Earning Wings

When I tell people that I’m writing a book, this is the question that usually comes next:

“What’s it about?”

I still trip over my words when I respond. And sometimes, I dance around the topic or change the subject entirely.  I need to get over this.

On once such occasion, during a dinner party at my boyfriend’s mother’s house, I explained…

My book is about transformation, and I aim to become an advocate for depression awareness and suicide prevention.  I want to share my family’s story about a loved one who we lost to suicide.  In the book, I also include sections of my journals (I’ve been keeping diaries since the age of 5) that deal with my own battle with depression.  My goal is to help people.

That evening, a fellow dinner guest commented that it reminded her of the famous Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  I had never put that connection together, but I liked it.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is about an angel-in-training who shows a suicidal man how the world would be if he had never been born.  It presents us with a deep philosophy about the paths we choose and shows that we each touch one another’s lives more deeply than we realize.

I also love the idea of “doing good to earn wings,” especially when it comes to confronting the things that scare and challenge us.  I was thinking about this idea today, as I settled into my comfy seat at Wings Bookstore, of all places, to work on my book.

Just yesterday, I completed one of the most challenging chapters… the part about Brad’s death.  My method of writing isn’t systematic or conventional.  I write when I feel inspired to do so, and my format is free-flowing. In other words, I didn’t have an outline and I left a huge chunk in the middle of the book, with the idea that I’d tackle it when the time was right.  Yesterday, that time came.  And afterwards, I felt emotionally drained but also as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. I truly believe that the book is helping me to heal from the trauma of losing Brad.  By writing about the experience and diving head first into the things that scare me, I am able to move forward with the intention of helping others.

I feel like I’m earning my wings.

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