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8 Steps I Took to Reclaim My Voice
A quick guide covering what I learned after losing myself
Last week, I wrote a longer post about losing my voice.
I hope this sheds some light on ways people and circumstances can, unintentionally or intentionally, shut out your thoughts and feelings. There are many more than what my story held.
If you’re experience something similar, here are some things I did to find myself again. Feel free to try them. If they don’t work, try something else. But always keep trying.
Dabble in creative projects.
Luckily, none of my ideas came fast, nor did my perfectionism scream at me at this time. I dove back into poetry. I began drafting a novel I’d shelved. Then I dropped it just as quick. Doll customization videos played on my TV, beckoning me to try. I bought a doll. After doing repainting her eyes, I reconsidered my desire.
Remember that it’s okay to quit these projects just as fast as you started them. This is a time to find yourself, not write the next great American novel, okay?
Start reading, watching movies & series again.
This may sound lazy. However, you may have more time than you did before. Reading & watching helps you re-learn what you like and dislike, not just in fiction.
I remembered my love for world building and stories when I binged Full Metal Alchemist: The Brotherhood. I remembered my love for crafting characters with doll customization videos. It also reminded me how much I loved to finger paint!
Therapy is expensive. There are apps to help that, even at their paid price, can give you a hand for cheaper than in-person. Better Help, despite some questionable ethics from the higher ups, does help you find a therapist that could fit into a tight budget.
I highly recommend Therapy in a Nutshell for FREE videos to guide you.
Whether it’s a licensed therapist or video, seeking help will help. You may only need to vent. You may need to unravel the road that led you to losing yourself. Whichever the case, find a confidant or resource.
You’re not meant to carry everything yourself.
Learn how to manage anxiety.
This may not apply to you. However, I experienced higher anxiety than previously. Therapy in a Nutshell has a series on anxiety that may help. She also has a quick, 5 step video on it.
You may need some medication to help you through this work. I needed a low dose of Lexapro due to Crohn’s throwing my hormones out of whack. You may need more or none at all. Don’t be afraid to discuss your options with your doctor.
Remember, anxiety doesn’t disappear. It’s a human experience. But it can become manageable.
Seek a support system.
I already had excellent friends in my Bible study and parents I could lean on. Along with these, I sought out people who liked me for me, stumbling across a singles “group” from a friend I made years back.
You may not be as lucky. You might not have many friends to lean on, let alone ones you trust. I suggest starting with people you could re-kindle a friendship with. They don’t need to hear every deep & dark secret.
Don’t be afraid to talk with people you don’t or barely know. You can make new friends. It’s not too late.
Get out of the house.
It doesn’t have to be more than once per week. You’re allowed to sulk in the corner of a cafe, but get out. This will keep you out of your own head & open new doors as you talk with others.
A talk with a stranger may lead you to a book club, bar get together, or another person you click with. You can take baby steps, but do start talking with strangers. You’ll be surprised what doors can open by being *gasp* outside the house.
Do any (safe & not harmful) thing that doesn’t feel like nothing.
Being in a relationship that takes for years can leave you empty. Follow the things that spark any joy, anything that feels less numb and a little happier. Do things that you feel neutral about.
I did know some things. I still loved cats and the color blue. Staring out into the sunset as the city lamps turned on one by one gave me undeniable pleasure. Finally, I had an itch to create.
I followed these & found the path back to myself.
Don’t try to speed up the process.
You’re re-learning how to be you. You may even be adding new things about yourself to the list. It’s a process. You will get to the end (in terms of knowing what you can at the time with the current lifestyle you have). Most importantly, you have time to get there.
Nothing will be missed if you need an extra day to stay inside. Just do your best to keep going.
Need some interesting holes to jump down? I gotchu.
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