journey, life, mental disease, mental health, mental illness, truth, writing
In the pit of my stomach is this strange and alien feeling that I am supposed to sit at this computer and write a blog of some greatness. I am capable of it, based on reviews and comments that I have received, but it isn’t something that naturally happens. Some days I literally write junk. No other word for it but junk. And some days I write what I consider the Robert Caro of blogging.
I learned a long time ago that what is necessary must be done. It has to be done for a variety of reasons; whether it is so we can live, pay our bills, or raise our children. There are things that are required of us despite our age, weight, sex, religion, politics. It is simply a necessity of daily life. If you wish to learn about the realities of necessities of life and the reality of daydreams study Abigail Adams; trust me that woman could teach us all. But I know that despite the occasional enjoyment and the occasional dread writing isn’t a necessity of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I want my writing to pay my bills. I want my writing not only read by millions but commented on so that I might be a better and more useful being in this world of mindlessness. I have no need for my writing to change lives, that is a goal too lofty even for me, but I do need my writing to not be a waste. It isn’t a necessity but it is something that I do, something I hang my hat on, and I can only imagine that by my continual search for topics and other things to write about I can find my own life changed.
Despite the fact that I list my occupation as writer the truth is there is no guarantee that I am a writer. Yes, I put words in formal sentences but that no more makes me a writer than a painter is qualified by the brush in his hand. In my ego I can acknowledge that I probably write well, although the English basics my third grade teacher tried to instill in me have long been lost. I have found no matter what I am writing an editor is a essential component of the end result.
Sometimes I write humor about my life and this disease that controls me. Sometimes I write about my children and incredible destruction of self that comes along with the birth of your first child. Sometimes I write about my family in a vain attempt to not only understand them but to put them on a one dimensional plane in order to study them. Every once in awhile I can write a piece that resonates with the world at large and gives me a sense that what I am doing, while still not necessary, at least gives others a moment to feel connected in a world that literally and purposely tears us apart at every turn. Sometimes I write about what I have heard, or what I have seen, and then sometimes I write simple poetry that takes seconds but releases hours of degradation and hurt that come along with being human.
Of course, I get all the quotes on Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites encouraging me to put that first word down on a single sheet of paper. It seems every popular author from J.K. Rowling to Plato has something to say on the subject. It is hard to get away from the constant ambush of encouragement and reality that is spelled out in these quotes and while I haven’t found one that literally raises me off my seat to write a treatise on a subject it makes me feel better. As a self-proclaimed writer there really is nothing better than realizing that those you have worshiped for their pen suffered and wrote crap on days when the world played the wicked games it is so famous for.
I have actually written about this subject before, although with so many posts to my name, it is really hard to find past pieces on any one subject. I quarrel with the idea that something such as a group of words created from my own imagination should carry any weight in a world field with mythical creatures, mysteries that are hardly solvable, and romance that makes you wish for that first kiss from the man you love all over again.
So I sit here, riddled with guilt because I haven’t written in awhile, with my cat tying to figure out why my fingers are moving like they are, listening to songs I have listened to a million times, and wondering if what I have always defined myself as is a truthful application to who and what I am.
The one thing I have learned in this world is that I am the only one that gets to define my own self. Others can have opinions, suggestions, even demands but the person I choose to be (of course, within the confines of a severe mental illness) is only open to my own criticism. I criticize a lot but the person that lays her head on my pillow each night and wakes up to kiss her children is in fact the person that I have created for myself. And while I freely admit to having a million little things that are completely out of my control, mostly what the bipolar is going to do to me next, the core of me, the person I am when no one is looking is the person that I am.
I spend a lot of money and a lot of time in doctor’s offices trying to figure out who exactly I am when I dare to take away the labels, the conflicts, the fights, the struggles. I have spent the last 22 years trying to define a person that exists in my very own skin. And while there are truths that are inescapable even to the most inept therapist, there are truths that are so difficult to understand as to make them almost non-existent. That which I can’t define I bury deep within me only to be pulled out when it is my choice.
So is my writing a necessity? No. Am I going to do it anyway? I am going to try. Not because I need readers to understand my words and find some simple comfort from it (too fleeting) but because the honest truth is writing is the only thing I really know how to do. It is the only thing that makes sense to me; the only thing about me that I am willing to show to the world and let them judge. The rest of me, is in all ways, off limits. But in my writing I try and show the truth that you will find no other place in my life. If it accomplishes something for my dear reader, I can find joy. But if it is ignored I can and will probably just write about that ignorance tomorrow.
This is phenomenal. I can relate to so much of what you wrote here.
Like this: “I want my writing not only read by millions but commented on so that I might be a better and more useful being in this world of mindlessness. I have no need for my writing to change lives, that is a goal too lofty even for me, but I do need my writing to not be a waste.”
I feel this way with my art and my writing as well… There’s this pressure to do something meaningful, to be growing, to put on a worthwhile performance during our (my) time here.. And not just to perform but to BE something worthwhile… but our (my) being and doing are inherently intertwined… and so when we (I) fail to do because of life/mental illness/kid shenanigans/lack of inspiration/power outtage/the day of the week/whatever it is so easy for it to impact our (my) sense of self.
(I don’t want to speak for you.)