Writing was an enjoyable thing for me, even at a young age. I can remember the first poem I ever wrote was about eagles and foxes. How much more epic can you get, right? I was so proud of myself, and all the adults in my life were so impressed. Ive always been surprised by the fact that people like the things I make, even my weird sketches as a little girl. My family would talk about them like they were amazing, and share them around to their friends. I’ve had something of mine posted on a fridge non-stop since I was 4. The content of my art stayed light for quite awhile and continued to be praised by others until I got older.
In high school I wrote poems mostly. Sometimes I tried to write short stories, but I wanted to put too much of myself in them, and they turned into poems again. I had finally learned the therapeutic effects of writing and began using it to express the deepness I had within me. I wrote about boys for a long time, I wrote about sadness, and rejection, and how much it hurt to be lonely. The more darkness I slipped into my poems, the less praise I received. I eventually turned my writing more inward and my writing fueled my toxic feelings. My writing was all about sadness and anger. It was at a point in life when growing up meant feeling all the feelings and I had no where else to put them but into writing. My family isn’t big on connecting emotionally with each other. Coming from a Christian background, I was taught to take my deep and sometimes scary feelings to Jesus.
When I got to college, that’s what I tried to do. My writing still had a bit of cynicism and sadness, but it was all wrapped up in a nice little bow that looked a lot like faith. It was really more of a moral that I felt like I had to have. I didn’t just write to feel anymore. I wrote to teach and prove. I never just let my mess hang out and be experienced. I always fixed something at the end of each post.
At the end of my sophomore year I was supposed to get married and instead I returned to my small Bible college, junior year, single. I lived a depression deeper than I knew existed. I had so many things to say about it all, things I wanted to clear up, pain that needed to be felt outside of my body…but it was so hard to leave things without an answer. Everyone commented things like “chin up, this is God’s plan!” and “God is just teaching you something! Listen to Him and He will reveal everything to you”. While I know those were all with good intentions, it just sounded like one big “SUCK IT UP” and “Could you hurry up and figure your shit out, because this sounds like a broken record.”
So I stopped.
I stopped writing. It was a burden.
I didn’t create.
I didn’t journal.
It had been twisted from a gift to myself into proof that I was okay. And I wasn’t.
It felt like I couldn’t make art without there being a purpose. The purpose started out being just to feel better and since that wasn’t happening, I had failed. So I stopped.
Well, basically everything. I’ve moved from feeling irreparable to having a slightly more realistic view of the deep feelings inside of myself.
I sought help and now have a diagnosis of Depression and Anxiety. I take medication. I see a counselor. It’s great. I recommend counseling for anyone at least once in their life.
I have various support systems that I interact with virtually. I am always tapped in to people that speak truth into my life and encourage me. Women that understand the courage it takes to put yourself out there and how damn hard it can be.
And lastly, I have learned to love myself and do things just for me. I do things just because they make me happy. Being happy is okay. And so is being sad. And if being sad publicly through writing a blog post makes me feel better, I’m gonna do it.
I still struggle with wanting to do it for others. And honestly, it kind of is for others. But it’s still for me. In a new way. My voice is different, and a whole lot less shaky.
So I stopped writing for a while. And I missed documenting some really important things. I don’t want to go through the rest of life wishing I had written about it.
I’m starting to write…today.