It began when I was twelve in one of my English classes. We were asked to write about what it’d been like for us to start secondary school. Without knowing it, I’d laid all my insecurities, with regards to CP and “big school”, out on paper. The funny thing is, I didn’t even realise I was worried about being different and not fitting in.
In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, I thought I’d write a short blog on how the art of writing has salvaged my sanity. Not long after writing my first poem (which I’ll borrow from my Nan and post), It dawned on me that when you don’t think there’s anything to say or simply don’t have the ability to voice, writing stuff down can really untangle any hidden emotions. I spent a year copiously writing poetry about anything and everything. I couldn’t tell you what they were about or if they were any good, but they must have been relevant at that point in time.
When life became more chaotic and unpredictable, the writing stopped. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have developed mental health issues irrespective of whether I’d continued – genetics and the dynamics of the situation I was in dictated otherwise. However, I genuinely believe that my lack of creativity fed the Anorexia, on the basis that I didn’t have an outlet. The one thing that eventually pulled me towards the light though, was the letter I wrote which, in the most succinct way possible, said “I feel like sh*t…Kinda need help”. What does that tell you about the power of writing?
As the years have gone on, I have always tried to write, even if I’ve not felt like it. It’s what brings me back to the realm of reality and what drives my motivation when I’m feeling least passionate. Some of my ramblings won’t go any further than my phone or the laptop, but it’s been cleared from the chaos of my brain and made it easier to process my thoughts. That’s got to be good. Right?
Before I go, here’s the disclaimer. I am not saying that writing will solve all your mental health problems. The chances are it won’t. I’m in no way an expert, but you might need to pop a pill or go and speak to someone. Most of all, writing might not interest you. You might want to try interpretive dance or yodelling. All I'm saying is the ability to sit quietly and write whatever comes to mind, works for me. Go and find what works for you!