Pursuing The Arts: Depression & Creative Minds

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Fell in love with this charcoal work by Bored Art. Discovered it while searching for a perfect image to reflect depression & those that suffer from it. This is a magnificent portrayal.

Depression and writing seem to go hand in hand, at least they do for me. The hardest thing about the arts is pursuing a big picture and personal vision without experiencing discouragement.

If you are a creative, you will likely experience the dark night of the soul at some point in pursuing your art. If you’re an artist of any kind, you’ll likely admit that you’ve felt discouraged from time to time. As a matter of fact, I bet 99.9% of all artists have experienced waves of doubt and moments of self-loathing.

Depression isn’t easy for me to talk about, but this year I am vowing to write with more transparency, removed from fear.

One of my biggest fears, honestly, is how others perceive me.


Flawed.

Tainted.

Sad.


And while we’re all allowed to be human, society tells us that we’re not all allowed to vocalize our imperfections. Instead, we feel we must airbrush the canvas of our lives until we’ve concealed any semblance of personal struggles and weaknesses.

I’ve fought against the need for medication for my depression with a host of holistic remedies, only to end up back on meds for multiple issues. For me, depression and insomnia go together, as they do for numerous others. On this blog, I refrained from writing heavily about my darkest moments, as I’m embarrassed that what I struggle with seems to come so easy for others. Some people make the simple act of joy the easiest to conquer, regardless of what they lack.

These abundant, organically happy folk don’t necessarily have a lot monetarily, but they’re rich with a contentment that can’t be purchased or manufactured. They’ve managed to strike a beautiful balance between humility and happiness, between self-confidence and empathy for others.

Perhaps artists are naturally moody; maybe it makes us decent at what we try to create. Maybe artists are just wired to walk around inflicted with the cloud of depression that seems almost impossible to shake without some sort of help or support. At the end of the day, creating anything meaningful is challenging but not as challenging as pursuing a very competitive and tough industry such as writing, film, music or any of the other fine arts.


The Bottom Line:

Happiness is a constant, daily effort for me. And honestly, I shouldn’t feel ashamed to admit it but I do. Regardless, I will not allow fear of judgment to hide a very personal battle that at one point, almost totally destroyed me. And if I can help someone else going through the same by words of encouragement, it’s worth it. But, one can’t encourage without being completely transparent. And sometimes unabashed honesty is a little scary. I have to work at happiness every single day. Writing is my therapy. Writing has always saved me from myself.

Some days are better than others. I just hope if you are a writer or any type of artist who suffers from depression that you continue to work at happiness daily, too. All we can all ask for is balance and a silver lining in the clouds that seem to stalk us.

May the sun come out for all of us.



ernest-hemingway-on-depression



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78 thoughts on “Pursuing The Arts: Depression & Creative Minds

    mittflorg said:
    January 22, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Great way to describe the situation. Depression is not a pleasant experience and it takes a great effort to overcome.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      January 23, 2017 at 9:51 PM

      It definitely takes a ton of effort. Every single day, I work at it. Thanks for commenting and reading.

      Liked by 1 person

        mittflorg said:
        January 25, 2017 at 11:32 AM

        No problem. If you could return the favor and read some of my post that would be greatly appreciated.

        Like

    Maya Morrow said:
    February 13, 2017 at 7:51 AM

    This is stunning in its beauty and truthfulness. I really needed to read this. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      February 13, 2017 at 7:57 AM

      Thank you and I too am a fan of your writing. Most of us creative minds are in touch with our feelings. This is a good thing, but we can often fall into depression. I work on it everyday and take life one day at a time, one blank page at a time. 🙂

      Like

        jensearthblog said:
        April 14, 2017 at 12:59 AM

        How would you like to get together and work on a book? A project I’m extremely passionate about. I’ll tell you more if your interested.

