Why Writing Matters (c. 2010)
When I'm reminded of a familiar feeling of digression I look back at old writing. This little number stays with me fairly often, resonating in the soul of a writer. I'm thankful that this was 5 years ago, as I don't have the same issues. But what I do enjoy looking back on is that when in a rut, I resorted to writing, an art (and medicine, apparently) that to this day I hold so dearly.
May 18, 2010
I’m dry, feeling brittle at my fingertips, no pen in hand, hesitant if any. Two of a kind, my paper and I, bare and blank, naked in the heart of the inner core of its make. Now parted between different aerial views, now heavy on that heart, the naked barite heart that lingers heavily beneath my ribs. I stare, with the blank page in front of me. I am tired, sleepily distracted by the fact that I cannot focus. Writing about writing; what preconceived notion did we previously have…that I am relieved of any anxieties. I write a letter to reason the fault of my actions.
“ Dear Frank,
In this, I hope to help you understand my outburst today. It’s not something I can thoroughly explain verbally and have it make sense, so I’m trying this. I write to better explain my thoughts and justify my actions. I write to be relieved from any anxieties and to show you my perspective. I invest my heart and soul into my words across the page. Without writing, I am not capable of fully expressing myself. This is why I’m writing you this letter, to get all of my thoughts out onto this page and share it with you.
First off, I love you with my entire heart, and you are the only one who I want it to go to. I thought that I had actually been acquainted with love before you. But thinking back to it, I wonder, ‘What was that?’ It was nothing like this. It wasn’t actual; it was a way of ridding my heart and mind of the absence that I have always hated to feel. But with you, right now, everything is right, it’s almost surreal, and I thank God every day for you.
I hate myself more and more when I think about what I’ve done to you. I think, ‘Who the hell do I think I am, doing this to him, treating him so unfairly and selfishly?’ I can only thank you for trucking it out with me through the ups and downs. Lord knows, what I’d do without you. Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been at that point where I only have eyes for you. Other men? They get lost in a crowd. You’re the only one who breathes the same as I do.
If you are to stay with me you have to know the details of my depression. It is one of those things that I can never talk about thoroughly. My grandmother, my mother, and I all suffer from a severe genetic depression that puts us into a rut for an extended amount of time. In this rut, I personally have the hardest time with the organization of my thoughts. My brain relapses through everything negative and I become overtly pessimistic. The longest period of depression I’ve ever been in was for six months straight. That was in middle school when I played around with suicide. Obviously I’ve grown up since then, but there are times that I get so caught up in the sad emotions running through me that I lash out at other people or I just cry. I cry and cry and cry in order to let it all out. I have been depressed for the past six years and I have never found a solution to getting out of my rut besides being alone and sorting it out on my own. It wasn’t until today that I realized that there are actually two things that help me out of a rut; God and you. Never in my life have I had someone uplift me so highly that I feel like I’m being pulled from my rut, literally pulled. (I am the roots grown deep beneath the earth, and as your hand tugs on my weeds, I feel the back and forth motion of my roots straining to break free beneath me. Almost as if I’m stretching, my roots try so hard to reach up to you, to the light.) That’s how I feel. I feel tugged, but you are my strength, you are my sunshine.
My analysis of today seems petty and I actually had no reason to be as mean and upset as I was. But when everything is in your head all at once, it is so difficult to distinguish the importance of life, and disregard the foolishness. And I am a fool.
After this pointless day of just everything adding up in negativity, this is what bothered me most: by the end of the day what really got to me was that Chris Finnegan, being as nice as he is, asked me why I was sitting by myself in class and wouldn’t just come sit with him and the other guys. My excuse was that I wasn’t feeling well. I just lied through my teeth. I wasn’t feeling mentally well, which is my own damn problem, but no excuse. I realized how consistently I isolate myself with everyone in countless situations. I thought, ‘what’s wrong with me? Why am I still like this? Will this ever end?’ I’ve always called myself an introvert and admitted that I was fine with it, when really, I was blinded by something so routine that I disregarded what I was missing out on. I have missed out on the interactions of people my age, with my similar interests. I’ve been so stuck inside myself that I’ve convinced myself that I have been sick of the place where I have to go every day to obtain an education that I can’t even retain. I have been selfish and ignorant, saying, ‘I’m better than this.’ No. I need to be better at optimism. I need to be better at Christianity, faith, forgiveness, and love. I feel like I have lost three-fourths of my teenage life due to my introversion and it is something I can’t get back. I feel stuck. I feel as if sometimes I cannot get better. My problem is that I’m wary to openly speak my mind in front of people besides my circle of three friends. Sometimes I’m even wary to speak my mind around you because of my own stupidity and inhibitions that I feel like I’m plagued with, even though I am absolutely comfortable around you. My mind just feels weak. That is something I’ve been tugging at to change.
I believe that it is my introversion that adds to my depression, and it is something that I need to change. It is something that I have realized is barely a part of me now and I need to change it for the sake of my own sanity.
When I’m in one of these ruts I feel like nothing is worth anything. I feel like the world no longer goes around and orbits around the sun. I feel trapped within my own head and all I want is to make it all stop. That is why I cry as much as I do. This is why I write everything out, sorting it, distinguishing it, learning from it. That is why I feel like I need to explain myself to you, for your better understanding.
I hope this letter finds you in a better mood than you were today.
Without writing, I wouldn’t be able to communicate freely and clearly. This is my only means of irrefutable communication. I speak and my words are jumbled. My brain is in deconstruction; a mode electrifying my fingertips. It’s better for the greater reproduction for the speech that doesn’t escape my lips. But now my hand is cramping. It’s a consistent motion; this letter writing, the piano playing, the clasping of the steering reins. My speech will grow stronger, because this is an early disease; the latency of the retire of my pen.