Personal Development · Writing


November is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). I’ve never participated. Mostly because the weight of the autumn is enough to try to trudge through without the added pressures of writing. But during my recent stay in the psych ward I was asked the question, “When did you feel most balanced?” And I didn’t even have to think about it.

November of 2013.

That’s when I was participating in National Novel Writing Month. That’s when I was getting up at the same time every day and immediately going for a run. I was regimented, I was in control. I felt centered, balanced, whole.

I’m not a long-form writer, so writing a book in a month was rather ridiculous for me. I’d never done it before and haven’t done it since. But blog posts, that’s a thing I can get behind. So join me for the month of November, when I’ll be posting new material every day.

Photo courtesy of Green Chameleon.

Autobiography · Mental Health · Writing

Don’t Write

"writing table" © Graham Holliday, 2013. CC BY-NC 2.0.
writing table” © Graham Holliday, 2013. CC BY-NC 2.0.
Don’t write about it. Writing about it solidifies the hurt. Gives it form, texture. Writing about it creates a framework where the darkness can continue to exist. Another form of rumination. It reworks those pathways in your brain, rivers cutting deeper and deeper into the earth every time you put a word down.

Each word is another snowflake leading up to the avalanche. Creating something which used to not be there. Destroying that which used to be safe.

Don’t write about it. Your words are sharp, broken glass under delicate feet. Thoughts like drops of water, each one insignificant, but they come on like a flash flood. You’re drowning.

Sometimes writing can serve as a way to sort. Pulling belongings out of the bottom of your backpack, putting them in the correct drawer. But today writing is doing nothing but fanning your anxious flames. Pulling the cord on a chainsaw until it screams to life and you’re left wailing on the floor.

Don’t write about it. Take a breath and divert your attention. Watch TV, take a walk, make huge gashes of color with markers across a blank piece of paper. Crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “This is really fucking hard.” But don’t say why.