For a good portion of my life, I wrote. I had an entire stack of journals, filled from front to back with diary entries or poems that I wrote to express myself. The reason for it was because I was young, and was not aware of ways that I could express it. I definitely did not know how to talk about it with my parents or my friends. I felt that I was the only person in the world feeling the way that I did, so I kept it hidden in the vast pages of spiral notebooks or “cute” graphic art journals.
I stopped for a time; writing didn’t seem to flow as easily as before. I always told myself it was because I was happy, and that I had only written when there was pain in my life. I could never seem to produce poems or entries describing my happiness because I didn’t know what that looked like.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying my entire life was miserable and I had absolutely nothing to smile about, but at the end of the day, there would still be a pit in my stomach.
So, when my focus was more on my happiness, I couldn’t put it into words. I didn’t know how to describe the embrace of a friend you hadn’t seen in a long time;
I didn’t know how to explain the butterflies that I felt when I saw my boyfriend;
I didn’t know how to convey how trees reminded me of home and my foundation.
But I do now, because I’m finally opening up and digging out the parts of me that I have been hiding; the parts of me that I have not dealt with or thought about in years. I have reason to write again.
The reason I write is to express things I feel that I otherwise cannot.
The reason I write is to put my feelings into words so I can process them easier.
The reason I write is to paint a picture for other people who may not understand what it’s like to struggle with a mental illness.
The reason I write is to help free myself of my insecurities regarding my depression. The more I actually express myself, the better I process it.
The reason I write ambiguous posts (like the last one) is to not leave you out of the loop, but to show you that I am progressing, even if I am unable to publicly talk about it. But I am talking about it, just privately. And that’s okay!
Ultimately, the reason I write is to share my experiences with you, hoping that you find comfort in my disclosure, even though it’s painful. I hope you feel not so alone.
I now know that my friend’s embrace felt like being wrapped in a blanket, sitting by a fire, and reminiscing about the time you spent with that friend under that same blanket talking about where you were going after graduation; bittersweet.
I now know that the butterflies weren’t contained in my stomach, like they always say; they consumed my insides, fluttering their wings to tickle me until I smiled.
I now know that the trees’ branches were like outstretched arms–much like the arms of my friend–pulling me into my foundation, my home; their height reminding me how small I was, showing me that there are so many places to climb, explore, visit, or immerse myself, and all I needed was the wind to sway those big, wooden arms in the right direction, releasing me to do great things and become someone that my younger self would have looked up to.
I now know that I don’t need sadness to fuel my drive because it was comfortable and safe; I now know that have so much potential at the end of my fingertips and in the words of my voice. I am glad that I have found my true reason to write.