As a writer who has been writing since I was little, I often write a great deal in journals, scrawling lines and lines in pen. I do also journal in private folders and blogs on my computer, just typing away my feelings. I sometimes go back and read them, but often, I just tuck them away, not knowing if I will ever lay eyes on them again. And that’s okay. Since writing and emotions often are intertwined for me, the writing I do in these moments is meant to be cathartic.
Yet, I still hold on to them. I rarely delete any of my journals on my computer. I have kept nearly every one of my journals. The words are still very much a part of me.
Writing is often a way for me to get control of feelings.
When I am having a good day, I write.
When I am frustrated, I write.
When I am feeling sad, I write.
When I am feeling like the whole world is spinning out of control and my feelings are a mess, I try to write.
Pretty much, any time that words come to me, I write them down. Friends will tell you I often have a pen (or several) and some sort of paper with me. I’ve been known to say “I need to write that down!” when I have certain thoughts, or one-liners, or even an idea for a new story.
After all, I am a writer!
I recently stumbled across something I wrote dated March of 2010. It was a time in my life that a great deal was going on that I could not control. It was a time that my feelings were very much a giant mess.
“I sit here in the darkness, depression overtaking me. Every time I hope for something, it is ultimately extinguished by circumstance or bad timing or things I cannot control. Every time I even have the chance to hope, that hope is snatched away, or so it seems lately. I am wracked by an anguish I cannot begin to extinguish on my own, and yet I continue to hope. Why? Why do I put myself up for failure so that I feel like such a total and utter loser? Why do I continue to try to see the best in people and in circumstance? Why do I continue to allow myself to get close to anyone? Why do I hope and continue to try to find optimism in the very things that end up crushing my dreams and my heart at night, keeping me from the very rest I need? Why? WHY? Thoughts flit through my mind and I am unable to stop them. I am told I am a loser and that nothing will ever work out right for me, but I know they aren’t true. I have no strength to stop them though, for every ounce of my energy is spent, and yet I find I still have this desire and need to keep going and fight through the desperation and the pain. I feel let down. I feel heartbroken and I don’t know why. I feel like my soul and my heart are being torn in two, and all because things did not go the way I had hoped, the way I had dreamed. I feel so let down, not by people, but by circumstances beyond anyone’s control and I feel like no one or nothing will ever make me feel whole again. But at the same time, I know that I will be okay, but I can’t seem to make the other half of me see that.“
I still have times where I feel like I did way back in 2012, but I also know there are really good days as well. Looking back, I knew I was going through a tough time. The other half was out of work and we were trying to make ends meet on a job of mine that did not pay that much. The place we were living was not the best and there was a great deal of turmoil in our lives at the time. People we thought were friends were doing shady things and there was some back stabbing going on. I also was not the person I wanted to be. But still, we persisted.
The other half and I in a much better position these days, with a much stronger outlook on life. If I could go back twelve years, I would tell myself that. Though I think I already knew then that things could and would get better, if given enough time.
But isn’t that how life works? We find things from tough times in our lives and we think “Wow, I really did survive all of that!” The memories are trapped in time, but they are still there, reminding us we’ve come so far. But we have to look back to find them. We have to reflect on them to truly understand their worth.
After all, there’s the saying “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” We become stronger by enduring the things that are hard. But, if we listen to the struggles as well, we become more empathetic, more loving, and mor understanding of those who may be struggling. Because of this period in my life, I often try to help others out despite their situations because I was there once. I was helped by a group of friends and family even in this dark moment, and I have been helped by friends and family all along.
Tough times are just as much a part of the stories of our lives as are good times. But remember that they are just chapters, not the whole story. Without conflict, the hero cannot grow. Without a trying moment, we cannot shine. We can’t find the magic in the mundane if we didn’t have a moment that pushed us to our limit.
Besides, a great deal of these late night writing sessions end up spawning chapters of stories I have written, the ones I have published as well as the ones that stay locked away in my computer. They’ve become parts of the characters I have created, like Solilune, Templeton, Manda and all the others in the Portal Series. So there is good in even my most deepest, darkest moments.
Dear readers, the trick is to keep writing your story, even in the tough chapters. Keep staying magical, even when it’s hard. Persist even when you think it’s futile to do so. For there are others out there that are holding on to the hope, even when you can’t see it in a midnight musing. So keep going!
It does get better, given enough time and maybe even some good long chats with a friend or two. Despite these dark moments, I know this. For this is just a part of my story.
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