Eek! I lost my creativity!

hand-squishing-play-dohI wish this was just a post about blogger’s block. Truth is, it’s a lot bigger than that. For a few months now, I’ve been struggling with this nagging feeling that I’m just not cool anymore. I don’t do cool things or get involved in things the way that I used to. Am I just getting boring? Is this the side effect of being a new parent?

It should have occurred to me that something was up when my good friend and sister blogger LP sent over a super cool article about someone in the movement who moonlights as a foodie, blogger, and cookbook author. My reaction was,


“Things like this make me think I need some more interesting hobbies!”

What in the world is that about? Is my creativity really lost? Gone the days of being a cool, interesting, badass activist?

No! Enter enlightenment my friends.

Reading Trauma Stewardship today, I got to the chapter outlining common trauma responses. Holy crap…I’ve got them. Not all of them, but more than I care to admit. It’s a different kind of trauma response now than it was when I was a children’s advocate. Back then, it was nightmares. Now, it’s something different. I got to the part about Diminished Creativity and realized that she was talking about me!

At first, I was mad at myself. I’ve identified and survived vicarious trauma before in my career. I was able to overcome my nightmares by journaling. In a sense, the nightmares were an easy thing to identify and overcome. They were an event, a happening…something I could pinpoint and explain and it was really easy to know when I stopped having them.

This time, my trauma response seems more like a chronic, poking, dragging sort of feeling. It crept in like dense morning fog and it took a spotlight for me to realize that I wasn’t thinking clearly anymore. My second reaction to reading about Diminished Creativity as a trauma response was relief. It all kind of makes sense now and I feel like I am going to be able to work on it.

Days like today, when everything comes together and it all makes sense, make me thankful for the opportunities that I have. I happen to work with a bunch of cool people who care about, think about, and actively work to dispel vicarious trauma. If it weren’t for these people and the culture of this workplace, I would never have read this book. I might have gone on feeling uncool and uncreative. That’s just no way to be my friends.


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Submitted by erich on

Very good post.  I've been feeling similarly lately.  While I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with these kinds of feelings, it is nice to know that I'm not the only one.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the resources.

Submitted by amperrotto on

I have a feeling that this is a common experience. It's interesting that even in an organization that is hyper-aware of vicarious trauma, these very common responses creep up on us or go unnoticed.