Before I start this post I wanted to thank Frances from She Who Blogs for featuring one of my stories. I am really honoured.
You can read the story (which you may have already read) here.
Now onto the post proper.
This is the prompt this week for Magpie Tales.
Usually I write a fiction piece for Magpie Tales but this time I want to discuss something which is non-fiction.
I want to discuss writing as therapy.
I have a jar very similar to the one in the photo on my desk. It is also full of pencils. When I am jotting down my loose leaf notes I prefer to write in pencil.
Being able to write is a gift that has saved my life. I don’t mean to sound all melodramatic when I say that, but it is the truth.
I write when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m outraged, when I’m disillusioned, when I’m staggered by the beauty in the world.
Much of what I write is never read by another living soul.
Much of what I write resembles shopping lists, bullet points of things to do.
Much of what I write is the only way I can order my thoughts and imaginings.
I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life. I have tried every drug combination under the sun to combat the deep, dark, oozing despair that often envelops me.
I have spoken to countless therapists who turned out to be more fucked up than I was. Mostly.
I have held debates in my head as to whether the glass is half empty or half full over and over again.
None of those things help as much as getting it all on paper.
I can write about the misery, the fears, the tears, the need to hide, the need to stay in bed all day, everyday.
Or I can create a story where a character faces a challenge and overcomes it.
Or I can describe a sunset. Or a tree. Or the sound of birdsong.
If you feel down I want you to know that writing will help you. If not writing – painting or photography or a sketch in pencil. Do something creative. Make something from nothing.
If you write something and it just sounds like bile and angst and hate, go for a walk. Chew on your emotions. Channel them into a narrative. Then go home and write it out.
No one might ever read what you’ve just written, but you will feel better.
Accept your negative feelings but turn them into something positive.
My jar of pencils are as valuable to me as my computer.
And they are much, much cheaper than Prozac.