“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Joan Didion
Sometimes, at least to me, it seems like writing is the only place where I am truly free to be myself. To think whatever I want. To say what I please. To be who I really am. To pose questions I would be too afraid to ask anyone. To express all the thoughts careening through my head like runaway trains, and put them into some semblance of a grammatically correct sentence; without fear of judgment or consequence. In short, writing is where I feel the most unrestricted. And in my world of ED, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder/ritualistic behaviors, and constant worry, a world in which I am permitted to be completely myself is the greatest thing I could ever imagine.
Lately, I have fallen into old unhealthy patterns. I’ve let my true self become overwhelmed with the burdens of disordered eating, feeling the need to control everyone at all times, needing everything to be done in even numbers and then beating myself for being overwhelmed with those preoccupations. But, through it all, writing has been there for me. Everywhere I go, my little Monet-painting bound journal goes with me. I write whenever I feel anxious, when I have a question, when I want to engage in unhealthy choices, when I am engaging in unhealthy choices, when I’m mad at myself, when I’m mad at others, when I have a profound thought (admittedly, this is quite infrequent). I write when I’m working, I write when eating (again, admittedly, quite infrequent), I write as I’m watching TV, I even write when reading (although, that usually doesn’t make sense when I go back to read it…both the book and the writing). Ever since I started writing three years ago, I’ve filled up five journals and countless scraps of paper; all kept in a box in my closet.
One would think that over the years my writing would improve to the point that the thoughts would connect, the punctuation would be correct, or, at the very least, be interesting. But, that’s when I remember, my writing is for me. I write for my own sanity, creativity, enjoyment and recovery. My purpose for writing reminds me of the best gift I ever got from a mentor. This particular mentor had been a co-worker and close acquaintance for some time, and was only a few years my senior. I, however, knew nothing of her story and she knew nothing of mine. It wasn’t until I was told to speak with her about my struggles, that I understood that I am not alone. She showed me that I can overcome anything, she gave me strength when I didn’t have any, she encouraged me to work towards recovery, she was a shoulder to cry upon, she was a person to share successes with and she showed me how amazing life can be without ED. She gave me a page out of one of her old journals, which I hold dear to me today. No one, aside from her, knows I have this or has ever seen it. Every time I read it I am reminded of her raw emotions, her uninhibited writing, and hope to be as real as she is with herself in her writing.
Essentially, this post has no purpose other than to express my love of writing; albeit not the Pulitzer prize winning writing of those who came before me or will come after. It is merely one girl’s thoughts and challenges in her own life and working towards bettering herself as a human being. That is what I hope people take away from my writing, as I do it for no other purpose.