Immediate Household Only
In March 2020, I was told I could quarantine only with my "immediate household." This is where, if you're one to look at stills from movies or just images from the internet, I am wiping the palm of my hand down the side of my face, looking in the direction of my roommate's closed door, and cringing.
In February 2020, my little sister told me via psych hospital pay phone that our relationship was over, forever. Sure, there is a particular sadness about being in a psychiatric facility, but I was utterly destroyed. I was there just to save our relationship. This is what can be called: too little too late.
I write frequently about that experience and one other. This one is possibly more important. My ex-boyfriend yelled at me one night in a rage and told me I was the most uninteresting person he knew. That he was bored with me. I had no interests, no hobbies. And I didn't. That's where my writing stems from: the humiliation of being no one at all.
It stems from being alone in my apartment besides one other person I didn't care to get to know during an international pandemic, where instead of being outside on the street fighting zombies, I was inside with nothing to do. I know how I can be interesting, I thought. I researched writing websites and joined Prose. Here's how I can both redeem myself and make myself more interesting.
It became a bit of an obsession. I remember my first piece, pieces, even, and I cringe. They weren't very good. Later, I developed a flow that makes sense - I hope, now. But then? I was parsing wild thoughts onto the blank page, with no experience or identity to think of.
Writing, and writing in particular on Prose, developed me as a human being. It became about being more than an interesting, or a worthwhile, decent human being - it became about finding out who I had become. I unraveled my past and decided I could recover from those two conversations.
Writing to an audience of strangers is one of the most freeing things I've ever done. I can write about mental illness and psych ward until my fingers run dry, without worrying about being judged.
I've attended open mics and read off things I've written for this website. My voice does not shake. A year after our pay phone conversation, I sent my little sister pieces I've since had published in journals. They are about our childhood. She said, these are good. I want to read more.
And perhaps my ex-boyfriend is out there, somewhere, existing as the angry, unhappy man he is. And maybe one day he'll hear of me, and feel sorry for himself. Nothing will have changed but me.
But that is the beauty of writing: it is for ourselves. It is for who I have become, someone who processes life events through a keyboard. In March 2020, quarantine was supposed to be a month long. I wasn't sure how long I'd be writing, but I'm happy to say it has not stopped, like the madness and discipline of disease.
Writing to Understand and Mend
Writing can do a lot for The Writer. It can help them to sort things out, it can make them money, it can improve your skills and most of all it has personal benefit. My greatest benefit that comes from writing is how to communicate with people. My writing has helped me turn out my feelings, and realize that saying certain things would actually cost me some relationships. I have a temper and in earlier years a sharp tongue, turning to writing has allowed me to calm down, think it through and see that hurting people is not the way. It also benefit me in helping me to see their point of view and too listen...The greatest benefit has been saving my relationships.
Writing for me has purely been an outlet. I found myself enjoying the challenge of putting complex human emotions into words. I actually started writing when I was 11 or 12 when my parents were beginning to divorce. I found myself unable to express emotions in any other form that wasn't written. I experienced trauma the same way I experienced a restaurant getting my food order wrong. I would register the event with annoyance and just move on. I never knew how to process trauma in a healthy way. Because I held everything in, it would beat the walls of my brain trying to get out. I had to let it out some way, so I chose to write. Many years and traumas later I am here in my twenties still writing. I am definitely in a better place now, but I am still trying to process my past and writing has helped that process. Writing has always been a friend to me. I can write anything without fear of judgement or pity and it has been exhilerating in a way. I hope one day I can be a published writer, so that I can inspire people and relate with others through my experiences. I wouldn't be able to form the correct concotion of words to express how much writing means to me. It has saved my life and stayed by my side continuously. I don't even care if people read what I write. It just feels good to write, to create, to express, and to just lay everything out there.
Sorry for the messy state of this passage. I just wrote what I was thinking. (:
My Personal Pleasure
I have always been able to write my ideas down when there was no other way to express what I wanted to say. I'm a shy speaker, but the written word has been my friend since I was in my early teens.
Although my creative fiction side didn't come out of hiding until I was in my thirties and then only to prove to myself I could do it, I have been writing in letters, essays, and exams all my life. The journals being one of the most important for my mental health as I released all my frustration and emotions there.
Journaling got me to find the help I needed to properly process serious trauma from my childhood and understand I am a survivor and not a victim. So the beginnings of my blossoming writing life were very beneficial to me and to those who went through my healing process with me.
Now I write to put the stories which have been whirling in my head onto paper for others to read. I write something every day, whether it's a quick poem or a chapter of one of my novels it doesn't matter. In my retirement from the career that got me through life, I've found a place for the release of my passion for writing. It might even make a few pennies as I publish my novels on Kindle.
Happy To Be A Writer Again, Ideally For Good
I did a lot of writing in high school, involving myself in my school's student newspaper and literary magazine back in the 90s. I started out college looking to major in writing, ultimately abandoning that plan for teaching. I did some on and off writing afterwards, but didn't really get into it again until April 2020, when I started writing Bible journals in a church community that I still participate with. I expanded to writing short stories in August 2020, continuing a sci-fi/fantasy storyline I initially started when I was in high school. My initial justification/benefit to returning to actively writing was to keep my mind creative and sharp while in quarantine from the pandemic. My goal is to get into voice acting, and writing seemed like a good way to stay in an artistic mindframe since my acting goals had been sidelined. I still do write to keep my mind flowing creatively, but there is now much more benefit to it besides that. On a religious take, I enjoy writing Bible journals to point to God as the One that has blessed my life and helps me through the life struggles I face. On a creative take, I am so thankful for storytelling that has enriched my life and inspired me, and I hope to be able to do the same with my stories. I also love the possibility that my writing could still exist after I am gone one day, and it will ideally be something I can pass down to my kids if they want it. I want my writing to be there for anyone that needs or wants it, and it is something I will continue to do as long as I am able to. Thanks for reading this, I hope I didn't ramble too much. I appreciate you and wish you well :-)
There are only two places in which I can picture myself truly feeling comfortable being myself. One is inside a competent and trustworthy therapist’s office and the other is hiding behind the pages I write.
I am not what anyone would call a normal person and as such I have learned that it is best not to reveal my true self to most people. They do not understand me and do not want to understand me. This is fine. I should rephrase that. This is the inevitable reality I have forced upon myself due to my abnormality. Some would call this a self-fufilling prophecy. I just call it my life.
Writing has become a tool to express creativity, yes, but it has also opened a doorway I cannot allow to be opened in the real world. It allows me to express thoughts, actions, motivations, and impulses that society would only allow to exist inside the pages of fiction. It is a safe place to hide without actually concealing myself.
For challenge- “How has writing shaped you” by Lianna C