About Creative Compass

My Story

In the time of Covid-19 the need for help in dealing with mental health issuesis greater than it has ever been before. Statistically and anecdotally the extent of this has been increasing year on year; a product of factors both personal and also intrinsically linked to life and how we live it in the twenty first century.

My own relationship with mental health is complex. Several of my friends and family members have suffered from depression to varying degrees, while I have also been afflicted with anxiety and feelings of low self worth. These are struggles that are an ongoing battle and over the years I have noticed some of the coping mechanisms myself and others have used when things are at their worst.

My mum had bouts of depression and one of her ways of providing comfort for herself was to watch episodes of the television show, 'The West Wing'. When I am at my lowest I tend to reach for my favourite comedy shows like Frasier or Parks and Recreation or films I watched as a kid. It took time for me to realise that this is a retreat into the familiar, a retreat towards reengaging with the person we are and who we wish to be when we aren't consumed by depression or anxiety or grief.

As such, it does not fix the problems, rather it provides a relief from it to allow us to cope. And that is the first element of what Creative Compass is about. This resource is here as a tool for recommending books, films, music, photography, paintings and podcasts that have provided me with comfort along with explanations of how and why that is. Sometimes there are deep, subtle and intensely personal reasons, while others are simpler and perhaps more universal (and honestly, escapism is perfectly valid in certain circumstances though it is not a viable long term plan).

The other element of what Creative Compass does is to work as an extension of what has brought me some of the greatest joy in my life. I am a writer and it has been into creativity that I have often immersed myself when I have most struggled with my own mental health. I can say that in those instances it has never let me down.

The ability to create, whether books, films, music, photographs, art, or computer games, can be the best way of making sense of the world. More specifically, it can be a way, whether consciously or not, to make sense of ourselves; of our pains, anxieties, and traumas, which makes it the ultimate expression of the truth of the world as we see it.

We can choose to share that truth with the world or we can keep it to ourselves and both choices are equally valid. The happiness and healing quality of creativity is in the act of doing. Nothing else can define it, let alone take it away and the power to unlock that happiness is in our own hands.

For my part, the truth I have to share are my own coping mechanisms as I act as guide to others and to offer encouragement on their journey towards greater happiness and peace.

James Eddy - March 2021