Embrace your perspective

Embrace your perspective

3 years

I was given the advice to embrace your perspective when I felt that my cognitive abilities might be limited because of the mental and developmental disorders I experience. 

Schizoaffective Disorder (SSD) affects my life in so many ways. I find it challenging to prioritise everyday things, struggle with concentration and motivation (which are not related to something I like), have moments of fatigue (especially brain fog) and have difficulty communicating with people (in person). In the past, I have had experiences of delusions, hallucinations and a distorted interpretation of reality. Additionally, I experience multiple symptoms of ASD (Aspergers), which has not been formally diagnosed. 

Before I was diagnosed (with SSD), creative projects were an outlet and a form of expression. I lived and breathed in the worlds that captured my imagination and the fantasy sometimes merging with reality. I didn’t feel limited because I didn’t know the experiences I was having were crossing boundaries or beginning to dominate my whole life.

As I became more aware, had treatment and found ways to manage my condition, I did begin to have a sense of despair. Could I possibly have free creative expression? Could I continue to create designs? How could I possibly create designs for other people?

I was given the advice to embrace your perspective, and it changed my whole approach. Rather than feel challenged by working outside my viewpoint and fighting my symptoms, I learned to embrace them. 

I began by acknowledging how I view the world is slightly different and grants me a unique perspective. From the way my brain processes information to the encounters I have had (and much more), I learned to structure my creative approach in ways that work for me. (For example, creating simple vector illustrations involving geometric shapes with a special interest in the kawaii art style). I also made sure I took my time, didn’t pressure myself, and continued to learn at a manageable pace (studying one class at University per term). 

All of these forces assisted with acknowledging that what I have to share with the world matters. To not only embrace my perspective but to also feel hopeful about where inspiration may lead. 

I understand that we all come from different places and have unique experiences. If you feel comfortable, I could love to hear your story in the comments or email me at kassyoshea@gmail.com.

6 Responses

  1. That’s really very good advice. As a storyteller, I try to start with my story. What I have to tell. Living with mental illness can make you question that. I’m glad I’ve had some time to rediscover that. I’m finally able to embrace my experience as a Latin/Hispanic person and am able to share my story more easily now. I’m glad you’re also on a journey of self-discovery! It’s truly amazing the things we learn about ourselves.

  2. You’re one of the most creative people that I know, Kassy! Mental illnesses can truly be draining, I know that for sure, but I can see that it definitely does not hinder your creativity. I know exactly what you mean about the brain fog, overwhelming fatigue and lack of concentration because I experience that on a daily basis.

  3. I have to agree. I have always felt that mental illness gave us unique perspectives that those without mental illness didn’t have. Just as different mental illnesses give you different perspectives. I think we should all embrace what is unique and different about us and try and look at our mental illnesses from a different light. It’s hard to do, but it can be freeing if we can manage it.

  4. I love your art! You’ve grown and evolved so much! It’s beautiful to see your journey as a person and how self knowledge affects your work positively.

  5. It’s hard to help yourself in situations where you find that your view is at odds with reality, even slightly. I suffered a pretty bad injury almost eleven years ago and I pretty rapidly lost the will to do things that I once loved (like blogging) because I found out the hard way that the way I was doing things wasn’t the healthiest. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world but when you can’t leave your own home and you realize it changes *nothing*, it’s hard! I was so wrapped up in blogging and creative things that I didn’t even realize I had no life outside of them until I was forced to stay in bed. My mental and emotional state at the time bent towards anxiety and finding out that I wasn’t really living my life made going back to my creative outlets really hard.

    I think you should be really proud of yourself for looking at the hand you were dealt and deciding you were going to make it work for you and keep doing what you love. I really admire that! I wish I had done!

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