It may sound a bit drastic to say that something as simple as writing saved my life, but I do feel that way. I know, of course, that God has always been by me during my toughest trials, but I also know that He’ll give us avenues to use when life’s battles seem to be a tad too much.
I started writing after my mom died in 1990. That was the first major death I’d experienced, and boy was it, MAJOR! Losing a mother, the person who knows how to make everything better, is devastating, especially for a thirteen-year-old girl who’s just discovering things about life and her body. Not a good feeling.
A year after my mom died, I wrote a story called “The Day I’ll Never Forget.” It was all about June 9, 1990, the day she died. I mentioned in an earlier blog that it was that award-winning story that caused my teachers to encourage me to keep writing. I didn’t listen. I only wrote when I had to for school, rarely for pleasure. However, writing that story was therapy for me, but as a fourteen-year-old, it’s hard to explain how writing made you feel better.
The next big loss came when my daughter passed on October 9, 2012 (Something about those 9’s I tell ya). I wrote every day for a year straight. I wasn’t working on a novel; I was working on me. Each day I’d write in my journal. It felt safe to share my true feelings in my journal. There I could write without the sad eyes, or the sympathetic tone that would’ve come had I told anyone else. I was free to say what I wanted, cried if I needed, and moved on. That’s just how I am. I don’t handle sympathy too well, never really learned how to do that.
Then, in 2015 I was hit yet again. Really God? That’s how I felt/feel most of the time because this time God took the first man I ever loved. Losing my daddy was like losing all the air in my body. I never really expected him to die. I know that sounds crazy, but my daddy, in my eyes, was next in line after Jesus. He wouldn’t die and leave me here. Okay, maybe that’s a bad example because Jesus died too, but you get the point :).
You have to understand; he was more than my dad; he was truly my best friend, my counselor, my doctor, my lawyer, my minister, my whatever I needed him to be when I needed him to be it. As you’ve probably gathered, I’d call him for any and everything. He had a way of making everything right. Even if it wasn’t if my daddy said it was alright, then my spirit felt that it was alright. Now don’t get me wrong, our relationship wasn’t always grits and butter :). We shared a birthday, and we were both Taurus’, so we knocked heads a lot. A little-known fact about me, I’m never wrong, and neither was he. You can imagine what those conversations sounded like LOL!
After my dad passed, I finally finished the novel I’d been working on for so long. I threw myself into my writing. It was my escape from the reality I no longer enjoyed. I’m blessed with a wonderful family and fabulous friends, but none of them are my daddy, and even through my many blessings, there’s still a lot of pain.
I say that writing saved my life because it was my outlet. Storing emotions can be very damaging both mentally and physically. Everyone feels like they’re okay and managing it well until that day comes and you snap, or you crack, and then you realize you weren’t doing so well after all. I urge you if you’re hurting, grieving, suffering at all, please find a healthy outlet. Don’t hold it in because eventually it will come out and you, your family, friends, or coworkers may not like the manner in which it arrives.