This was a thought shared with me by a friend.
The book is called, How Rembrandt Reveals Your Beautiful, Imperfect Self: Life Lessons From The Master written by Roger Housden
It talked about in history anyone eminent in philosophy, arts or poetry was likely melancholic. They discussed this trait as either envied because it portrayed genius or feared because it accompanied madness.
Housden cites examples like Raphael was “inclining to Melancholy, like all men of exceptional gifts.” He argues that “Michelangelo deliberately cultivated the idea of artistic personality driven by poetic fury, prone to alternating periods of solitary, obsessive work with spells of “creative idleness,” and distinguished by extreme introspection, heightened emotionalism, strange behavior, and eccentric dress”…
“If we were to use contemporary language, we might conclude from Rembrandt’s first self-portrait that depression need not be a bad thing; and it is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. There are people whose lives are transformed by medication, but that doesn’t mean you automatically need to treat every sign of melancholia with the latest wonder drug. Depression, which takes you down into yourself, may be the fastest means of access to your own true needs. It can certainly be the catalyst for creative endeavor. If Prozac has been available, a few centuries earlier, some of the greatest works of art might never have been written or painted.”.. And remember Rilke, who, when asked if he would be interested in undergoing psychotherapy, declined, saying that if his demons were taken away from him, he was sure he would lose his angels too.
I like this idea of loving whatever is thrown your way. Finding the beauty in the darkness and being grateful for the different experiences life brings before us. Not fearing the demons because we are compensated with angels too.
In no way am I saying that mental illness should remain untreated.. but it definitely shouldn’t be anything shameful. It might be the creative genius behind much of what binds you to others.