagination is capable of conjuring up that which does not exist, and often creates such compelling and comforting worlds that the very touch of reality often becomes as hurtful to me as contact with iron would be to a fairy. I live and breathe and eat fantasy. Only at night, when the moon is bright and the world is dark, do I feel at peace with the world, because that is when it feels as though magic could exist, close enough to touch and submerge oneself in utterly.

The other downsides of having a highly introverted and imaginative mind are far more insidious than a general aversion to sunlight and daytime. During periods of high creativity, ideas pouring out of both my ears like liquid rainbows, I occasionally descend into psychosis. Not actual insanity, mind—I am always capable of distinguishing between reality and fantasy—but delusions ran rampant through my mind and dictate my every word and thought.

On these occasions I have found myself believing I can telepathically pick up on the emotions and feelings of other people who live miles away, or send telepathic messages to certain people, or descend into such frenzied anxiety or debilitating depression that suicide starts to look a rather appealing option. While my ideas are pouring out in a liquid froth, filling me with ecstasy, my mind and body are, at the same time, contorted and twisted into such agony, all brought about by delusional thoughts, nameless fears and anxieties, that it feels as though I am dying and screaming in happiness both at once.

Much of my anxiety can also be blamed on my imagination, for something which many anxiety sufferers have in common is an ability to “envision” what may happen in the future, their brains making leaps and bounds others do not, imagining dreaded scenarios and terrible consequences. Once, when I was a child and someone in the playground rejected my invitation to play, their eyes stiff and cold in their sockets, I deluded myself into thinking they had been possessed by a demon who now lurked in their body, peering out through their eyes, smelling and breathing in the world using their nose and mouth and lips. Finding tiny, strangely-shaped black seeds, I told my friend that they were, in fact, rat’s teeth, belonging to a magical breed of rodents who lived deep down beneath the earth amongst the worms and the tree roots. She didn’t play with me much after that.

Countless times my imagination has deluded me into thinking some boy I pined and idealised loved me back, when, really, nothing could be further from the truth and they were just disturbed by this obsessive and introverted girl who acted so strangely around him all the time. I imagine malice where no malice exists, kindness where it does not live, and am susceptible to complaining of many an ache and pain in my body if I so much as feel a twinge in my stomach or a prickling. I honestly believe, as Stephen King said, that “stories are relics from a pre-existing age”, and that they exist somewhere outside of myself, with me simply being the medium through which they can then be shared with the world. When I am around “normal” people, with their inane chatter and their talk, their expressions and their exchanges, I feel so violently sick inside I want to turn myself inside out and throw up blood and guts all over the entire world. If feeling particularly lonely, I often found myself acting out various characters, talking to myself in different voices, having a conversation, all by myself, with a trio of different characters each with their unique and individual personalities, even when I am not actually writing or using any of the characters in my writing. To observe me in my natural habitat—that is, solitude—would, for most people, be a very disconcerting experience.

The grand upshot of all this is that creativity leads to a great deal of pain, from excruciating loneliness to social rejection to struggles with self-esteem. And the funny thing is, a lot of the time the downsides of creativity, such as mood swings or debilitating periods of depression, especially existential depression, are actually quite crippling when it comes to producing consistent and quality work, so it’s sort of a case of the dog eating its own tail. Every second of my life is a struggle against meaninglessness, anxiety, the suffering inherent in the human condition, overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and the ghastly thought of my dying without accomplishing what I must in this lifetime, every second a struggle towards and against something I can neither name or say.

I have battled many evils, both inside and out, and encountered many cruel and wicked people over the course of my life, one of whom was a close family member, each incident paralyzing and world-shaking for someone sensitive and empathic like myself, but I truly believe that there is nothing so frightening as life itself. I am very scared, and very crazy, and I shall bumble and stumble my way through this nonsense we call existence with sorrow and gladness in my heart, and a smile on my face and a tear down my cheek.

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3 thoughts on “Having The Courage To Be Scared And Crazy

  1. This was heartbreakingly beautiful. I can relate to so much of this. I feel as though the day at work is a sort of alternate bad world that is sent to test me, and I cannot feel truly at peace until I am alone walking in the rain or at home staring out the window, about to write. It’s so hard to balance high creativity and regular working life. I never feel lonely by myself, but being around other people makes me feel like an alien.
    I really enjoyed your metaphor with the fairy colliding with iron. That really what is what most INFPs/INFJs deal with very often.
    I truly hope you are feeling okay. Last year I had the worst suicidal/hopeless mood swings where I felt as though something was punishing me for no reason. It’s been four months without any suicidal thoughts. The ups and downs can be painful, but it’s what makes life so beautiful – in many ways, we live more than once.

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