        Like

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        April 15, 2017 at 6:06 PM

        Sure, I’m always up for collaboration. Here’s my e-mail. sonyo.estavillo@gmail.com

        Like

    stacilys said:
    March 2, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Hello Sonyo, this is a wonderful write. You have opened yourself up and made yourself vulnerable. I like that. Being real is where it’s at.
    I can so totally relate to this. I have tried before to stop the meds, but I just can’t. I believe it’s some sort of chemical imbalance or something like that. Actually, my doctor told me that it’s all about the chemicals.
    I don’t know if it’s full on depression I have, but I do know that it’s an anxiety disorder. If I don’t stay on the meds, like you, I suffer chronic insomnia. Plus I’m all over the map. Very hyper and irritable. Ugh.
    I am a happy person though, and an artist. I think artists do suffer more with this.
    Anyhow, thanks for being real, and so nice to meet you.
    Staci 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 2, 2017 at 11:17 AM

      Yeah, I’ve dealt with it pretty much my entire life and didn’t want to write about it for a while. But, being honest is the way to be and only way to write. I can totally relate to your depression and being hyper. I also have adult A.D.D. 🙂 Thanks for commenting and so glad to virally meet you too. I look forward to reading your work and commenting on your site as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        stacilys said:
        March 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM

        Hi Sonyo, please forgive me for taking so long to reply. Life has been crazy busy, and both of my kids celebrated their birthday. Ugh!
        Yea, I didn’t really know that I had a problem until after suffering with chronic insomnia for about 8 years. We suspect adult A.D.H.D. but I’ve never been diagnosed.
        I also look forward to reading your work.
        Please have a lovely week.
        🙂

        Like

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 7, 2017 at 12:12 PM

        I didn’t get diagnosed with A.D.D. until I was an adult! 😋

        Liked by 1 person

        stacilys said:
        March 9, 2017 at 9:37 AM

        I have an older brother that is autistic. I think in part that it wasn’t detected in me because of that. My husband swears I have Asperger’s Syndrome. We have an Aspie so, and we are so much alike.
        Hahaha.
        🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 9, 2017 at 10:11 AM

        Asperger’s is interesting and I’ve been told the same thing that your husband tells you. But, I don’t have it. Just sometimes my OCD and A.D.D. combines to form a nice mix that resemble Aspergers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        stacilys said:
        March 10, 2017 at 8:24 AM

        Yea, I don’t think I have it either. But I do think it’s very possible I have ADHD and OCD.
        Have a wonderful weekend Sonyo.
        🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM

        You too!

        Liked by 1 person

    tiredmindtypingfingers said:
    March 31, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    Great post! I can relate completely, especially when you wrote this: “I have to work at happiness every single day.” I believe that we feel we should just feel happy all the time, that it should just come naturally to us all, that it’s out there and all we need to do is just find it and hold on to it.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 31, 2017 at 9:18 PM

      Thank you, yes “happiness” is a muscle I have to work out every day. 😊 Thanks for reading & commenting, it means a lot. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    indiespiritblog said:
    April 1, 2017 at 1:26 PM

    Such an awesome, real post. I have struggled with Depression And PTSD for years. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone. Keep on working for your happiness 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 1, 2017 at 1:29 PM

      It is definitely nice to know we’re not alone. Thank you for sharing your journey and struggle as well. Have a great weekend. ❤

      Like

    samba2017 said:
    April 2, 2017 at 11:28 PM

    Thanks for sharing – this is a blog which many people could relate to including myself. I think that creative people tend to be hyper sensitive which allows them to feel a whole spectrum of emotions. It is a blessing and a curse but when channelled can be very powerful. Wishing you a good week ahead! I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to look? Have a good day, Sam 🙂

    Like

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 3, 2017 at 2:21 PM

      Hey Sam, I would love to check out your blog. I will do so now and follow you. I try to be an active reader and follower, as well as a commenting. I agree, that creative people do get depressed easily, more so than the “left brainers” But, channeling our energy is definitely key! 🙂

      Like

    NocturnalJen said:
    April 3, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Depression is a horrible illness. I’ve suffered from it for many years and I really appreciate people talking openly about it. Stigma surrounding depression is one of the most difficult to eradicate because it is just so… dark I guess. No one wants to acknowledge it. So many people suffer in silence. xx

    https://tenmoreminutesblog.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 3, 2017 at 10:23 AM

      Thank you for opening up and commenting. Depression is definitely carries negative stigma, but with treatment and awarensss, hopefully we can educate those around us.

