I literally used to keep my writing under lock and key.
When I was in my deepest, darkest throws of depression, I wrote. This powerful outlet is one of the things that actually saved me from taking my own life.
In those days, one of my biggest fears was for someone to find and read my journal. I couldn’t bear the thought of my big secret being exposed. I knew that my thoughts weren’t healthy and that something was most definitely wrong, but I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want to be told that I was damaged or broken in some way. I didn’t want to hurt my family even more after Brad’s death. They’d be worried sick if they knew I had suicidal tendencies too. A ‘depression’ or a ‘bi-polar’ diagnosis scared the hell out of me because then, it would be official. I thought, by hiding, I could trick myself into thinking that I was ok and that I could just deal with the pain on my own.
I hid for more than a decade. Only my journals knew… that is, until the fateful day when I made a teary-eyed, drunken confession to my sister. I told her that “I think the same way he did.” My sister and my mother dragged me into a psychiatrist’s office against my will shortly thereafter. I was so angry with them because of it. I was furious, in fact, because my worst fear happened: my secret was out, and I received the dreaded, ‘clinical depression’ diagnosis. But guess what? I didn’t die. And as mad as I may have been in that moment, what I didn’t realize at the time of my diagnosis was this: That was Day 1 of my healing journey.
Now, here I am: paying a professional editor, a total stranger, to read the very same words that I so desperately wanted to hide. Last week, I dropped some cash to have a pro review my agent query packet. I’m determined to complete this book in excellence by Oct 1, secure an agent, land a publishing deal and have it out in the world by the time I turn 40 (a year from now).
I find it so ironic that, today, the desperation I once hid has completely transformed into a burning desire to be seen. I suffered in silence for a decade due to fear. I’m now speaking out because I know that there are kids hiding right now, in this very moment. I’m investing in my story because I need these kids to know that if I can heal, they can too. Teenage suicide is on the rise, and my mission is clear: I want to be a voice for the kids who can’t speak for themselves.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today. If you believe in what I’m up to, I invite you to click the ‘share’ button below. The more people I can reach, the more kids I may be able to help.
P.S. – I’m currently reading “How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying To Kill Me” by Susan Rose Blauner. I highly recommend it.