“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway
Turning Feelings into Metaphors
Wishing my fingers would move as fast along this keyboard as my thoughts do along the wires of my brain. Has the world gone mad or is it just me?
Sometimes an invisible lump in my throat acquires from overthinking and feeling so much empathy for the sad things that are happening around us. Sometimes it’s physically and mentally unbearable.
The lump takes to expanding like a water balloon filling from the faucet protruding off the side of the house like when we were kids. There were always those defiant balloons, the band broke almost instantaneously when you turned the water on too fast. For some reason I remember those balloons always being red in color.
This is how my lumpy throat feels sometimes, just about ready to burst open exposing my trachea, then it rips down my chest, my ribs crumble, and my heart just kind of flops out still attached to some aortic cord. You’d know my emotions then if you could never read them before. They’d be etched on my valves by the hand of my subconscious.
How Writing Turned Into My Therapy
These feelings, often they don’t show. Either we don’t know how to show them, or we have built up so many walls around us and become so used to being jaded, or told it’s “cool” to not care, it may just be the level upon which some of us operate now.
For some of us these emotions are kept so locked up on the insides of our aching soul that it’s not until we start writing, we are finally able to release them.
I have wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. I never thought about how much money I would make doing it, or how successful I would be. I only loved it because it made me feel good. It made me feel good because I could finally communicate how I felt.
I’m not a talker, I don’t possess the gift of gab. I stutter and trip over my words. My brain is always moving at a million miles per second and whatever part it is that connects my brain to my mouth just can’t keep up. Dinnertime story-telling is not only NOT my niche, I find it extremely frightening.
I found a beauty in writing because it is patient with me.
It doesn’t get frustrated with me when I don’t get it right the first time.
It doesn’t judge me because of how I am, or how I feel. I can express myself, my way.
Although life can be a vicious cycle of falling down and getting up and dusting ourselves off again and again, the one thing I feel grateful to have in this moment are the resources to put my thoughts into words as a form of therapy for my sometimes crippling depression. And maybe by allowing my work to be seen, it will resonate with another person, and my being vulnerable will help them to cope by not feeling so alone.
Pick up the Pieces
I want people to know it’s OK to keep things in if you’re not ready to let them out. I was always told it wasn’t “healthy” to keep my feelings locked up, which just added unnecessary pressure to my already innumerable neurosis. Especially because I didn’t know HOW to let them out. I didn’t use writing as an outlet then.
The inspiration and therapy began to flow when I started to release all the pressure I was putting on myself. Remembering not to be so hard on myself, trying to write when I let myself connect with things bigger than the busy and chaotic world around us. I’d write while watching the sunset or after talking to the moon. I’m writing this on my porch trying to stay present while the wind blows gently on the palm trees in this city, and it’s the best I’ve felt in a while.
Whatever it may be, for now I try to live and write in this moment, as not only a completely vulnerable writer, but as a vulnerable human – reaching out by reaching in and attempting to convey the depths of my depression. And after all is written and done, the built up pressure inside the lump in my throat is being relieved.
I feel comfort in this, it may have a slow leak but at least it’s a steady one, it’s not going to tear my throat open. Like a valve to a collapsed lung, I can breathe again. I feel less overwhelmed by the problems around me and less pressure to take them on all by myself. I think I’ll pick up the fragments of the no longer useful negative and broken red balloon from the cement and opt for a yellow one this time.
Use Writing Therapy Now to Relieve Your Emotional Pressure
- What emotions are stored up inside of you right now?
- Are you ready to release that pressure?
- Grab a pen and paper and write whatever comes up, give yourself permission to let it out.
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