Words as Salvation
Wow, it’s been a year already? Where did the time go? Oh, right, into the stories. Silly question. For today, the approximately one year anniversary of me working seriously as a writer, I’d like to share something with you, something important to me. But I warn you, it’s going to be far more serious than usual. Call it a sign of how much this means to me.
I’m fairly open about a lot of things in this blog, writing it very much as myself, rather than a person I think I should be. But there’s a part of me you don’t know. There’s a darkness in my heart I don’t normally share. You see, I’ve suffered from depression for so long that the actual number of years has ceased to have meaning.
I suppose that makes me a statistic, part of the legion out there with a label and all the assumptions that come with it, but I refuse it all. I’ve always lived with that darkness my own way, and I have dealt with it in my own way. Most of you have only known me at this, one of the best times of my life. I decided to share the other side, the shadow that makes me appreciate the hope and light in my life so much more, that I might pass on to others a bit of that hope. I know well that on a bad day, even the faintest, most ephemeral ray can be the lifeline you need to keep breathing.
If you’re looking for the details of that decade-and-a-half long struggle, I’m sorry, you’re not going to get them. It would take too long to write and would hurt too much. There’s also no point, writing it out wouldn’t change the past. I’m trying to live my life these days in the moment and the future, because hope lives there. But if you exist in that stormy sea in this moment, know that it can get better.
What made things better for me? That I will share. Words. Characters. Stories. They were the only real respite I had for years, the stories of others, and I’ve been blessed in recent years with two friends who not only helped when things seem darkest, but have encouraged me to embrace the stories that are in me to tell. It’s writing that turned it all around for me, you see, that put the depression more or less into remission, rather than having only moments of relief.
There are a number of reasons why I say that I write because I can’t NOT write. One of them is that I think it would be easier to cease breathing, and another is that my characters and stories would give me no rest. But more than that, I know the darkness will return if I stop entirely. The flow of words is what brings brightness to my heart, the blossoming of stories and the worlds they take place in. Even on my worst day, I can fall into the arms of whatever tale I’m telling and be comforted. I can feel like I am myself again and whole. In the words, I am renewed.
For any of you who live under the deep shadow, look up, find the thing you can’t NOT do, the thing that whispers to you and draws you, even when you don’t think you can do it or be good enough. Do it anyway, dream regardless. Reach even when your arms and heart are tired. It will be worth it. No matter how long since you’ve seen it, light still exists. It can fill you again.
Happy Writer-versary to me. I wish you all light and hope and all the time in the world to do the things you love and which heal your heart.