“I write to keep my demons at bay. A wave of chaos threatens to consume my mind. I will not let it.” – L. A. Vockins.
I have felt compelled to write this post for a while now, but have only recently found the courage to go through with it. I’m afraid this may be a deep post, but it will be a view into who I am, under my armour of fiction. So, the reason why I write? I feel that writing is my calling. It’s a constant urge that I cannot quell. But more importantly, I write to remain myself, to feel a sense of achievement and to occupy my mind. I have suffered from mental illness for what feels like my entire life. I won’t go into too much detail on this, as the truth is, I am still going through treatment to discover my true demon. Of course, I have a lot to thank my family and friends for, in terms of support. But writing has always been that one thing that I feel keeps me anchored. Maybe it’s the amount of focus that is required to write stories, that keeps my mind distracted and occupied. Maybe it’s ability to create worlds and people that are not my own and me.
Sometimes I feel like I am falling down a dark hole, and when I hit the bottom, there will be no escape. My fear of reaching the bottom is what keeps me doing what I love. One of the first stories that I ever wrote, The Creature Named, was actually about my battle with my mental illness. It wasn’t very well written, of course, but its meaning was there. It was about someone with a creature on their back, that clung on and wouldn’t let go. I think that this is a good analogy for mental illness. It does feel like a constant weight on your back. It feels like on overshadowing darkness that is always towering over you. It is a battle that you must fight every day, to get on with life.
I’m sorry if this post is a bit of a ramble. An incoherent mesh of words. Maybe getting this somewhere for everyone to read will cure that itch that I have to share my thoughts on this. I know that this has been a bit doom and gloom, but allow me to share some light. Although I fight to relieve my issues, I am in a way thankful for them. They make me myself, and they make me different. As a writer, they help me create the dark and the strange without struggle. It has recently been brought to my attention that a lot of my work has underlying tones of mental illness. I personally can’t see it, but maybe that’s because that’s just how my mind has accepted things.
I guess in a way, this post isn’t just to help myself, but perhaps to help others too. For those of you that suffer from mental illness, and haven’t sought the help you need, know that there is plenty out there for you. From doctors to family and friends, to councillors to support workers, please just reach out for someone to talk to. Talking is the first step that you need to take to recovery. If you are not feeling yourself, do not hold it in, reach out for help. In the darkness, you can always find light.
Thank you all for reading. Just by following my blog and reading my stories, you are supporting me more than you’ll ever know. I’m not normally very good at bearing my soul, I’ve become very good at hiding my feelings, but there it is. Even as I write these words, I feel a sense of ease. If I can ever help any of you in any way, let me know. Whether it’s about writing or mental health or you just want to chat, I’m here. I’ll probably hover over the publish button for a while now…
(On another note, I will not be posting next week. I will be on holiday! I will return very soon. Feel free to leave me nice comments, I’ll respond when I return. 😊)