Writing Didn’t Save Me

Look out, actual kind of blog incoming. 

I’ve been thinking, as us sentient beings are wont to do, about life and the semi-permanence of it all.

And I’ve been tossing around the idea of reposting this here for a few days.

Just as a reminder: None of us are alone. 

Writing Didn’t Save Me

This week is all about writing through the pain, using our words to pull us through and out of the darkest of times.

Seems like it should be right up my alley, right?

The depressed chick with gothic tendencies that was always cynical and hated the world? She should definitely have something to say about that right?

Honestly, when I was at my lowest points, in my darkest corners, I didn’t write.

I went years without writing.

I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel inspired, I didn’t feel angry … I didn’t feel anything.

I was so numb that I hurt myself to feel anything.

I was so numb that I pushed everyone away because I was convinced I would just pull everyone down with me.

I lost family, friends, love.

And I did it all on purpose because I was scared. I believed that I deserved to be alone. I believed on the off-chance I managed to feel something, probably right at the moment of my death, then it shouldn’t be anyone’s responsibility to clean up after me.

If I couldn’t feel anything then I didn’t deserve the love and support of these people around me.

I didn’t write.

Not a word.

But I wrote on my way down. I pumped out poetry and stories by pouring every ounce of emotion I could muster into them. As if my preserving them onto pages and pages of lined notebook paper would somehow make them easier for me to recall when I truly needed them.

I was falling apart loudly and dramatically in my stories long before the cracks ever began to seep into my real life.

But once I was there? Once I was standing in the darkness facing the ultimate battle?

There wasn’t a single word I could have written.

Because depression steals things from you like a thief in the night. It turns up, triggered by something you never saw coming or sometimes nothing at all, and it takes until it can take no more.

But it’s silent.

It doesn’t come with screaming, crying fits … not in public anyway. It doesn’t sneak in on a jet plane with a roaring engine. It slides under your door like smoke from a fire brewing inside your walls, one you didn’t know you had to worry about.

It’s empty, like staring into a void that’s just sucked away everything you ever cared about but, for some reason you can’t comprehend, spared you. It’s that vast swirling nothingness that we imagined outer space to be so long ago. What is it they say about space? No one can hear you scream?

So, I didn’t write and I won’t pretend writing pulled me out of it.

I went to therapy and at some point, my therapist had to remind me there were things depression stole from me that I could take back. I could regain some control by reclaiming the passions I had so helplessly watched my depression make off with years before.

That’s when I started to write again.

At first it was hard, my words felt heavy and clumsy. I felt less than adequate, drained and like maybe depression had completely stolen my ability.

It was easy to put my pen down and simply say I just didn’t have it anymore. Writing would forever be a casualty of war.

However, I needed an outlet, I had words that I could use now but I needed somewhere to put them. Even though I thought my writing was horrible I kept returning to it. I kept picking my pen back up and scribbling away. Most of the time I re-read what I wrote and felt like a kindergartener trying to write on a Hemingway level.

The seeds of self-doubt had been sown pretty thick.

I was encouraged to keep practicing, even if what I was producing seemed to be awful, the point was I was doing something.

I was proving to myself that depression didn’t own me.

That’s what writing did for me. It helped to prove that depression, for me, did not win the war no matter how many battles I lost to its deafening silence. It helped me to see the person I thought depression did away with was still there, just tired and in dire need of a break. It helped to remind me that living with passion makes the moments worth it because when depression rears its head around the corner again I will need reminding.

Writing didn’t save me but it will always be a reminder of what I can never lose.

I originally posted this on a collaboration blog I’m part of, The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch, last year. 

Rush

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Blue Doors

Blue doors stoic against white washed summer walls
What awaits me beyond those carefully curated wooden walls?
Are there candles aglow or choirs angelic?
A return to life which withstood pandemics?
Were every role played
Within the confines of finite memory?
Perhaps there awaits all which we’ve lost.
Tears shed over damp sheets
And fresh mounds of dirt;
Carefully sculpted castles for our bones.
For once I may say, we’ll never truly know.
As my ornate blue doors slide into the distance,
The way our true love fades
From your memories and words,
Meant for another, promised over sun bleached summer days.


A little story time to go with this little poem.

When I was a snotty pre-teen, maybe around 11 or 12, I was giving my mom a hard time as we drove home. I don’t remember about what, it doesn’t matter really but it was a moment for her that unleashed something else. Without saying much she swung her old minivan into the parking lot of a mixed Korean/Baptist church at the end of our street and started crying.

“Maybe one day I just won’t come home.”

I didn’t know how to react. I kept telling her it would be ok but what I really remember is that we were parked right in front of the church doors.

Looking back I’m fairly sure my mom probably suffered from the same anxiety and depression that now plagues me and my sisters in various forms. Coupled with the weight of my narcissistic father’s constant cruelty and I’m certain this wasn’t her only breaking point.

It may not have been a breaking point at all but more of a blip on the radar of constant pressure to provide when the one you’ve promised to walk beside has more or less declared “jokes on you”.

