The WAR of ART


My Very First Photo Shop Project: At War With Art, JackieDRockwell, 2012.
My Very First Photo Shop Project: At War With Art, Jackie D. Rockwell, 2012.

The book, The War of Art is a gift. Esquire calls it “A vital gem... a kick in the ass.” The book by Steven Pressfield was recommended by a friend. I’m only thirty-nine pages in and for me, as an artist, it is the rod I have been waiting to be struck by. However. As beautifully written as it is, I am certain it is bound to piss me off and or get seriously on my nerves; with all of its “Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battle..” propositions. Like the part about Resistance and Self Medication. 

For context I’ll get raw: This morning I allowed myself to go ahead and increase my recommended dosage of an antidepressant by 20 mg. I've resisted this for nearly a month, since my provider prescribed it. WAITWHUT? Another pill? But every night before entering the universal welcome of slumber, I struggle with some kind of sadness. I struggle with knowing why it is there. I struggle with getting rid of it. I struggle with the solution to it. As we all know, the rabbit hole that sadness can lead to, can be tragically heavy -worst case scenario. The knowing I am sad for fifteen-twenty minutes before I finally doze off, is frightening. So much so that I always resign to taking the increased dosage tomorrow morning. When tomorrow morning comes, I am a stranger to the conversation I had with myself the night before. I’ve forgotten how sad I felt. I can’t stand the idea of another pill that might not work, anyway. And then, for the record, this sadness will hit me in the middle of the day, for no good reason. Because of that, I took the damned extra pill. Believing that falling asleep in a sense of peace and not sadness, is well worth it.

The War of Art discusses briefly the supposed marketing ploys of attention deficit, anxiety, seasonal affect disorders, depression. It’s similar to the if you build it they will come, concept. Tell the people there is such-a-thing as depression, and they will believe it, and buy what you are selling to cure it. What also stands out in this for me is the statement: “Depression and anxiety may be real. But they can also be Resistance.” "Can also be.."  That’s an important aspect of this conversation. Meaning, in addition to; indicating can possibly not, as well as possibly can. -Does this make sense? The point I’m trying to make is, treat diagnosed depression and anxiety as real, don’t speculate about its ulterior motive.. Treat feeling depressed and anxious as something that needs a diagnosis and or treatment. I’m of the belief that those marketing ploys exist to invite people to ask their doctor. #Endrant   

It’s important for me to say as a real person and artist experiencing depression recently, I am not trying to block out my soul’s call, as suggested by the author. Especially not to get some kind of relief a pill might offer. Just as depression is merely a symptom, medication is not an organic cure. It is just a manipulator of brain chemistry and systems. Albeit meds are seriously helpful relief, my brain disallows total faith in them. Which is why, I read, have a therapist, plus, am finally taking the recommended dosage increased. There is no orgasm. No conversation. No divine compensation for acute or chronic sadness when you are trying to fall asleep or be  quiet and still.

Until the medicine of therapeutic healing of my sadness breaks through, I’ve decided to be better off taking the meds. At this stage of my artist journey I need to Be outside the nostalgia of my comfort zones, AS WELL AS Be wary of the ensnarements of helping everyone except myself. 


 Anyone can teach you about love. I can make you good at it.

| Photo & Prose by Jackie D. Rockwell | All Rights Reserved © 2008-2021 |