For as long as I could remember, I have turned to the pages of a blank notebook to write out my feelings and emotions. As I got older, and my typing got better, it soon became the blank page of a computer screen that lured me into a deep writing spell. The world would disappear and before I knew it, a whole page of words was written down. Did those words make sense? I couldn’t really tell you. What I can tell you is that writing has been there for me through some of my darkest times.
Throughout my life, I battled anxiety that has left me quite debilitated. There were times that getting through the day was an accomplishment and focusing on anything other than my anxious thoughts was a job itself. By the time I laid down in bed, I was exhausted, and I longed to rest the inner thoughts that I had warred with all day.
During these times, I felt like I was an outsider looking at myself from afar. I knew that something was wrong, and yet, I couldn’t shake the horrible thoughts that ran across my mind.
You will fail…at everything
You will lose everything.
Everyone will think less of you and you will be nothing them…
The claustrophobia of those thoughts would cause my stomach to tie in knots and my chest to tighten like a tight zippered jacket. How can I fight this losing battle that seems so relentless?
But I did fight it, and I continue to do so every day. I battle back in using my own words to take control of my thoughts; words that help me replace the negative ones that run through my mind. For years, I turned to writing to help ease my own anxious thoughts. Writing things down that are in my control is not only relaxing but also therapeutic. I was no longer focusing on the constant voices that were running through my mind, I was now letting them go and finally taking control of myself. I have always loved to write since I can remember.
As a little girl, I would disappear downstairs and spend hours creating stories or writing down my deepest secrets. I wasn’t the best at keeping a diary, but I enjoyed sharing my experiences within the blank pages of notepad or computer screen versus sharing it with a person. For some reason, I knew that my words were always sacred when I kept them between myself and the pages of a blank screen or book. I only just realized that I inadvertently made a friend when I began writing, one that has continued to be my closest ally since I started sharing my stories.
You see, writing can be the best friend or therapist you ever have. It gives you confidentiality, no judgment is passed, and they don’t interrupt you to share their own trials and tribulations. You don’t feel overshadowed or dumb in sharing your hardships. You can be 100% yourself in your emotions, without the worry that what you are saying will ever be heard by another soul or shared with people that you don’t want.
Writing is an avenue that is one of the best ways of handling stress, anxiety, and depression. For that little of time in which you sit down and bare your heart to those blank pages, you have begun to take control of yourself. One that can easily be overtaken by negativity, anxiety or depression if we let it in.
When I start to hear the phrases that have plagued me for a long time, I remember my own words to fight against them…
You will fail…at everything…. You don’t truly ‘fail’, you only succeed less than you wanted to. There is always another chance to succeed in the way you want. You will lose everything...You can’t lose everything when ‘everything’ won’t let you give up. Everyone will think less of you and you will be nothing them… In the end, no one’s thoughts will determine who I am and what I mean to the world.
When you start to doubt your place or that you don’t have control of your own thoughts, then sit down and write them out. Face your fears and thoughts head-on and make sense of what you’re saying to yourself. Writing out your story or beliefs may be the therapy or reassurance you need to let go of the thoughts that hold back your happiness.
Just remember, if you are able to change the words that you use to define yourself, then that will make all the difference in how you see yourself and how the world sees you.