One of the interesting symptoms of the conditions I am experiencing is being annoyed at things that change or affect my small circle of existence for no reason. The gold old 10cc song Art for Art’s Sake waxes lyrical about while society is focussed on making money, there is still a need for some things to be done for the love of them – such as love and art.
I was working through the corporate and entertainment world suffering with my conditions under the surface – while still presenting the happy go lucky face of a confident and secure person – I found myself focussed on the materialistic side of things. I needed to make money, I needed a new car, I needed a new gadget. Goods and chattels were most important because they showed how successful I was and, if I was successful, then I couldn’t have anything wrong with me, could I?
There was little time for enjoyment of the more abstract parts of life – those things that affect emotions rather than the physical parts of life. All that stuff was just a waste of time and energy – so it was ignored. I could never just sit and enjoy a painting, or poetry. Lyrics of songs weren’t important, it was all about the beat. Sitting quietly in nature was a waste of time that could be better spent making money to buy stuff. Even books I read needed to be non-fiction or based around factual events – I wanted to learn from other people’s experiences to help me do what I did better.
Very occasionally could I sit and read a fictional book and let my imagination control the images – I wanted to be told how, where, when, why and whom; not make it up in my head. Which I now see as a strange situation – I was always told that I had a vivid imagination and was a very creative person, which I now understand, but at the time my mind couldn’t comprehend the need to do something just for the sake of doing it; for enjoyment.
I even had one of the people I admired most as a performer, who was always surrounded by creative people, introduce me to an audience at the end of a show as the most creative person she knew. Maybe an off the cuff comment at the time but it opened a door in my mind and made me start to think that maybe I should be doing creative, not physical or financially focussed stuff.
I now understand the gnawing that I always had in my gut – yes I was successful in business, I made a lot of money, I had status, I had a reputation for quality work but I always felt that something was missing in my life, an emptiness deep inside eating away. I now see that it was the real me, the creative, imaginative, curious and emotional me. It was there hidden away underneath the emotional numbness that had been imposed upon me by external forces – military indoctrination along with my perceived need to be professionally successful in my career path.
The need to “keep up with the Jones’s” was there unconsciously while the creative me was being held in side not allowed to escape. Since being diagnosed with my conditions, my life has changed and I now see the beauty in the world and in people. I am no longer dictated to by social norms and the need to be seen as a winner – true, I no longer have a set income and I watch the savings erode daily but I now have a life where I focus on the more abstract things, the emotional parts of life – nature and art, being kind and compassionate – and being creative and emotional.
My life has changed and, as a result, my world has changed – I focus on me, still with a desire to help people and I have a love for the real world, not the artificial bullshit world of “the economy”, government, corporations and financials. I go and sit on a beach and write stage shows, sit in a forest and draw up stage plans, go to the mountains and write poetry or get up at 4:00 in the morning and write a blog post as I see a new day dawn out my office window.
And I am happy……… ish*.
*I know there is still a long way to go on the road to recovery.
When you get down, down to the root
Don’t give a damn don’t give a hoot
Still gotta keep makin’ the loot
Gotta make her quick as you can
Give her lovin’ make you a man
Get her in the palm of your hand
Bread from Heaven
Gimme a country
Where I can be free
Don’t need the unions
Keep me in exile the rest of my days
Burn me in hell but as long as it pays
Art for arts sake
Money for Gods sake
Eric Stewart / Graham Gouldman
Art for Art’s Sake © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Schubert Music Publishing Inc