Using Our Creativity in Our Recovery: A Funny Thing Happened After I Said "Yes"

John McManamy Health Guide
  • I’ve posted many times here on the topic of creativity. A number of leading mental health experts have explored the bipolar connection, most notably Kay Jamison and Nancy Andreasen.


    Most of us would agree that having bipolar is one very high price to pay for artistic and other gifts. Indeed, a good many of us would gladly return the whole package to the customer service counter of life.


    I totally understand. But I also hold the view that as long as we have the gift (not all of us do), why not use it in our own recovery and healing?


    In essence, we are tilling our own soil, tending our own garden, connecting to what makes us feel alive and whole and (sometimes) wanted. I have done this through writing and music. 

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    As many of you know, I play the didgeridoo. The story begins ...


    The other week, I signed up for a “poetry and expressive arts” event sponsored by our local DBSA and NAMI. I expected them to get back to me, telling me I’ve got three minutes on the program. They gave me seven. 


    There is a very fine line between an entertaining experience and a crime against humanity. In my case, that line comes at precisely three minutes and one nanosecond. But, since this is a poetry event, why not fill in some of the time with my poetry?


    Never mind that I’ve only written one poem in my life, and a three-line haiku, at that. Challenge is what we live for. In the words of Virgin founder, Richard Branson: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”


    I’ve already said yes. I have two weeks to learn. 




    I know I’m not the only one who does things like this. Please feel free to share your experiences (and poetry-writing tips). Comments below ...

Published On: April 22, 2014