Today’s International Women’s Day and I’ve seen posts all over social media remembering and celebrating accomplishments. That’s wonderful, I embrace it. I also ask that we not forget about the women who are dragging themselves out of bed everyday simply because they have to. The women who have laid awake all night threatened by their own nightmares and now have little people depending on them to function. The women who have gently laid dreams aside or practice them quietly after hours because there’s simply no one else to “bring home the bacon” and the dreams they have aren’t to that point yet. The women who have found themselves trapped and unable to leave for fear, so they trudge through every day the best they can while pretending everything is ok.

Society has come far but society still has a way to go.

Daily Prompt – Uncompromising

Chase Them Away

It’s Sunday, I’m still working out a good opening here.

Prompt – Congregate

Music – Pink Floyd – Meddle

*Started writing, forgot to start timer, delete, start timer*

Congregate

Congregation.

I don’t go to church.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

When I was 15 my parents moved from a city area to a much more rural area.

I went from a performing arts high school to an agricultural one

I didn’t even know that was a thing …

One day I was on the bus

I took my headphones out at the request of a boy who was wearing a fish hook on his hat and had a clump of dip in his lip

I can’t remember what he asked but the subject turned to religion

To which I responded “I don’t know, I’m not Christian, I don’t go to church.”

At the time, if I had to put a name to some idea of religious practices, then I’d say I was Pagan.

Poor guy was floored.

“I thought you were a good Christian girl!”

I congregate in a different way.

I go to concerts.

One time I went because I thought maybe the music would be loud enough to drown the bullshit in my head.

Now I can’t always understand what you’re saying in normal settings and I go to shows to drown myself under the sound.

Let it wash over me and take away all the self hate that can settle in my mind.

This morning I woke up and something just hit me, straight to my core.

I found myself thinking in terms of self hate, “pathetic piece of …”

I push those things away and congregate in big, or sometimes not big, raucous, sometimes not raucous, groups

To let loud melodies chase them away.


Go check out The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch

AuthorAnon goes a little personal (a #metoo example)

I was going to do a picture post this afternoon but instead I’m going to post this. It’s a little bit of a personal story but one I wanted to get off my chest. This is out of the creative writing realm I normally stick to but I feel it’s important.

For anyone who’s still unsure about this whole “me too” thing, allow me to break it down with a personal example.

A week ago my ex showed up at my front door. I didn’t invite him. He hid his face so I couldn’t tell who it was through the peep hole and he wouldn’t stop knocking or ringing the bell.

When I opened the door and stepped outside he informed me that although we’ve been broken up for over a year he is still going to try and win me back. The only thing that could possibly make him think “this is over” is if I’d found someone else.

Of course he wanted to know if I’d found someone else. Then he “accused” me of finding someone else when I told him it wasn’t his business and he needed to leave.

He finally did leave but not before declaring that he wanted his old life back and he was going to do everything in his power to get it back. “I’m not done trying to win you back.”

I have not offered him his “old life” back. I have not “led him on”. He is blocked on my phone and on my daughters phone. So he started trying to text my family members.

All of this to say: People are not objects to be won. We are not possessions that you can hold on to, let go of and take back at will.

My ex is part of the problem. People like him are part of the problem. A society that leads men to believe they can act in this manner is the problem. A society that leads people to believe women have done something to deserve behavior like this is the problem.

Me too is not about women whining. It’s not about false accusations. It’s not about tearing men down. It’s about shining the light on the fact that we live in a society that has for far too long found this behavior acceptable and allowed people to act on these ideas with little to no consequences.

It’s about influencing change in a system that’s so ingrained into our society that we’ve been shamed for stepping forward and acknowledging that it is wrong.

#metoo

Everybody’s Strange

Weekly Stream of Consciousness Writing – Prompt – Creature (oh wordpress, you get me).

Music: Samsara Blues Experiment – 2010 album Long Distance Trip

I’ve always been an odd creature.

When I was in middle school a boy in my class turned to me, moved really close and asked me if I turned into a cat in the middle of the night.

“Your eyes are cat eyes. Do you turn into a cat at night?”

“I don’t know, I’m asleep.”

That seemed reasonable enough for him.

I was always too kind, in elementary school it got me in trouble with bullies.

They needed someone to exploit. I was all too willing if it meant someone would be my friend.

I never quite felt like I fit in.

I still don’t although I’m more comfortable with it now.

I guess at a certain point you realize everyone is some form of odd.

We’re all strange.

Maybe that’s why I connected with “weird hippie music” so much.

Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Doors … all artists that embraced the fact that people are weird.

I explored all kinds of alternative paths.

I abandoned the Christian religion I’d been raised in as a teenager and explored Pagan and Buddhist lifestyles instead.

That will throw people through a loop when your parents decide to relocate you from a diverse city area to a hick town at 15.

It is nice to realize clarity comes with age

To realize that maybe we’re all wrong

But if we’re all wrong I guess I really don’t want to be right.

I can be odd all day, nobodies going to change that.

Embrace it, it’s ok.

We’re wrong, we’re right, we’re strange.

Everybody’s strange.


The Perfectly Imperfect Bunch is waiting for you!