You are the reason.

“I love to write and I’ve written for my own sanity since I was a child. I write because if I don’t I will cease to see any clarity and look for meaning in all the wrong places.” Me

There’s a thousand selfish reasons why I write, but here is why I choose to share it:

YOU.

You are the reason.

I share my writing, no matter how deep and painful it is because of You.

You are the ones who message me to say ‘thank you’ for letting you know you are not alone, that it’s okay to feel vulnerable and find life hard; the ones who are relieved that others absolutely suck at adult life sometimes. You are the ones who aren’t allowed to let your vulnerability show because your job is too demanding, your social status is too fragile, your children need you to be strong and unafraid, your family doesn’t ‘believe’ in mental illness, your partner just doesn’t understand it.

You are the ones who are up all night with insomnia, guiding each other through the torment of that exclusive ‘after hours club’ that nobody chooses to be a member of.

You’re the ones whose friend or mother or son or brother has suffered with their mental health so you’ve lived with it in your peripheral vision, wondering and sometimes worrying that you might be next.

You are the 1 in 4 with a mental illness.

You’re those who say ‘I write to survive too!’ who express yourselves as a way to get through the week, and share your words with me.

I share it for the ones that might be inspired to write too.

And if people who don’t have any experience with mental illness get just a bit of a clue because I haven’t tried to bullshit them or hide it away like a shameful dark secret and it gives them the confidence to reach out to a struggling friend or compel them to campaign for better services then that’s just a wonderful bonus.

I share for anyone who idly reads it and recognises ‘Shit yes, this is what it’s like to be human’ and it makes them feel better about themselves.

I write for my self preservation, for my soul to have an outlet, a way of making sense of my tangled mixed up senses, a way of lashing out safely, but I share, I share it because if I have to suffer (as life insists we all do) then I want it to be for some good reason, to make it worthwhile.

If I can help one person, at a moment where I can’t even help myself, then that is a beautiful, positive thing.

And when I find better solutions and answers to how I deal with it all, then I share those too, and I will share the happier moments to inspire and prove that we can overcome and move forward, if only for a few days or weeks at a time.

Of course sometimes exposing myself like this scares me, it’s like walking out the front door naked, and I feel weak and like my lack of boundaries and ‘poor impulse control’ will get me into trouble again.

I know some people, even those who love and respect me, will cringe at my openness and honesty, but that’s on them not me. I can’t control people’s responses to my truthfulness or creativity.

Please don’t misunderstand, I value my privacy, and the privacy of those I write about. I respect other’s boundaries, I practise anonymity when it comes to others input. I don’t want to upset anyone or worry them too much or dwell in the darker side of what I have to contend with. But living in shame for something which is a really common issue isn’t good for me, and it isn’t good for those around me either. We can be so unrealistic about what life is supposed to be like, and have distorted views on what is considered strength and weakness, illness and wellness.

This is what I’m good at, like I actually fucking believe in myself a little bit here for once and no matter how many people recoil or reject that or disapprove, no one should want to take that away from me.

I worry that others will think I sit comfortably in the role of victim, that my illness makes up too much of my identity or that I’m attention seeking (of course my fragile ego is fond of praise, even if it makes me squirm sometimes, don’t dare tell me yours isn’t too!) but I genuinely wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t written my soul out on paper so many times, in so many different ways. And I wouldn’t have valued myself and gained the strength that I have without being honest enough to reach out, ask for help or come to understand myself like this.

Ultimately I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t sought comfort and understanding in the written words of others. So I’m paying it forward. To me that’s a sure sign of personal growth and progress, and my hope is that, that stuff spreads like wildfire!

One thought on “You are the reason.”

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