There are times when I spend hours on a blog post, sorting through all my thoughts and sentences, wearing the pages of my thesaurus thin, not able to connect the exact meaning with my keystrokes. I always have a feeling of accomplishment when I am done--believing at least that I have gotten as close as I can. Sometimes the words resonate with readers and sometimes they don't, but I know I said what I wanted or needed to say.
Then, there are times when the words flow, when I can't get them down fast enough...it is almost stressful to write at a quick enough pace before I forget where my mind is heading. More often than not, these writing bursts happen late at night (or early in the morning)--as my nightowl tendencies lend me to greater creative connectivity past the hours of midnight.
And many times, those streaming thoughts are the ones that seem to connect--I know there is more of a purity there.
My last post, No Other Way, was one of those entries. I wrote it from beginning to end in a matter of minutes, and got some comments and emails so touching in response, that I was teary-eyed. I even printed a few out for inspiration.
But, mainly I was so heartened. I know that I have battled some of the darkest bouts of depression a person could ever go through, and have experienced so much seemingly bad luck in my life that my friends often commented to me that it seemed at times like a black cloud followed me.
When in those midnight-black places, I didn't want to hear from anyone that things could get better. It seemed like empty words coming from people who could not possible understand my pain or the sheer impossibility of getting to the other side.
And then, every now and then, I would read an article, a story, an essay, or a blog post and someone's words would reach me. I would see shared circumstances and find something that gave me a glimmer. Or, as in the case of Matt Logelin's blog, I would read about someone in completely different circumstances, but whose strength and grace just made me believe that I, too, could keep going. Those moments could sustain me for long periods of time.
So often when I share something of my life, the responses and stories I get in return from readers blow me away. The grace, survival, humor and ability to put it all into words is so touching and beautiful, and we all never really recognize how amazing our own stories are.
And although my life is far from perfect, I do know that I would never, ever have believed all the amazing things that have happened to me in the last year. Two years ago, I was so far away from all this--and if you are reading this--and if you need these words--please read them and know them to be true.
Even from the bottom of a seemingless bottomless pit, everything can change. Everything. It may not all be perfect, but it can be happy and hopeful, and more than you thought possible. It can. I promise.
And for so many of us creative souls, writing is therapy, healing, and sanity. Write-- put it all down. It doesn't have to be poetic. Even when I look back on some of my most heartbreaking journal entries or blog posts, I am so thankful I have those words--laced with all that pain. Because looking back, I know how far I have come, how little hope I had, and how nothing is ever written in stone.
And for anyone else who has come out of these dark places, whatever they may be...someone out there needs to hear your words of survival and hope. So share, trust yourself. It may make all the difference.
It did for me.