She stares at the pen and paper in front of her. The psychologist said to write, that it might help. She sees the fine grains of white across the old paper that she found in her desk. Next to it, the pen has teeth marks at the end, I hope they are mine, she thinks. Slowly, she lifts her hand towards the pen and raises it onto her fingers. She can feel her grasp around it. The metal surrounding it, feeling cold and dense. She looks back at the paper, thinking about what she should write. Don’t think about it, they said, just write. She begins to put the pen to the paper, and in that moment, it is like her whole world changed. She felt something again.
Last night was a tough night. The same thoughts, that have plagued me for almost two years, were playing on my mind again. Every time I try to get rid of the thoughts, the voice of my psychologist is in the sidelines reminding me to “not resist them…label and accept them instead”. But, after 72 hours of a relentless battle between my logic and irrational emotion, I really struggle to accept anything.
When I ebb and flow through these harder days, from the better ones, I find there is always one thing that soothes me. Writing.
I’ve never been a professional or technical writer. I wrote a lot when I was younger…fictional stories, poems, you name it. I loved writing as a child, then life got in the way…I somehow forgot that I loved to write, and it wasn’t until I became unwell again that I remembered this long-lost love.
I write about my stories of mental health and about how mental health impacts so many other things that interweave our lives. I write about me, I write about you, I write about everyone. Sometimes my writing is scattered, other times it is structured. Sometimes my writing isn’t that great, other times it hits a nerve. But the wonderful part of writing is that you don’t know until that pen hits that paper, or those words are tapped on the keyboard.
Writing to me is soothing for the soul. It can be poetic, it can be powerful, it can be potent for those who read it. You can change minds, you can create movements, you can make a difference.
Many people ask me how I learned to write, or who I pay to do it for me, and my answer always is the same. I didn’t know I could write until one day I did, then my whole world changed.
Perhaps maybe it is that of writing that reminds me that my brain isn’t all bad. It has an ability to translate deep thoughts into the words on a page that create thought for someone. Most of the time, I don’t even mind who reads it. Everyone, no-one, just one person. The only thing that matters to me is that it creates a thought. A thought that actions a movement. A movement that makes a difference.
Writing is a therapeutic action for me. It makes me feel like it isn’t all bad and that I’ve got something to give to the world.
So, next time you’re feeling down, maybe grab the pen and paper and who knows what will come out.