The Need for Expressive Writing
For many people a secret passion lies in publishing. Whether it is a poem or becoming the next JK Rowling, the desire for this achievement lies deep inside us. It is the hope that someone reads it and cares. But for some people, it is fear that drives the inability to write. Someone might see. Or sometimes, people believe that they are not good enough to continue writing.
Do not write to be published; write to understand.
With more and more knowledge being thrown at us, it is a question of what we receive. Things hit people differently. We go through different phases and at different times. We need to process, and sometimes, we are ashamed of what we have processed. The words will not come out, or worse, we have no one to trust with the words.
We might have a friend or a family member to share them with, it is impossible to say we would share everything. Perhaps they would judge us. Maybe they would tell us it is not that big of a deal. Perhaps it just runs through our head, and it is not real but it feels real.
At times like this, when I cannot understand, I take out a piece of paper. Everything I write for school is done on a computer, so it is nice to go back to a piece of paper and pencil. It is nice to not see those annoying squiggly lines of red and blue, telling me something is wrong. I never intend to share these writings with anyone.
I write to write.
Depression and anxiety, especially in teen and young adults, has been on the rise. Whether it has always been this strong and we are finally voicing it or we are just getting “worse,” information comes in with every time we go past a shop, look on any screens and anytime we speak to someone.
We are not weak, and nothing is truly wrong with us. We have depression and anxiety, and many of us have other things that make us tick. It is not our fault. It comes in waves, and it crashes down. Some people exercise or take a break. However, for some people, it is necessary to vocalize, and when that is not possible, to write.
I feel silly sometimes writing because sometimes I write about things that I think are silly. I am struck easily by terrorist attacks. They make me nervous. Yet I also have a pull to know about the wreckage. I write about this. I also write about a crush I have on a boy but I will not continue this crush. How can I just turn off a crush? I explore this in my writing. Sometimes I write about my job and how stressful it can be. Sometimes I write about what I dream. Other times I do not write about me, but I make up something. It all seems very silly.
Yet it helps me understand.
I think it helps you understand too.
Even if no one will read it, and sometimes I hope no one will read it, but I understand. I can show how I feel without having to show people. In my hands, I hold the key. I have spoken through it without saying a word. In my hands, I can read repeatedly. I can add or cross out. I feel relaxed afterward.
Whether art or writing, there should be a push to expressivism. Different therapies are coming about through art therapy, writing therapy and more. Therapy is not something to be ashamed of because so many people do it. It should not be hidden when we walk into an office and see the familiar faces. I think at some point I would like to try art therapy, but I think I would be bad at it. I am not very good at art.
Having art therapists in some of my classes at my university, they say that you do not need to be good at art. They ask questions to guide you, and you can use what you like. You respond how you feel. I still say I would terrible at it, and they admit they have the same fear of writing therapy. I say it will never be published. They say the same thing about art. It does not need to be shared unless wanted.
The need of expressive writing to shed one’s skin and show the true creature underneath. It is to take off the masks that we wear every day: work, school, boy/girlfriend, friends, etc. To work on something you become proud of but you have the ability to throw away. It is the ability to finally know how you feel.
In my case, we wrote the same scene over and over and over and over again in class. The professor gave us no direction. Each time, I found myself more understanding. While I believed this moment was about one person, it was actually the beginning of a whole new problem that I never wanted to face– but also I never knew that it was there. Now that I do, I cannot go back, nor would I wish to go back when I know I can survive. I will be better; I will get through.