Words had got me into trouble. I was socially awkward, and I had said the wrong thing at the wrong time.
When I became ill, I no longer made sense.
I tried to write it down, but I was too ill to make sense of anything.
For ten years, I viewed words with suspicion. It was the right choice to go silent. Instead I swore I would never read another book, I would work with my hands.
I had only one problem.
Words did not leave me.
I had no-one to talk to, and words rose up in me, like a geyser.
Still, I ignored them. They were not welcome. I would do anything else other than write.
Sewing, baking, keeping my feet on the ground, until one day,..
I decided to change.
The pressure of the unspoken words was too much.
I began to write, and it was a shock to see my words on the page.
I wanted it to be cryptic at the start. So I wrote verse.
A way to code my thoughts, to delay recognition from the reader.
Then short stories, then finally a journal.
I had tried to cure mental illness by avoiding words, but now my words became medicine.
My siblings turned to my poetry, and would carry scraps of verse in their pockets.
If something happened, they would request a poem.
They are my only audience. Which was a relief, as that is the problem, the audience.
There is the fear of how people will respond. How people will see me.
Those who had always known of my mental illness, on the look-out for signs of instability.
What if someone read my journals?
I still do not know if I did the right thing.
I do know that I could not continue as I was, pregnant with language, with no outlet.
It is always disconcerting, to see my own thoughts in tangible form. It is always a surreal experience to read them back to myself.
There is always the moment of tension when a reader is bowed over my words, and I wait for the reaction.
I am still at the beginning. If I release the words it is possible that it will help in the long run. That I will manage mental illness in a more effective way.