As with all unfortunate circumstances there is a “silver lining” that accompanies pain for me that silver lining tends to come in the form of self expression. There is a certain pleasure in writing even in times of darkness. As an introvert with the intense need to connect with others I find writing to be such an incredible release. I’ve never found anything quite so satisfying emotionally as curling up on a quiet coffee shop beside the window with my laptop or a notebook and writing through my tears or even through moments of extreme joy. For me this outlet became so therapeutic and I’ve become so reliant on this self expression that I don’t know how I managed my emotions and thus made it through life without it.
I started writing about my feelings because I needed to feel heard. Writing gave my thoughts and emotions a sense of legitimacy when I felt invalidated or ignored by the world around me. I sat down to write for entirely selfish reasons-to piece together my own thoughts, to reread them and come to an understanding of my feelings and eventually (when the time was right) to let these feelings go. Writing has validated me, it’s saved me from going completely insane, it has given me a voice.
I didn’t expect that writing down my feelings in this small space created just for me would do something more. When I first began divulging the inner workings of my heart as opposed to just the happy daily details of my life, something strange started to happen. I began receiving comments and emails and Facebook messages about my pain. Many of the messages were kind and comforting but what struck me was a different message all together. Strangers, women from all over the country (all over the world) began telling me their stories, they began sharing their pain and some of them shared that my willingness to share my pain helped them to feel less alone. Or it helped them to feel less crazy or it helped them to understand their own emotions…in some way it inspired them, in some way it helped them. I never have imagined my writing as anything but personal, emotional and selfish yet these comments overwhelmed me with a sense of fulfillment (a high perhaps) that I’ve never quite felt before.
Writing has allowed me to expose the pieces of my soul that I always believed made me weak. This space has provided an arena to share the girl behind the tutus and the tiaras, beyond the sunshine-y smiles and slightly manic disposition. When I am able to turn the pain of a break up, or an unhealthy relationship or feelings of abandonment from my parents into words that even just one person can read and say “me too” it gives that pain a purpose. Though heartache still burns, though rejection still stings and my insides long for the feeling of love and belonging this sense of purpose fulfills me. Suffering becomes justified when it becomes the raw material used to form something beautiful. Pain feels purposeful if it becomes a small token of oneness to another lonely soul in a dark world. I am by no means claiming that these characteristics are in any way unique to my writing but this experience, this experience of unity through pain has helped me to realize how much we need each other.
I don’t know what all of this means really. I don’t know why I feel compelled to share my most humiliating and heartbreaking experiences in a public space. I’ve been scoffed at for this “need” to publicize my emotions; at times I’ve felt ashamed speculating that perhaps I am too dramatic or too emotional. I don’t know why I feel called to share myself this way, to bare my already broken heart to the world who can twist my words however they so please…but I do. There is a voice within me that won’t be silent, there’s this longing to be heard that can’t be repressed. And I can only rationalize that it is from this same strange place, that finds fulfillment in channeling pain into purpose that I am able to rekindle the embers of hope. Through sleepless nights and days tinted gray I can cling to the idea that the pain I feel now can be given meaning and thus even if I am hurt again and again and again (which I likely will be) maybe that pain can gain meaning too.
Living a life filled with meaning and intention is all I can hope for at the end of the day, and if that meaning comes from heartbreak and let downs…well I’ve got a blank space baby, and I’ll write your name (;
Thank you for reading my words, thank you for empathizing with me, for joining the discussion or for allowing them to be your words when you haven’t quite formed them on your own. It is probably the most meaningful compliment I have ever received and I am so grateful.