Touched With Fire, which discusses the relationship between creativity and mental illness. She writes about all the painters, poets, writers, and musicians who have struggled with depression and bipolar disorder.
I have struggled with PTSD, depression and anxiety, and I remember worrying that my creativity would disappear if I went on medication. Truth is, the healthier I got, the more creative I got.
A couple months ago I saw this interview with Jeff Tweedy, one of my heroes, and he touched on the subject of the tortured artist. He put it into words quite beautifully.
"I’ve struggled with the idea of the tortured artist a lot in my life and I’ve been through addiction. I’ve been through periods of pretty serious depression and anxiety and I do struggle with it and struggle with staying healthy and I don’t personally subscribe to that idea. In fact I think it’s a very damaging mythology that has grown up around the idea of art being a product of pain as opposed to being something that’s created in spite of pain. I look at it that way, that the part of me that was able to create managed to create in spite of the problems I was having almost as if that was the only healthy part of me and that’s the part of me that I felt like getting healthier I was able to nurture."
*photo by Jim Newberry