Creativity & Addiction In The Performing Arts

Creativity can be quite beneficial as it is oftentimes used in that of addiction recovery. Yet even so, the need to obtain creativity—after it has slipped away, out of reach—can bring about a whole new problem, centered around substance abuse. In turn, this may cause one to place blame on creativity, or the creator himself/herself, rather than looking at the reason behind/for his/her addiction. The biggest consequence of this is that, creativity can pose as an advantage—or a disadvantage—depending on whether or not the creator holds creativity, or whether creativity holds the creator.

First and foremost are the advantages that come through creativity, which can help performing artists who are struggling with addiction rediscover their passion in a healthy—drug and alcohol free—way. For, it is through the performing arts (which is defined as, “forms of creative activity that are performed in front of an audience, such as drama, music, and dance”) that one can better express—what they are not yet ready to verbalize—through various approaches such as; art therapy, music therapy, etc.

Art therapy is “a form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modeling, used as a remedial activity or an aid to diagnosis”, while music therapy is “the prescribed use of music to restore, maintain, and improve emotional, physical, physiological, and spiritual health and well-being”. It is through these two therapeutic exercises, among a number of others, that performers—and/or addicts as a whole—can be restored to their former selves, as each helps them to process their feelings in a healthy way.

In contrast, creativity can also pose as a disadvantage if the creator begins to let it rule their life to the point of addiction. For, he/she may begin to grow frustrated by the inability to express what he/she is feeling efficiently, and may become even more upset if he/she has little to no inspiration. In response to such, he/she then finds himself/herself using because he/she finds that he/she likes the way it makes him/her feel, and in turn lets his/her addiction to creativity create an outlet to addiction in other areas of his/her life.

In conclusion, creativity is what the the creator makes it to be. It can either become one’s downfall if he/she begins to crave it after it has gone astray—and in place of such begins to use. Or, it can be used as a healthy outlet for anyone who is able to see it as such—without addiction to obstruct his/her view. That’s why individuals who find themselves—and/or feel as though—they are falling into addiction, must seek help, so that they may not only rediscover their creativity, but rediscover themselves. For oftentimes, what lies deep beneath the surface of the person who is struggling serves as the root of addiction, rather than creativity itself.