Perhaps, as someone shared with me, my approach to addiction/depression may work in “mild” cases, but probably wouldn’t work in more severe cases. Again, my approach to depression/addiction (and to life in general) is: 1) To seek and find beauty in what can be a dark world; and, 2) Create and express truth. Art, by its nature, address both points within my approach and provides a disruptive force against depression/addiction. I can’t say for certain what will work in any case and really, I believe we should all counter darkness by any means necessary. But Art presents beauty and creating art allows expression of truth. There is relationship in Art.
In order to better explain, I tend to think of depression/addiction as black holes. A black hole, at least simplistically, occurs when a star or a planet collapses into a super-dense mass with an enormous gravitational pull. This super-dense mass is called a singularity and consumes all matter and energy. The gravitational pull extends outward from the singularity; there is an invisible boundary called the event horizon at some distance beyond the singularity, that once crossed, nothing can escape. It looks like:
I do think depression/addiction can be thought of just like a black hole. A life collapses into a single point, either a compulsive drive towards a substance/behavior (in addiction) or a complete withdrawal from all of life (in depression). As a person descends into his or her depression/addiction, there will be a point that, once crossed, they may not escape. Regardless of treatment methods, or of friends and family begging, or of any meds, once the point of no return is passed, all anyone can do is accept the reality that there is nothing anything anyone can do for the afflicted. Death is the inevitable result of untreated addiction/depression and if we deny addiction/depression’s existence, the point of no return will be crossed.
Really, the best thing we can do is to avoid the black hole to begin with. That’s a lot easier said that done. If we do encounter the black hole of addiction/depression, if we can feed light into the consuming darkness, we can disrupt addiction/depression’s progression because seeing all that is strong and good and beautiful will shrink the event horizon in the human realm. And the connection between creator and created provides a lifeline that we can use to pull ourselves away from the pull of darkness. I don’t like or believe in the concept of “rock bottom” because if we don’t treat addiction/depression, the bottom just gets lower and lower. The only real bottom is death.
I think it’s better to live in such a way that allows light to flow within our lives. Art, to me, is the path through which that light can flow. Whether someone is drawn to music or paintings or sculpture or dance or writing (or all of the above), the creation of light is the natural consequence. A song that makes us happy, even for a moment, can provide a connection to a world far bigger than any single life. We relate with the universality of positive experience. It’s easy to see and intake the negative energy in this world. But if we choose to, we can just as easily see the positive energy.
I don’t have to be right. I leave arguments about dichotomies to smarter people who seem to think themselves capable of judgment. I am certain, though, that a life lived searching and finding light with a sense of connectedness to all of life allows me to find my truth. The technical stuff and the right or wrong stuff is someone else’s argument.