I grew up an angry, and bitter child who had no way to channel his emotions. I wasn’t involved in sports until high school, but my writing always harbored the darkness I found inside me. My teachers would comment that while it was good the dark undertones were questionable. Over time I began to find my own voice in my writings and the paradigm shifted. I found myself in the middle of both darkness and light with my writings reflecting that.
I've reached a point now that I incorporate both sides into my writing as a way to balance out the other. As with life there will always be good and negative aspects, but there's always a lesson to be learned and wisdom to gain. I put my emotions into the story through my voice and leave it them there on the page. To write is to process the emotions, and to read them is to understand.
Rather than have someone else tell my story, I chose to cast light where there was darkness in my life. My story is unique in its own way but not special in the sense of humanity as a whole. Suffering, pain, regret and bitterness are all parts of the whole that is our story. Through my writing I am allowed to define the role they had in my life with clarity rather than through rose-colored lenses. The human condition is a beautiful thing and the stories never cease to amaze me what we can imagine. I chose to tell my story as a victim for many years, but that was never the whole truth. I victimized myself more than anyone ever could. My story is one of a survivor, a fighter, and someone who wanted to quit, but never did. I had many chances I could had laid down and died wallowing in self-pity, but my story wasn’t over, and the next chapter was only beginning. Now I get to share my story in the hopes that others might find comfort in knowing they aren't alone. That there is hope and that we are not the victims that we set ourselves out to be. We are given a chance to rise above it every day, and there's a blessing in that.
I never thought I could be in the wrong in any situation in life and at times thought myself the smartest human being in the room. I was at my peak narcissism in my addiction and I had to take a step back to understand what I was doing. Through journaling I came to realize the pain I had caused others and how I let my ego run the show; not me. I thought I was a giver, but I learned I was taking more than I could ever give back. Like a vampire I bled others dry and discarded friendships, relationships when they could no longer provide me with anything.
I couldn’t see that perspective before, but I'm glad I can now. When I'm being selfish, writing helps me look at the other side of things. When I re-read my words and think wow, I really did this? Or that was wrong of me to say that. Writing takes me out of my own ego, and helps me step into the shoes of another. To view another in the light of compassion. As a human being who is just as worthy of living as I am.
This is the most important thing writing has done for me. I did not have realistic expectations of people in my life because I dreamed in a fantasy world. A world where my needs and wants were always met and people did what I wanted. Yea, that was a hard pill to swallow when I woke up from my bubble. I told lies and grand stories about myself because I was insecure with who I was. So, I changed the narrative of my life and abused the gift of storytelling I had been given.
That’s no longer the case when I'm actively writing and expressing myself. I can see where the lines blur between fiction and reality. It’s a thin line and its always going to be there, and sometimes I'm going to fail to recognize it. Through my writing I learn to leave the stories where they belong; on the page for others to read. I've come to terms with where I am at in my life and who I am. The stories will always be there even when my memories fade, but I won't have to wonder if my own life was a lie.
Writing gives me a space to be myself and to explore anything that I want. I can be whoever I want in the stories and the outcome is mine to choose. In my journaling I can learn from the lessons of life and process how I feel on the page. The words flow through my hands even when my mouth is silent. I don’t always know the words to speak, but my hands know what they want to write.
The most amazing thing is also the community that supports and uplifts one another. Vocal media has provided a space for all of us creators to share and support one another. To celebrate, mourn, and lean on one another. That’s a rare thing to find in this world, but Vocal’s platform has allowed us to do just that. I see the love we creators give to one another and the amazing hope we spread. You can be proud of your work no matter what, and there will always be someone who enjoyed your story.
I hope we can all grow as a community and better one another. Thanks for letting me be a part of everyone’s journey and thank you for sharing your beautiful stories!