      Liked by 1 person

    Maria Kastner said:
    April 9, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    It’s not a difficult thing to talk about, and you did it so beautifully with encouragement for others!

    Liked by 1 person

    lifestyleofanintrovert said:
    April 9, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    This is absolutely beautiful. I’m glad there are people like you that can talk about it real issues like this in such a meaningful way. You are beyond inspiring. Thank you. Lots of Love

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 9, 2017 at 9:02 PM

      Awe…thank you so much. It isn’t easy to talk about real stuff. Sometimes you worry who will read it. What will they think? How will they judge? Will they think I’m weak? Flawed somehow? A sad case? But, I’ve had to move passed what anyone thinks and I had to be honest about myself. Because ultimately, we all struggle with something.

      Many creative people deal with depression and lots of people remain “in the closet” because they fear what employers might think, what co-workers will say. Will they not get that job after they stumble upon a blog post? A lot of things run in my mind when I write, but I am a productive and functioning human, working through my issues and staying on top of it.

      I’m beating depression, I’m doing it every single day…one step at a time. I’m beating it. Thank you for reading and for commenting, it means so much to me. You have no idea. All the best. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    Inese Poga Art plus Life said:
    April 10, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    People who describe themselves as being artistic, are usually very sensitive, as well. They can be moody, they are impacted by changes in the weather, even air pressure, governing winds, seasons, temperature, not to mention the internal disagreements of the brain.
    Depression has many faces and it can also have different intensity, with the worst being a complete lack of interest in anything, not even food or the ambient space. This can be accompanied by strong general pain and, altogether, an upset mind cannot find its way back to the sun.
    Artists are quite often working alone and they are not that rarely lonely. Some types of art simply require to be alone while creating because everything else is a loss of focus.
    In the moments when we receive awards from life, good sales are happening, we feel recognition and appreciation, it can be fine. I personally do not think about any sales any more as some kind of achievement.
    If you suffer from chronic insomnia, you should find out how your adrenal glands and thyroid are doing. That is sometimes a very big deal.
    I had a surgery last summer and I don’t seem to be able to completely recover, so this period has been such that I am on and off, with days when I really have to put huge pressure on me to do anything. Everything bad feels like a huge mountain, while anything good just sparkles for a second and then it is erased.
    I’m writing about life and health in my secondary blog https://inesepogalifeschool.com/ and art is obviously in art blog.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 10, 2017 at 8:18 PM

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal perspective on this subject. ❤️ I will check out your blog. I totally understand what you mean about the mountains you face. Thanks again for sharing!❤️❤️❤️

      Like

    gemmagoddard said:
    April 12, 2017 at 3:44 AM

    Thank you Sonyo your words are so honest, you are so brave!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 12, 2017 at 9:16 AM

      Honesty is important when writing, but not everyone feels comfortable opening up about a struggle like depression. Thank you for noticing the challenge and for appreciating my words. ❤️

      Like

    Chitkala Aditosh (Chitkala Mulye) said:
    April 15, 2017 at 4:35 AM

    I have experienced what you have written… A beautiful piece of writing materialises only after moments of pain and depression..

