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Writing Through Pain

I’ve been talking to a few people lately, asking them how pain and sadness plays a role in their writing. I have some people who tell me that it makes a huge difference, some people who tell me it inspires them… some tell me that if they’re angry writing comes easily, but if sad it isn’t possible.

For me, I’ve realized that true sorrow plays a large role in my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I can still write if I have to, but I can tell that it isn’t up to my usual par. My writing comes from my heart, and when it feels fractured, there are pieces missing out of my writing.

I’m going to go into a little detail about what is happening with me. Recently, I found out that my mother has cancer; it’s cancer that has spread to multiple places, so there isn’t much that they can do. That in and of itself threw my writing off. I felt so sad and worried that writing just wasn’t coming easily to me. However, I came to a wall that I didn’t think I would have to deal with. A few years ago, I moved to California to be with my at the time boyfriend (who is now my husband.) I had never been happy in Kentucky for a multitude of reasons. Did I miss my family? Yes, of course. However, I knew that this move and the man who I am now happily married to honestly saved my life. We’re finally in a point in our life where we’re getting stable – he has a job that he loves, that he wants to turn into a career and we are moving at the end of the month. We have roomates, but it’s an amazing house.

When my mother became ill, I instantly did everything that I could to secure two plane tickets so that we could visit for two weeks. I was going to purchase her a webcam and start saving for another plane ticket as soon as I got back home so I could visit again asap. My mother, however, expected me to move there. In doing so, we would have lost our house (as well as made our roomates homeless, because expecting them to find someone to fill our spot within less than a month is impossible.) Josh would have lost his job and never gotten it back, as well as given the woman who helped him to get it a horrible reputation for vouching for someone who would just quit. I thought that trying to go there multiple times and making sure to skype every day was going to work. My mother told me that she wasn’t even sure she wanted me to come if I couldn’t stay, because she was the most important thing at this time.

It breaks my heart that we’re fighting at a time like this. I’ve honestly gone through an emotional roller coaster that I can’t even begin to describe, and the guilt that I feel both for the fact that I have responsibilities here, the fact that I know staying here is the right thing for me and my family that I now have, and the fact that I am allowing myself to feel bad at all is immense. It’s that pain that is causing me issues with writing… and that pain which I’m not sure as to what to do with.

I am hoping that perhaps she will change her mind, want me to come there for a visit. I am hoping that something happens and they find a way to help her. I’m hoping for a lot of things… but I’m being held up and supported by the friends and family here who I can’t let down, can’t move away from.

And so… I come to my problem. Do I write, when I honestly just feel a bit hollow inside? I’ve realized that the answer is… yes. I write, though it may not be quality writing. I write, though it may not be a process that is without pain. I write because writing is how I deal with things – writing this, the information above? It’s already a cathartic experience. As writers, I think that getting words onto paper, into blog, wherever we place them is an important part of healing. I did, however, take a week off to just try to center myself before I started writing again.

It’s about pacing yourself, it’s about knowing that when you can finally get the words out, get them out in a way that only a writer can… it’s going to help you. It’s going to get everything that you feel out of your body so that you have room to breathe and feel something new. I know that the months, years, or however long this experience lasts that will follow is going to be something hard for me to go through… but I also know that I will not stop writing, even if it’s just in this blog. I’ll keep going… and when I lay my head down at night… those chaotic thoughts, those things that would keep me awake running round and round in my head will have found a home… and I will have room to do something far more important than to worry.

I’ll have room to hope.

And that… that is why I will never stop writing.

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