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The Divergent and Convergent Paths of Creativity and Recovery

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The Divergent and Convergent Paths of Creativity and Recovery

This post diverges from the series I’ve been writing On Art and Writing. I find it disappointing. I was just about to get to the really good parts of non-verbal expression and delight in creation. But in many ways, it is like a switch has flipped. I haven’t quite crossed that bridge. I haven’t quite experienced that delight. I’m still recovering.

My mind is following an old path. I find myself checking my email as a way to give myself direction and define what it is I am “supposed” to be doing, rather than a means of connection. I wake in the middle of the night running lists of what I need to do, rather than simply contemplating the way the streetlight casts shadows. I’m stuck on doing. That is the problem. I’m not embracing my being.

I can’t quite identify how or when it happened. I know Monday was a wonderful day. Tuesday, I felt intense, creative, alive. Tuesday night I got smacked upside the head with a random onset from my chronic bronchitis. Three  years in a row now, I suffer from it this time of year. Three years in a row, I suffer with it as I submit a specific set of documents.

It feels like a reminder. A reminder of what a slippery slope addiction and recovery can be. I found myself disappointed in myself. “I want to prove that I can be successful in breaking through my addiction.” Then I have to laugh at how ridiculous that it. I have to draw boundaries. I have to turn off my email. I have to know that I have a choice in what I do and how I choose to be. I have to remember that I am recovering. I have to focus on breathing. I have to remember the value of balance.

I can remember why I write. And what a value writing has for me. I can remember how far I’ve come.

I can remember what it means to be human. I can remember what it means to listen.  winter woods

Above all, I can know that some days are just better than others. I can know that I am not alone. I can know that this too shall pass. And in time, I will celebrate the next milestone in my recovery. Whatever it might be.


About Rachel

Rachel is an independent artist and writer who thrives on sharing her deep appreciation for the natural world. She has taught college courses in wildlife identification, ethnobotany, environmental science, natural resource management, and cultural studies. She lives in North Dakota with her two boys, husband, dog, and cats. She enjoys gardening, cooking, drawing, writing, hunting, hiking, and snowshoeing, but is usually too tired to do any of these, except for writing...

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