Broken toy

It was toward the end of the session. We had been talking about the band and music. I had wanted to interject something earlier about songwriting, but for once my therapist was talking more than I was, a refreshing change from my usual babble. At the end of the session, I had my opening. It was nothing I hadn't said to myself before. I've even blogged about it. But somehow saying it aloud in this context was different. And devastating.

"I write songs and make music because I don't think I have intrinsic self worth."

Cue the waterworks.

I've been through a lot of shit in my life, including a childhood and adolescence that weren't always happy, but I thought that for the most part I'd had things pretty good. I hadn't been beaten. No physical or sexual abuse. A good home. Two parents who loved me.

Loved me. Unconditionally? Ay, there's the rub. Somehow, I seem to have received a clear message: to do is to be. Funny how I used that as the title of a recent post. My worth was in what I did, not in who I was. If I didn't live up to expectations, I wasn't good enough.

This is hardly unusual. Lots of people deal with this. I guess it hit me so hard because I didn't think I was one of them. I thought I had come through the shit rather well. I thought I had dealt with my demons and reached a point of happiness. And for the most part, I think I have. But that doesn't mean there might not be a serious crack or two in the foundation.

In Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, it doesn't matter where things came from. You don't have to dig into your past or find someone to blame. CBT is about the present and fixing things now. So I will be working on this in the sessions to come. I have to. Cracks in the foundation can bring down an entire structure, and I don't want that happening. It teeters alarmingly already. At least now I have a good idea why that's so.

I have to admit that I'm a little nervous. It's important to me to be creative, to make music, to write songs (and other things, like this blog on all-too-rare occasion). What if that creativity is based on my being fucked up? I'm not sure that mental health and creativity really go together. But maybe that's foolish. Maybe if I can fix a deep-set problem, I can be more and not less creative. It's not like I'm writing that much now. Maybe my problems are holding me back, not fuelling anything good. I can still draw on plenty of things in my life and in the lives of others. Healing a deep wound might be just what I need to create even more.

1 comment:

Aerin Caley said...

This idea of great art coming from screwed up people is a relatively new idea, to the best of my knowledge. You're motivations might need tweaking, but if the talent and desire weren't there, you'd have found a different outlet. Just think what you'll make when you come to it from stability and joy!