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Losing My Identity

I miss writing.

I miss that feeling I used to get where the words seemed to just make their way from my head to the computer screen without any thought. I never brainstormed or made outlines. 

I just wrote.

Most of the poems in my books are completely unedited- save for fixing some typos or spelling errors. There were no rough drafts. True, some poems took some more time and effort than others to phrase everything in a way that fit the particular rhyme scheme or whatnot, but many were just written in one shot. 

Many were written in my journals. One or two were written in text messages. There’s even one that was “written” while walking around my local Walmart singing. 

My old blog posts were the same. I’d sit down at my computer and just type. Even though I cringe and roll my eyes at some of it, there are also things I’m convinced I wrote specifically because I needed to read them at a later date.

Being a writer was part of who I was. It was so much more than a hobby; it was part of my identity.

Writing like that made me feel alive. I could take everything I was feeling- and everything I didn’t know was consuming me- and release it into words.

However, writing is also an enemy I used against myself. When the panic attacks and depression were at their worst, I rarely said anything audibly against myself. Speaking out loud that I was “worthless” or “ugly” wasn’t enough. Instead, I wrote it down. I’ve filled pages in my journals with sentences like “Everyone would be better off if I weren’t around” and “I should just kill myself.” I wrote, telling myself that I was “stupid, ugly, worthless, unloved” until I became numb to the sting of those words. I believed if I genuinely made myself believe them, then they would no longer hurt. I wouldn’t have to face the emotional roller coaster of feeling good.”What goes up, must come down.” 

When I first started cutting myself, all I had on hand was the pen I was using in my journal. So, that’s what I used. I found other ways to inflict physical damage upon myself, but it started with a pen. 

I think my struggles with writing started in 2011 when, in a bout of stubbornness, I threw out the medication I was taking to help stabilize my moods and declared that I was “fine.” There was no happy or sad or good or bad. There was only “fine.” I was tired of feeling broken; I wanted to be completely numb.

I didn’t stop writing then, but things changed. Over the years, I realized that I couldn’t truly pour out my heart in writing and remain unfeeling. 

But the emotions frightened me. 

It’s in times where I’m overwhelmed with emotion that I am prone to hurting myself. At times, I’ll resort to verbally abusing myself by writing hateful messages to myself in my journals or whispering them over and over until I go numb. 

Other times, I’ll pinch myself or pick at my skin until it bleeds.

And, in the past, I have cut myself.

And while it has been years since I’ve inflicted physical damage on myself, the fear hasn’t gone away. Neither has my tendency to abuse myself in other ways. 

I want to write again. I set a goal to write for my blog every single day because I wanted to see what would happen if I committed to taking the time to publish something new regularly. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want anyone to read what I post. If I didn’t want it, it wouldn’t be on the internet for the world to see. In fact, one of my dreams is to eventually make money writing.

More than that, however, I want to feel alive when I write again. 

I’m afraid, though. I’m worried that that part of my identity may be gone for good because I was stupid and stubborn.

I’m also afraid that I won’t be able to handle it if it isn’t gone. I’m afraid of the damage I will do if I allow myself to open up and feel things with the intensity that I need to feel them in order to create. 

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