Writing to save your life

Do you ever have those days where you just feel like breaking down in tears and you can’t really pinpoint why?

And no, I am not talking about hormones here — so you can all get that old school misogynistic business out of your head. This isn’t women’s hysteria.

I am talking about those days where your inner “I’m not good enough” voice just speaks a little louder than usual. Just sort of stays there, hanging over you, like a city smog — waiting for you to take a deep breath.

All week I have been feeling that dusty, grey, particle filled cloud right above my eyebrows. Lingering like cigarette smoke, but not being able to tell who is smoking exactly.

For the most part, my confidence is high and my morale in general is happy. I am lucky that I have never battled depression or other mental health issues in ways that so many others have. And when you know someone with true depression, it sometimes feels silly to complain about your few and far between days of abrupt and unclear sadness, but it doesn’t make them any less real.

After sitting for a while and thinking about what was making me feel so vulnerable and on the verge of a breakdown in my car, I realized that I had just come off a pretty amazing and ‘high’ week.

I finally launched In The Way Zine to the world.

I talked through my reasoning on Instagram and posted my new logo. I updated my social media and at the same time tried to convey to my readers, friends, and family what this writing project meant to me. And it was received with a whole lot of support. While this was all very lovely, in a way — it immediately made me want to retreat. The thought of people now actually reading my thoughts made me so incredibly vulnerable, I started feeling some anxiety bubbling up in my throat.

I started reading my posts as though I were specific people in my life and trying to decipher what they might think of certain phrases or topics. I did this A LOT.

Then quickly realized WHY I was writing this Zine and how much I was trying to get away from social media and other people’s approval. Also, I also came to the realization about how long it might actually take me to really get there.

I heard writer Sarah Ban Breathnach (author of the best selling novel, Simple Abundance) say recently that when she was writing the book that ultimately was on the #1 NY Times Best Sellers list for more than 2 years and sold over 5 million copies — she was never writing it with the intention of creating a bestseller.

She was writing it to save her life.

PREACH.

Sure, it means a lot when other people are interested or engage with my writing — I think that is natural. And while I might not feel that I need to ‘save my life’, I absolutely do feel like I need to change my life.

The part of my life that has been sitting in depths of my heart and lungs for years, while I have consistently been using my words (and more importantly my time) on other things.

This is not for you.

It’s funny. The more I have been immersing myself in reading and writing over the past month or so, the more I see from a bird’s eye view where I’ve been the past few years.

That being said, in addition, with writing and reading daily I have started feeling closer to my true, authentic self and the more at ease I have become. It is almost like I have remembered I have an entire limb that has been bound and broken for a decade that I just remembered is ready to heal.

Oh look, an entirely new set of hands. Here they are, at my heart.