Creativity Is Good Medicine

A few hours ago my dear friend came and picked up the three pillows she had asked me to make for her. When she left I had a feeling I haven’t felt for a very long time – satisfaction!

It is the feeling you get when you have put your all into something that turns out well and, as an extra bonus sometimes, is very much appreciated by someone else. But you don’t even need that because the true value is inside of you.

As a child, and even into my youth, I was considered quite creative. I wrote poetry, even a little play when I was in grade 5! I loved art class – I wasn’t great at drawing; however, I excelled in all other aspects of the class. My only downfall in junior high school was that I would get bored with some projects (weaving, pottery) and often wouldn’t finish them. If I liked doing it, as in making posters, paper mache, string art designs, and so much more, I would put my all into it. My art teacher and my mother would get very frustrated by this.

I was also creative in the kitchen from a young age. I started making Christmas desserts when I was about 9. They started out as Jello stained glass, and got fancier every year until I was making chocolate holly leaves for the top of my cheesecake from the cover of Bon Appetit Magazine! And that was decades before I went to culinary school.

But then something happened. My family was breaking apart; and so was my mind. My parents had their difficulties while I was in my early teens; however, they were able to work them out. I, on the other hand, was suffering from clinical depression and developing bipolar disorder. As I have mentioned, these both went undetected until I was in my 30’s.

From my late teens until just the last year or so I was unable to do anything that tapped into the creative parts of my mind. I thought it was gone forever. I couldn’t write, sew, crochet, do any of my arts and crafts I had loved so much. Anything I did do lacked the passion I had once known.

Even attending culinary school at 46 was not an easy go. I had all the younger students hating me because I would break down in tears, I was slow, I was older. I know I could have done a lot better if I was able to put my whole soul into it as I did with the pillows and I do here with my writing. It just comes so easy.

Why the change now? I am still the same person I was when I was young and even when I was going through all the turmoil in my life. However I have allowed my true self to shine through the physical and mental pain I feel 24/7. I choose to live a full and happy life. A life, as my tagline says, “rich in faith, bipolar, chronic pain, creativity and purple!”

I am still “ill” and always will be. The big difference is I am no longer letting it define me so the faith, creativity and vibrance (represented in my favourite colour) can shine through.

I had to change my attitude to allow the creativity out and now it is what is helping me be the Lydia I am today. So I will continue to make, bake and write to my heart and souls’ content.

Lydia!

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