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Creativity isn’t something you should suppress

When contained, creativity will manifest within you in other, less desirable ways.

CREATIVITY ISN’T something you should suppress. You can try, of course; but creativity, when contained, will manifest within you in other, less desirable ways. Suppressed creativity will come out in the form of anxiety, depression, paranoia, obsessive thoughts.

I was talking to a friend recently. This friend suffers from anxiety and obsessive thoughts that swiftly spiral out of control with the ultimate conclusion to her self-manifested story being one of death and destruction.

She’s like the female version of me, or how I used to be.

I’m not saying I no longer battle anxiety—I do—but, by and large, it doesn’t overtake me and dominate my every thought as it once did.

I meditate like a motherfucker now.

I take long walks.

I bathe in the sounds of birds and the forest and escape artificial light and air any chance I get by going outside into a living, breathing landscape of leaves and trees and squirrels and bugs.

So, as I was talking to her, I said, “Have you ever tried writing or recording your thoughts on your phone?”

“No,” she said.

“You should,” I said.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because most of what you’re describing are plots or scenes within never before written blockbuster action films or novels. Maybe you don’t have anxiety so much as you have suppressed creativity. Maybe you’re Spielberg or Tarantino or Stephen King and just don’t know it.”

“I’ve never thought of it that way,” she said.

“Me neither, until now,” I said.

Photo by Rob Potter on Unsplash

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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