Mental Illness, like many other illnesses can leave us with a scar or weakness. If you have had a nasty respiratory infection or pneumonia you may be left with a tendency to develop a cough with every virus.
If you seriously injure a muscle or tendon in a limb, you may have a continued weakness in that area that requires physiotherapy from time to time.
Mental illness is not so different. Even those of us who have been treated and made a recovery can often feel the scars. Some people may never be free of their difficulty, but many will learn to live with it the same way a surgery patient learns to live with a scar.
Our scars don’t fade the same way a physical scar fades. Our memories may fade or they may evolve as our perception of ourselves changes but the scar remains.
That doesn’t mean we walk around with a big old cloud hanging over our forlorn little heads. No indeed! We can make use of our scars. They enable us to recognise when we might be slipping again and ask for help, because now we know to ask for help. We can recognise when someone else is suffering and support them. A guiding scar.
And it seems that these inflictions are not just an illness, but for some, but a gift. A beautiful creative gift.
Many of our literary geniuses suffered with mental illness. My wanderings through blog land have proven this to be true. There are a lot of heartbreaking, heart warming and beautifully written pieces out there by souls with beautiful scars.
I don’t place myself amongst this talent but I do know that when I am in a dark place I write more creatively. When I write about my pain the words seem to flow. Frankly when I’m in a good place my writing is dull, I think.
Below are two very interesting links from the BBC about creativity being closely entwined with mental illness. And Poetry, the creative process and mental health.
Both highlight the fact that sufferers of mental health seem to experience a greater level of creativity even genius.
This is one of those lemons into lemonade thoughts. That the product of a frenzied mind can be something beautiful. Keep scribbling away folks, not only is it cathartic for you, you are producing beauty out of darkness.