Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Before I go to sleep

This evening has been all about catching up. Emails and invoices. Recipes and replies to comments on social media. A glass of wine, something delicious to eat and in the background the hum of reality TV telling us who's left the jungle this evening.

The final conversation I had with a friend was about my writing. How I love to write. The question was where and when and the answer had to be "always and everywhere". Writing for me isn't always about pen to paper, increasingly that feels awkward and difficult. It's about fingers flying across a keypad, or more often words taking shape in a space somewhere beyond physical paper or a keypad. Sentences forming in the space before sleep. Paragraphs putting themselves together whilst preparing for the day ahead. Thoughts and dreams and visions demanding expression or they will haunt and harass and confuse and control the daily life over which they really have no say...

Many moons ago I began a challenge along the lines of declaring oneself to be a writer. Following on from this came the commitment to write. Daily I seem to recall, which at the time felt like some commitment. Perhaps it was, but perhaps it wasn't enough. For every day there may be two or three or four or more times when the urge to write is so overwhelming that not to do so causes a sense of stress it is hard to describe...

But life is busy. There are always dishes to wash. Laundry to deal with. Work to do, calls to make, meals to prepare and people to take care of. Writing can feel like a self indulgent pastime. Something to do when there is nothing else making demands on our time.

Last week I saw my GP and for various reasons was offered a prescription for Sertraline. It could have been so easy to get the pills, take them as prescribed, and live life in the foggy blur that these drugs endow us with. An alternative may have been the NHS's "talking therapies" and I have a lot of respect for the counsellors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists who take time to unravel the thoughts of those suffering from depression.

Perhaps, however, the cure for some of us lies not in talking but in writing. Expressing how we feel in ways that we know will be read by others. Framing things in a positive manner whilst including the factual detail that was probably instrumental in where we now find ourselves.

I'm going to give it a go and would love others to join me on the journey - thank you!

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