    Liked by 2 people

    kingshuk599 said:
    April 16, 2017 at 10:36 PM

    Excellent content

    If you feel, you can visit my blog at : https://cheerfulbeings.wordpress.com

    Like

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 18, 2017 at 8:31 PM

      Thank you for reading and enjoying my writing. I checked out your blog and find it inspiring. I’m following you now! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    […] via Pursuing The Arts: Depression & Creative Minds — Writing With Hope […]

    Liked by 1 person

    twicebornblog said:
    April 23, 2017 at 8:09 PM

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m a screenwriter and have suffered from this. I just started blogging a day ago to kind of mentally release. I understand this completely. You might enjoy my first blog. Maybe not. https://wordpress.com/post/twicebornblog.wordpress.com/53

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 23, 2017 at 8:54 PM

      I am so glad you can relate and writing definitely helps. I will check out your blog. Thanks for reading & stopping by. ❤️

      Like

    Sensational said:
    April 23, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    Love this read. PLEASE CHECK OUT MY BLOG I’m new here an would like some help to get started.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 23, 2017 at 10:05 PM

      Thank you for stopping by and for reading. I will definitely check out your blog now. It takes a while, but it’s a great creative outlet. ❤️

      Like

    Danielle Wore What?! said:
    April 25, 2017 at 8:42 PM

    Yes! Loved!

    Like

    daddingdepressed said:
    April 26, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Great post! Way to open up in your art and in your words. Encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 26, 2017 at 11:11 AM

      Thank you so much, I am so glad you commented. I will definitely look at your blog. I love meeting others that can understand and are going through similar journeys! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    mindelate said:
    April 27, 2017 at 4:42 AM

    A very meaningful post. And it’s so true. Depression seems to open up some sort of creative channel within us. Our words flow out of us effortlessly, and even our choice of words improve! Thank you for the post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 27, 2017 at 10:25 AM

      YES!!! You said it so well, Depression opens up that creative channel within us. It’s mind blowing how we can create some of our best work when we take that darkness we feel and move it foward into our art. Thank you so much for commenting! I am pretty good at following others and commenting. I always make an effort to return social media Karma by reading other blogger posts. I will definitely visit your blog! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        mindelate said:
        April 27, 2017 at 12:15 PM

        Thank you! I really connected with your post because it’s something I’ve experienced in the past before I started my blog, when I was experiencing depression. And what would help me would be writing poetry. The words would just flow out of me with minimal effort. Whereas if I tried to write when I’m happy, then I need to think..and I struggle, and have a writers block! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving that lovely comment. I will be reading many more of your posts as I can relate to so many. Followed! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        April 27, 2017 at 7:00 PM

        No problem, I absolutely love your blog!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        mindelate said:
        April 28, 2017 at 10:17 AM

        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    wildsoundreview said:
    April 28, 2017 at 10:14 PM
      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 28, 2017 at 10:53 PM

      Wildsoundreview, thank you so much for the reblog. You don’t know how much I appreciate it! Thank you! ❤ I will check out your blog, I'm all about Social Media Karma & returning the favor. ❤

      Like

    averysmuse said:
    April 29, 2017 at 8:04 AM

    I 100% understand where you’re coming from. Normally I am a quite upbeat person, I’ve never experienced the full effects of depression but one thing that can really get me down is music. When I play clarinet I will occasionally get the feeling of not being good enough and it being a waste of my time. But whenever I can snap out of that mentality I realize I can feel that low and defeated because I care about it so much. I think this goes for all of the arts, something we love so much and put all of ourselves into can make us feel on top of the world one day and then lower than anyone can imagine the next.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      April 29, 2017 at 8:42 AM

      Gosh, it’s sooo true! I find that I am at my best and worst when I am writing. Our art can often conjure up so much in us. It brings out our hidden emotions that lay dormant until it’s thawed and we have to face them.

