I’ve written and tweeted (or at least I think I’ve implied) how difficult transitioning home after several years away at college has been not only on my mental health but on my relationship with my parents. The good news is that I’ve started going to therapy (and now go twice a month instead of every week!!), got on anti depressants (which have helped in an incredible way), and have started to climb out of the hole my depression dug. In all of this, I’ve also started doing a lot of the things I use to love doing – I go for walks every day (sometimes with a dog, which is nice), I’m reading more books, and I’m writing a hell of a lot more.
Reading and writing were always two hobbies that I really got into when I was growing up. Looking back on my life, I’ve realized that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for really as long and I can remember. Add those with being an introvert and going outside (or even out of my room sometimes) and interacting with others became really difficult. So reading and writing became an escape for me. It was through reading that I got to discover new worlds and characters, whether real or fictional, and often learned powerful life lessons. And I often explored by own imagination through writing my own stories (although I don’t think I have any of them left nor did I really share them). Plus, I have a pile of journals in which I shared my angst, anxiety, and depression from puberty on.
It was through writing in journals and random pieces of different stories that I really explored myself and imagination and it was through reading that I got to experience the world from a different perspective. Both gave me the chance to feel better about what I was feeling, which was a hell of a lot more angst, anger, sadness, and loneliness than what seems like the typical teenager goes through. I wrote to make sense of the world and to feel less broken within it. I wrote to remember and to evolve from my mistakes. That’s still very much the case now. I write on this blog as a way to understand the world we are all living in, to see the pieces of the puzzle I’m still turning out to be. I’m writing a fictional story not to publish but so I have a space to use my own imagination. I’m not particularly artistic when it comes to drawing or painting or playing an instrument or acting. My written words are the most artistic I can be.
Reading and writing have provided an escape for me to be able to understand not only the world and space I occupy but to have a safe place to be alone in my thoughts. It’s through the many books I’ve read that I’ve come to at least start understanding different perspectives and practice empathy. It’s through writing that I’ve found my own voice and have worked on finding my beliefs. I have a hell of a long journey ahead of me but I know that books and writing will always be there as an escape.