If we are to protect our tender Artist child self from bumps, bruises and catastrophic mishaps, we have to pay attention to the company we keep. By now, we are (maybe?) coming to the conclusion that we are, in fact, blocked creatives. So it is very likely that many of our intimates and associates are blocked as well. And, as was pointed out earlier, there will be a few, at least, that will not cheer for our recovery efforts.
This does not mean we must cut our friends completely out of our hearts. Julia notes that we may hold out hope for those friendships by being a positive example. But — “Be gentle but firm and hang tough…Do not let their fears and second thoughts derail you…
“Draw a sacred circle around your recovery. Give yourself the gift of faith. Trust that you are on the right track. You are…. Your own healing is the greatest message of hope for others.”
That said, let’s take a look at some of the very real challenges you may encounter from your old crowd. First and most deadly are what Julia calls the crazymakers.
“Crazymakers,” she writes, “are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. You know the type: charismatic but out of control, long on problems and short on solutions.”
Hoo, boy! Do I ever know the type! Don’t you? Charming but deadly. The drama queens (and kings). Emotionally abusive. Energy vampires. Often, she notes, they may be artists, the kind that give the idea of “artist” a very bad reputation. “Often larger than life, they acquire that status by feeding on the life energies of those around them. For this reason, many of the most crazy artists in America are found surrounded by a cadre of supporters as talented as they are, but determined to subvert their own talent in the service of the Crazymaking King.”
Can you think of a few famous crazymakers?
Crazymaking is all about power and ego. Sometimes it may be thinly disguised behind a self-depracating facade. But sooner or later, it will eventually show itself — unvarnished and nasty. Not only in the arts, you can find crazymakers in any setting, from our families, to corporate workplaces, to spiritual communities, to the glitzy halls of fame and fortune.
These are the manipulators, the people that throw hissy-fits to get their way when charm fails. They are often actually talented and worthy of notice, but their neediness becomes bullying, emotional blackmail, and destructive attention grabbing. You can often pick them out by the crowd of tippy-toeing minions they attempt to collect, to do their bidding.
They can be fatally poisonous for any sustained creative work of your own. More about how to deal with them tomorrow.