      Thank you for such an insightful personal perspective! Much ❤ to you and your craft. Keep playing your music and working on your art. ❤

      Like

    theresbeautyineverything said:
    April 30, 2017 at 2:52 AM

    Like you, I suffer from depression, and sometimes the only release from the despair I have is writing – it makes me feel like I have a sense of purpose. My blog is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I love reading your posts and being able to feel not alone 😊

    Like

    ART – Thoughts said:
    May 2, 2017 at 6:38 PM

    […] via Pursuing The Arts: Depression & Creative Minds — Writing With Hope […]

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 2, 2017 at 6:49 PM

      THANK YOU FOR READING & LINKING TO THIS POST! MUCH ❤

      Like

    Kirti Bhardwaj said:
    May 2, 2017 at 8:53 PM

    I just loved this post! I’m also an artist by personality and I’ve also experienced multiple phases of doubt. Perhaps the sensitivity that makes a person artist also makes him/her vulnerable to get into depression.
    Also, I truly agree that in our society we’re told to be human but at the same time, forbidden to express our emotions and weaknesses

    Like

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 2, 2017 at 9:07 PM

      Thank you Kirti, I think we’re definitely sensitive and it makes up more prone to emotional ups and downs. But, yeah I think it is a “sign of weakness” if we share anything negative. Everyone wants us to be so “happy go lucky” all the time. I’m glad there are so many others that can relate. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    Yency Supapo said:
    May 22, 2017 at 1:32 AM

    hi can u please follow me for grades purposes pleaseeeee i will follow u back

    Like

    leanneaudreyy said:
    May 22, 2017 at 10:58 PM

    Thanks for this. Just joined this site as an outlet to depression and yours was the first one I saw.

    Like

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 3, 2017 at 10:15 PM

      Wow, that’s really cool. I am so glad that you joined blogging in order to help with depression. It has helped me immensely and I hope that it does the same for you. I’ll definitely look out for your posts. 🙂

      Like

    livingwithsclero said:
    May 24, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    I love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    achavers22 said:
    June 10, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    I’ve had a love/hate relationship with depression, oddly enough. The “hate” part is pretty much self-explanatory, but the “love” part comes from the fact that SO MANY of my deepest human insights have come from moments of depression. It really does enhance the tone/power of your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 10, 2017 at 8:55 PM

      I agree as well. It enhances everything you write. Depression does that for me. But, it’s the same. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship.

      Like

    Larissa Hammond said:
    June 13, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    I connect so much with this! I started doing morning pages as per Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” It’s been amazing for figuring out and understanding my triggers from PTSD. Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 13, 2017 at 4:46 PM

      I have PTSD as well, so I totally get it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Larissa Hammond said:
        June 13, 2017 at 5:02 PM

        Yeah I just started publicly writing about my experiences with it. Someone recently took advantage of my vulnerability too. It caused a horrible mental breakdown.

        Liked by 1 person

    littlefoxinabox said:
    June 19, 2017 at 8:11 PM

    Happiness is a goal that seems so out of reach. It’s a battle every day

    Like

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 19, 2017 at 10:09 PM

      Happiness is definitely a goal to be reached daily. ❤

      Like

    AWB said:
    July 5, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    I understand you 100%… and good for you because I think it’s not easy at all to admit that you’re scared of how others might perceive you. I understand that feeling well. My art or craft is writing and I feel the frustration always – wanting to create and wanting an ounce of connection with someone that read something of mine and had a reaction to it. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 5, 2017 at 12:06 PM

      It definitely takes a lot of courage to admit you are flawed, it’s harder when it’s a mental health issue. The stigma is there and we face the challenge of being afraid of what others think of our condition. We all want to be positive and happy, but some of us work at our smile harder than others have to. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        AWB said:
        July 5, 2017 at 12:19 PM

        Thank you for being brave enough to write about it!

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        July 5, 2017 at 3:09 PM

        ❤ thank you for taking the time to read! It really means a lot.

        Like

    vanessachoonie said:
    August 14, 2017 at 1:14 AM

    Where’s the Like button? OK, let me just say I like, no.. Love all your posts. We understand each other very well.

    Like

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