It is a trope that is used aplenty: the starving artist. The artist in pain. The artist addicted. The stereotype that masterpieces can only be born in suffering is an unhealthy and untrue one. Self-loathing, anger, pain, it can paint a more vivid image, but it should never be your health or your art. Learning self-love is an uphill process that leads to stumbles and falls, but it is a journey that should never be given up on.
Emotions need to be funneled, and the pain experienced can provide a truth to your work that connects us all at a fundamental level, but so too can pure joy and exaltation. Draw on past experiences, not present ones, and leave the pain behind.
Let Therapy Guide You
It is the 21st century. You do not need to hit rock bottom before you seek out therapy as an option. You don’t have to have tried everything else before you reach this stage. If you have felt down, anxious, or otherwise unhappy for a long period of time, then you don’t need to wait until you’ve improved your health or tried new things. Therapy is a guidance tool that supports you no matter what stage you are at, so make it your first place of contact.
Bring in New Hobbies and Habits
With your therapist’s recommendation and support, it will be then time to try new things and bring in new experiences into your life. Your art needs truth, and that truth can be found in living fully and expanding yourself.
Be Aware of Your Options
Loving yourself and your body are powerful states of being, but not everyone can get there just by caring for yourself or dashing away that nagging set of thoughts in your mind. No one bats an eye when plastic surgery is used to fix a hair lip, but the thought of changing your body causes a stir. It shouldn’t, especially with a therapist’s recommendation.
There are many options available. If you have deep-seated insecurity surrounding sex because of the way your genitals look, then changing how they look can lead to a profound impact. David Ghozland, for example, offers clitoral hood reduction that can help you love your body and, due to the removal of excess skin, make sex more pleasurable than ever before.
It is a mistake to believe that self-love can only be found in the total acceptance of your body, or in the changes that you can make naturally. Research, consider and be absolutely certain of the changes before you make them.
The connections we make are what ground us and bring us joy. We are inherently social creatures, but making time for friends does not need to detract from your passion from your art. Collaborate artistically. Set up writing challenges, paint together, create together. Bond and share in your experiences and connect and express yourselves in ways you never thought were possible before. Pain can be a great source of inspiration, but so too can collaborative work and friendship.
If nothing works, that is okay, if the first thing you try works, that is okay. Self-love and mental health are not a competition or something to be compared. Continue to try new things and never give up on the dream you have for yourself.