Guest Post by Fryn Lane – BPD & Creativity

Recently I’ve decided to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Here we have Fryn Lane who talks about having EUPD/BPD, and how she uses creativity as a way of managing it. Please check out her blog by clicking here.

fryn

Hi, I’m Fryn, I’m 22 years old and I have recurrent depression as a result of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, also known as Borderline Personality Disorder. This has quite a big impact on my daily functioning; my feelings are very intense. Relationships with me can be intense at times no matter how hard I try to curtail it. My boyfriend Joe has his own mental health problems (we click because we have good mutual understanding and empathy) and it is very tricky to manage our individual problems alongside supporting one another. I also have extreme self-loathing, and a constant stream of self-critical thoughts narrating my every day.

One of the key ways I cope with my mental illness is through creativity. I am currently recovering from a depressive episode that hit back in November 2014. It’s been a long time, and keeping me as sane as possible have been my many creative outlets. When, in November, my depression was at its worst, I could not function. I could not think, I could not cope. At this point, I was not creative. I went into Hobbycraft, my favourite shop, to find a new project. For the first time, nothing inspired me, I felt broken. Where was the creative spark I relied upon to get me through? I left the shop in tears.

It was not until a few months later, as the depression was beginning to lift, that my creative ‘spark’, or energy, came back. My creativity is a huge part of my identity and helps me define who I am in my murky sea of moving goalposts and slipping standards. I love being creative, and with a diagnosis of EUPD, with my intense emotions I have a lot of feeling to pour into what I create. I need to feel something strongly in order to create, and the EUPD helps with that! I only ever feel things strongly!

What I do creatively really varies. I go through phases and bore easily so what you see me working on one week will not be the same as what I work on the week after. I paint, I crochet, I design and sew cross stitch, I bake, I cook new things, I draw, I colour, I make things with clay, I build things and I make a mess. I get stuck in, I rip up paper for collages, I use pastels, paint, pencils, felt tips, I write I craft I create. It varies based on my mood, I never plan my future creations, and as I say I go through phases. I’m no real artist; perhaps it is my low self-esteem talking but I often make something and then wish to destroy it straight away. I often detest what I have created, but equally sometimes I feel I have created something truly beautiful.

My favourite at the moment is colouring in (the adult colouring book craze that’s hit the UK is amazing! Seriously, there are so many designs and books to choose from, it’s brilliant!) I often get frustrated with my own drawing inability, so to colour a pre-drawn design feels really therapeutic. It’s great for mindfulness, and you can really express your emotions through the colours you choose. I have stuck all my pictures on my wall to cheer me up; the images I coloured when more depressed used darker, foreboding colours yet my more recent stuff is multi coloured and fun – It’s a visual log of my progress in escaping this depressive episode. And it’s great to pick up and do when I feel a bit stressed out.

I have also been making clay figures that express my emotions from air drying clay. The process of mixing paints and decorating the models, as well as squishing the clay in my fingers is really calming. I can be making models for hours and not notice the time passing. Which is great; because I’m not able to work at the moment being creative keeps my mind active. Someday perhaps when I am better and more able I hope to embark on a creative career, too. My creativity comes hand in hand with my mental illness, and I’d never manage without the release for my emotions and the structure it provides for my day.

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17 thoughts on “Guest Post by Fryn Lane – BPD & Creativity

  1. tracihalpin says:

    I love how you do all different things. I bought one of those adult coloring books too. I tried latch hooking but it frustrated me. I bought a color by numbers paint set but I haven’t opened it yet. I like painting on a canvas. I’ve done that twice. I was manic when I painted my last one and it is dark and full of rage and my struggle between good and evil. It’s too scary to hang up!
    Thanks for your inspiration. I have bpd too and I work in a dbt book with a dbt therapist. I’m on the mindfulness chapter now.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Fryn says:

      Latch hooking was too slow and frustrating for me, goo? I’ve never tried painting by numbers! I’d like to though – I’m not great at painting on canvas although I’ve tried and have multiple unfinished bad paintings. Even if you can’t display the painting, I still find it so cathartic to have a visual representation of how I feel. Thanks for reading my post! And DBT is supposed to be magic for us folks with BPD; I’ve only just started with my therapist. Xx

      Liked by 3 people

  2. jennymarie4 says:

    Thanks for sharing, Fryn! You’re so talented and creative. I love the drawing you posted, the colors are beautiful. And I love the clay person… It captures so many emotions, and I think it’s adorable (even with a sad face). It’s great you have so many creative outlets to help you. I wrote a post on art therapy and the coloring books for adults, very fun! Take care, Jenny

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Annelisa says:

    Inspirational! So impressed how you turn your hand to so many crafts. I’ve seen samples of some of the things you do, and you always put so much energy into whatever you’re doing at the time, and your crafts are often so detailed with a great eye for colour!
    Great post Fryn!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BrizzleLass says:

    Wow, thanks for this Fryn. I really admire people who are crafty and artistic. My creative flair didn’t land in that pool and I get no pleasure or relief from these things, even colouring in causes me more frustration so I steer clear! I love how we all have different ways of finding some peace, and quiet and I love to hear about what others do. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not So Cold says:

    Thank you for such a great post. When I was younger, I did not believe the power of art and creativity. It was only when I was required to participate in Art therapy that the “light came on”. I am far from being an artist, but painting has become a great compliment to my writing for expressing difficult thoughts and feelings.

    Keep up the good work!
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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