Friday, October 26, 2012

Fasten Your Seatbelts, It's Going to be a Bumpy Ride

Now we get down to business.....

The hardest part of writing is that the truth must be told.  You have to write your truth and you can't worry about whom it hurts or who gets angry at you.  If you don't, it can drive you crazy.  Suppressing what you really need to say and share is worse than lying to yourself.  It makes you stomach hurt and it feels like your brain is going to burst from trying to hold it all in.  There are things I've never told my family about because I didn't want to make them sad or make them worry.  It's not easy being a writer, especially one who writes about life in all its amazing and bloody glory.  Want to hear a haunting song about how Superman really felt about his life?  The first time I heard this song and read the lyrics, I was shaken at how much it felt like me, and God knows I'm no superhero.

Like Superman, I'm only trying to find the better part of me.  Like Superman, I spent a good chunk of my life being someone I wasn't and trying to please everyone but me.  And what I got from that was 16 years in cognitive therapy for PTSD, depression, and self-mutilation.  I'm well enough now that between the daily medication and the tools I learned for recognizing when the depression is hitting me and being able to contain it, I only see my therapist for the occasional tune-up or when something major happens that I need help understanding.  At some point--in 5 days or 5 years--I will need to write about this.  I will need to write my truth.

I've been painfully aware of my mortality ever since my sister died 5 years ago.  Parents are supposed to die before their children.  That's the natural order of things.  But Judy died first.  Mom died 10 months later.  Dad followed 6 months ago.  I'm the oldest in my immediate family now and I figure that I'll be the next to go.  I'll be 60 next year.  Every day I read obituaries in the newspaper of people who have died in their 50s and 60s.  I know that the end could come at anytime.  I'm not obsessing about it, but I would like to have enough time left to do something, however little, that will make this world (or my small portion of it) better than it was before I left.  Even if I could write a book or a poem or an essay--or a blog post-- that would only make life a bit simpler or easier for just one person, I would die at peace.

So I'll be writing my truth here.  I'll try not to step on other folks' truths.  I'll do my best not to hurt anyone, but I can't promise not to make you sad.  Sometimes we'll laugh, sometimes we'll cry, but at all times we'll have our seatbelts fastened and make it through just fine.

It's my life.  Welcome to it.


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