Balancing Our Trauma and Creativity

The other day I was having a conversation with a fellow trauma survivor and writer. She posed a question to me.

How do you balance everything you want to do and keep your head together?

There are many blogs about creativity which advise on this subject, and many of them contain very valuable information.  So, I had to answer her from my own personal perspective.  Instead of repeating what is suggested, I wanted to answer her direct question about my daily process specifically.

You see, I am a free-flow creative. Forcing me to follow a set schedule is a sentence for the death of my creativity and passion. It is the driving force that will push me into emotional flat feel. I will strain against the confined system and begin to have a growing irritation towards the control of a schedule until I wither.

Any rigid type of living, for me, is a recipe for depression as I stare at the screen because it’s 1 PM, this is my scheduled time to write, but I don’t want to be writing at the moment. My soul wants to create art, work on other projects or even rest for a while.

Many branding gurus advise to stick to that strict schedule and don’t vary from it. because that is how successful people happen! So it was that I redefined the meaning of success for myself.

Read here to find out makes me feel successful.

Do I pay attention to the marketing side of my brand? Absolutely. I am a lone wolf with a friend who helps me with computer tasks when she can. I have no expectations of her. She has a family and helps me for free. I bow and kiss her feet for that! 95% of my brand is solely controlled and operated by me.

Do I read branding blogs? Absolutely. Following branding bloggers like BadReadheadMedia, by 30 Day Marketing Challenge author Rachel Thompson, have given me excellent information. Partaking in Twitter hashtags like #MondayBlogs, #SexAbuseChat and #NoMoreShame, have helped me connect with some great trauma survivors who are vulnerably baring their souls. Connecting with creative trauma survivors, like artist Liz Ianelli and podcaster Matt Pappas, keep me inspired.

What I don’t do is allow what I read about suggested success methods to pressure me. I glean what feels fitting for my own life and my brand, and I incorporate it. I don’t change the specific routine I have for my-self care, a routine for which no specific schedule really exists. I make a “to do” list almost every day (because 1/2 of it is usually carry over from the prior day), and if there’s a timeline due, I make note of it. In the end, though, I always do things in a rhythm which matches my own positive flow. If something sinks me, it’s not for me.

Being a trauma survivor and a creative can be daunting. When I put too much pressure on myself, I tend to drop into shutdown. My creativity flow is dependent on the state of my mental health.

I always put my mental health and quest to continue being the healthiest before everything.

If two hours is all I have to give to my creativity on some days, that’s what I give. Some days I don’t create at all. Other days I catch a wind and go for hours. All of this is is unpredictable and unknown for me.

My creativity is flowing water at a pace I currently feel happiest following. I cannot re-carve the banks of its river. Instead, I float its calm stretches and row its rapids, staying with the grain of the waves and enjoying the view along the way. To me, this is balance. For me, this is the best route to reach the vast sea of success.

I hope you stay balanced through your creative journey by putting yourself first. I hope you take walks in the trees or lay in the grass and count the clouds. I hope you free flow with yourself, absent of any painful expectation, and know that if you care for the growing plant of your creative well, you are guaranteed to grow into the tallest tree.

P.S. Today I accomplished vacuuming and this blog post. SUCCESS

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

Streams Of Consciousness | 6.18.15

Your call tonight left me hollow / my chest is under bricks / breath heavy / I feel you separating / and I touched you for a time / like when I was a child / I admired you / now I lose you / again / you’re going back to them / back to the smothering caverns / so familiar / fear of the unknown / is greater / than the pain you’ve called home / so you choose / the lesser of the two / I am riddled with the loss of you / he will isolate your mind again / make the rest of us out to be villains / years will pass / and there will be the memories / of the few months we / laughed and planned / two girls once more / like before / we have always been / a family torn / can I hold this space / my arms are weary / and I am leery of losing / the strands of this heart / are violin strings / shorn from themselves / my skin sleeps but / the lump in my throat / says weep, girl, weep / this sadness runs so deep / I am a million pieces / each trying to figure it out / the turned down mouth / a smile lost / yet all is flat / no real tears yet / will they come? / maybe it’s time I go back / reclaim the coldness / so I don’t have to hold this / next time it will be worse / the hurt / it will beat you / until your knees shake / and you said you were done / with heartache / I wonder how much more / you’ll take / if you’ll outlive / the emotional rape / but I got a journey / I have to take / and I can’t stay, sweet sister / I can’t stay / holding space I gave / and still I love / still I yearn / as the tides turn / becoming the ash we burned / in the hopes that your loneliness / wouldn’t become excuses / and I must tarry on / with my mission / but first I must try / to cry / so the heaviness / will turn light / replaced by acceptance / but first / I gotta feel this

Stream Of Consciousness 6.1|15

Where do I go on nights when my skin aches; when I feel invisible hands gently massaging my heartache. I clutch pillows, squeezing into pieces until it mimics the human form. I am so far from home. Here alone, swept into the solitary existence of the empath; seeing signs in their eyes as they die. Where do I sing when even the wind is lonely. We are elements without the ability to rewind time. I am not sad. I am contemplative. I feel each strand of my DNA. Close my eyes; watch the molecules fall and rise, morphing sunrise into moonlight. I am a droplet in a waterfall, a music note inside the siren’s call. Hold me tight. I’m feeling it all. Where do I go when I need fixing? Which seamstress has mastered my stitching? I am holding mirrors threading needles through my skin, piecing together some of the fragments again. Did you know I rise and fall a thousand times before I can retrieve my mind? Guess who’s here, my dear? Ms. Melancholy Blues. She watches you run every time the feelings coming. Over emotional roller coaster, could you love her the most with matted eyelashes, swollen from fear letting? Where do we go from here? You played the game the wrong way, sucked inside a wormhole, and now you can’t get away. I feel the watching. I hear the echoed talking. I’m observing, hovering, recovering from temporary setbacks. I am raw and splayed, repairing the frays. And who will hold me when the minutes get lonely? The dark shadows and moon tides? Or the memory of a night I didn’t have the strength to say no?