There's nothing worse than having a ready supply of muffin stumps.
There are some things in life that have no perceived value. You'd like to think there's some value, but nope. You're just stuck with this raw material for treasures no one in their right mind wants.
And so it is with me and melancholia.
But Scientific American is pleading my case!
It turns out that depression improves focus. Contrary to the stereotype of the creative, depressed artist, depression depresses creativity, but in exchange it improves focus. I think their experiment is pretty weak, and in fact, that it really proves that depressed people are more nitpicky (which is not exactly news) but I'll grasp at any straw in a storm. :-)
If they are right, then maybe I can use the gloomier moments of life to address issues that require deeper focus. It's an interesting thought.
Again with the unexpected twist at the end of the article, though.
As for the myth of the depressed but brilliant artist, Anderson speculates that creativity may be a form of self-medication, giving a gloomy artist the chance to adopt a cheerful disposition.
Almost certainly true.
I love to create things, and creating can absolutely lift me out of, "it," whatever it might be. But, it is so hard to make the brain create when it feels ineffectual.
BTW, I find that depression is not primarily a mood. It is a response. It is the response of despair in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
[OK, I'm really in "train of thought" mode here. Sorry. I love motivational posters, but one of the worst is, "Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off of your goals." What vitriolic pablum! (Yes, cussing would be easier, and more to the point, but the mere idea of a poisonous, syrupy sweet paste amuses me more than saying what I was really just thinking then.) Do those addled half-wits at the poster company really not believe in insurmountable obstacles?]
Anyway, I was just say that depression was busy being a response to insurmountable obstacles, the response of despair. Grief for loss of hope, and grief for the loss of the things hoped for, followed by a general unwillingness to believe that anything else is worth having or doing. This leads to a systemic deadening. Hands, heart and spirit take on the character and weight of lead.
Creating something is the perfect answer to despair.
Remembering that I am capable of seeing something that doesn't exist, and bringing it to be, is a wellspring of joy. Creation requires faith. And faith opposes despair. So, creativity becomes an indirect tool. It's like having to do some woodwork in the basement. Step one is cleaning the workbench. That workbench needed cleaning for weeks, but it's the chance to create something that causes me to finally square it away.
Creating something doesn't clear the depression, but it gives me a reason and a little hope, and I am able to clear those cobwebs myself. If I can see something that needs to exist, then I can find the faith to attack the things keeping it from existing.
Ah well, I found it interesting.