I need to be writing more with the purpose of publishing my writing. Otherwise, I’ll be waking up on the other side of five years abroad with nothing to show for it in regard to my writing goals. Writing is one of the few things that make me feel alive within every cell and semblance of my being. The problem comes with how I’ve used writing throughout my life as a healing activity. I learned that I was good at writing when I started writing about pain, more specifically when I wrote in a way that channelled my own pain. There has been so much therapeutic value that I’ve found in my writing, but that came at a price. I have conditioned myself to associate writing with pain and the processing of difficult emotions. I always end up writing about pain in some way, I end up caught up in the same cycle I’ve been in since high school. Even now, I’m writing about the pain of writing about pain. Hopefully the difference is that I’ll be able deconstruct and dismantle the cycle... because I’m so tired of writing about pain and sadness and heartbreak. I’m not saying I never want to write about those things again, I just don’t want that to be all that I am capable of writing. I want to be able to do more.
I remember being so terrified in high school to write about anything other than death because that’s all that I had written about convincingly. As much as my writing healed me, it kept me in a place where I was feeding into my own depression in order to have something to be sad about... in order to write again. University was similar, although more deeply connected to themes of unrequited love and heartbreak. Just a different kind of sadness. I found almost every excuse to punish myself. I wasn’t good enough for these people and that’s why could never return my affections. I was never good enough to be loved. Therefore, I needed to be punished. And then I could write. Sexual identity and orientation became promising themes for me as I struggled to come to terms with things that I had learned about who I was and the parts of myself that I had been hiding. While I speak more convincingly on those themes due to greater experience and confidence, I struggle to write about them because they are so wildly entangled with my history of self-harm and self-loathing that it would mean more writing about pain and suffering and inner turmoil.
Writing became cemented as strictly for healing and processing purposes. I never gave myself the room or allowance to grow as a writer beyond that. If I wasn’t in some kind of pain, I convinced myself that there was nothing to write about that I had the ability to convey - that only happy people could write happy things, and I was not happy. Any sort of published writing of mine has been decidedly depressing or at least recalls depressing times and experiences. So much time has passed since some of these moments on which my mind dwells. I gave myself an unnecessarily long grace period when I moved abroad, and even once I started taking my writing ambitions more seriously, I let myself make excuses and put other things ahead of them.
Does that make any sense?