Writing about not writing

Yeah it’s an odd choice of title. Maybe I am just so much of a hipster that I’ve inadvertently become ironic. Who knows. But I couldn’t write tonight. So, ever the problem solver, I thought I would write about not writing.

Throughout the past year, writing has been a lifeline for me. In my day job, I mostly create copy, but lately writing has meant something different. Since being admitted to a psychiatric hospital almost a year ago now, my writing has taken a new direction. I’ve started doing it just for myself.

The personal writing began when a fellow inpatient bought me a journal as a gift. I was touched that she would be so thoughtful. I’d been telling her how my brain would spin by the end of each day’s group therapy sessions, and she suggested writing about it might alleviate the overwhelm.

She was right. For the three months I was in hospital, I wrote religiously. I took to carrying my journal around wherever I went and that habit stuck. Oddly, I never feel alone when I’ve got my journal with me. Those pages are like the open ears of perfect, non-judgemental friends. They listen with absolute impartiality to everything I’ve got to say. I can tell them any painful truth and know for certain that they’ll keep my secrets safe.

The past week has brought me to reflect on writing, as I’ve not been able to do any. That hasn’t really happened before, certainly not since I started this blog back in September. Doing therapy several times a week and dealing with my train wreck of a family generally provides me with adequate fuel.

But I’ve been to therapy today. I wasn’t silent and withdrawn. I could speak. Yet still I can’t write. I can’t seem to commit to putting in black and white how I feel. In fact I can’t feel committed to anything. I’m in an intense phase of feeling as though I’d rather not inhabit this hostile world.

I can’t see the good. I can’t feel it. I can only see myself as as one of billions of tiny ants, pointlessly and mindlessly going about my business because it is what I m supposed to do. Waking, eating, working, sleeping in a revolving door of nothingness. I suppose it’s probably the fact that I can’t see any meaning that leads me to feeling as though there just aren’t any words.

Photo: Bruce Guenter, Creative Commons.


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