‘Writing helps you to confront who you really are’
This statement was brought to my attention at a workshop I attended and it resonated with me for many reasons, one of them was because I’d just started writing a blog, I had no idea what it would become but it became very cathartic.
I’d always written the odd piece of poetry, but I didn’t think anything of it other than it being an explosion of my feelings in words.
When I started to write my blog, the idea was to help me release some of the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing, hence its name ‘Free Your Mind – Pain to poetry’.
I hoped it may help other people feeling the same way, but also to help those around me to understand me better, and in a way help me to really search and explore myself from the inside out.
I spent a few weeks updating my blog before I had an incident with a close friend where I could sense a feeling of 'just snap out of it’, that I was playing the victim to my feelings coming from them. After another horrid panic attack, I decided I had enough of being misunderstood and that they needed to understand just what I was going through, the struggles I was having with my feelings, every day the darkness I was in. I wanted their understanding not pity.
I emailed a link to my blog to all of friends and family, hoping they would read it and finally understand, I was overwhelmed by the support I received messages telling me how brave I was, how well I’d hidden so much, another friend told me she’d cried reading it because she really had no idea that things were as bad as they were.
True to the symptoms of anxiety I started to feel unworthy of the praise Id received, why was I getting praise for this? I didn’t feel deserving of it, all I was doing was writing a blog, but what I didn’t realise was that I was putting myself out there, facing up to my issues and starting on my road to healing. I say healing and not recovery, because I don’t think you ever fully recover from a mental health problem but you do learn how to cope.
At this particular workshop, it hit home exactly what my blog and writing had done for me. I had always loved reading and writing, my degree was in communications, culture and media. However In 2008 I was told by an old boss that my writing skills were poor, and then diagnosed with dyslexia, my confidence was shot to pieces and so I lost all interest in reading and writing altogether
By 2012 after several life altering incidents, I had become a serious bottler of my feelings and emotions and mastered the art of faking a smile every day. To most I was happy and smiley but alone I’d cry every morning, upset that I’d woken up to another day of my life and cry myself to sleep at night after spending the day over thinking everything, questioning my existence and hating myself. By January 2013 I had lost all sense of purpose and contemplated suicide daily.
This brings me back to the statement that ‘Writing helps you to confront who you are’, I’ve always hated confrontation and realised that I always expressed myself best in written form. I didn’t know it at the time, but through starting my blog I had started to open up again, confront my feelings or at least began to express them and began to explore and understand the situations in my life that had made me predisposed to the depression, panic and anxiety disorder that I have. From the past to the present, it made me realise just how long I had to go, but also how far I had come.
I’d recommend writing to anyone having trouble expressing their feelings, please feel free to contact me at my blog for anything x
Read Natasha's blog From pain to poetry