Eek! I lost my creativity!
I 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.