Saturday, 13 December 2014

Writing As a Catharsis...

For the past few weeks I've been reading stories about homicides and suicides. People are depressed and overwhelmed with life and don’t know how to handle it. 

This morning I woke up with a lump in my throat. My heart was jolting and I had thoughts haunting me. I didn't cry neither did I shout/scream at anybody for I was on my own. I could have smashed a cup or prayed. But I did neither. I wrote it all away.
 
We all have these moments. There is no escaping them.

If you had told me that writing does bring about relief and healing to the soul some ten odd years ago I wouldn't have believed it. Now having sat through my book 'A Life Steered' I can confirm that indeed writing does that - heal! As you spend minutes, hours and days clicking away or scratching on that piece of paper, pouring your heart out, you do expend a lot of energy.  Your heart will ache even more as you delve into the depth of your soul and scrap all the muck away. Tears will flood your cheeks too as you do so. But after you have written your last sentence what you’re left with is just you- a clean slate. At times not so much but you will certainly feel a lot lighter.

I am an avid watcher of real dramas, crime stories and there is consistency when it comes to the reasons psycho-analysts give as to why people commit all kinds of heinous crimes. They will tell you that these people were abused as children, that they never were never shown love or affection or that they experienced some kind of loss. As you listen to them digging deep into the human mind, one can be forgiven for believing that these people are indeed the real victims. You can almost sympathise with their circumstances. Then there is another group of victims who when life gets heavy resort to all kinds including prostitution, drugs or suicide.

As long as you’re still walking this God’s green earth it is inevitable that at some point you will experience loss and suffering. So what do you do when there is no one around to share these difficult moments with? Who do you turn to when no one is interested? It is easy to find ourselves in a rut and overwhelmed as events and emotions spiral out of control. And in the most unfortunate of circumstances, a voice will start banging in your head, telling you that your life is over and that it isn't worth living. The voice will convince you that it is OK to do drugs, to drink yourself into a stupor and to shut the world out as you numb the pain and drown your sorrows. And before you know it you are caught in a web of depression and, heaven forbid, if you don’t kill somebody you will kill yourself!

Just recently it was reported that we have become a pill popping generation with antidepressants being among the culprits. Therapists will often encourage you to talk about it, draw it, or write it down in an effort to help. Personally, I find that when I put pen to paper, I discover things about myself that I never knew existed inside me. I lose and find myself at the same time as I birth my thoughts and feelings. Once the thoughts and feelings are out there it’s out of my hands. They can no longer haunt me as much. I may have more haunting thoughts but not the same ones. I could choose to publish my thoughts and feelings like I’m doing right now or I may choose to keep them somewhere safe. It’s really up to me how I handle them. The most important thing here is that my load would've become a little bit lighter and more manageable. I no longer have to carry it around like before.

After I had finished writing my first book 'A Life Steered' I shed tears. They were not tears of joy but tears of relief. I felt lighter; as if a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I didn't write this particular book for money or fame. It was a book I wrote mainly for me. For cathartic reasons and I know that it is a story which have and will inspire other people too. Most importantly I was able to discover my real passion and a thing or two about myself. I read somewhere that we should embrace challenges, discomfort and pain for without that there is no growth.

So if you ever find yourself stuck in a spiral of emotions that you can't deal with try putting pen to paper. Writing may be the only drug you will ever need!