Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I stopped writing because ...

I stopped writing because everyone I know is having babies, and I'm not. Because all of my friends first children are in school now, and I'm not even their teacher. Because I've spent eleven years raising nephews and nieces, and there will be nobody to raise come September.

I stopped writing because everything hurts, and there's nowhere that doesn't, and there's no way to bear that, only you have to. Because it never gets better, and only gets worse. Because there's no word for how much it hurts, so nobody understands.

I stopped writing because everything smells, and there's no way to block it out. Because the smells choke me, and gag me, and the words stay plugged up in my brain, with no way to flow out.

I stopped writing because my parents are drinkers, and my sisters embrace or enable chaos, and my cousins live so close to the edge. And because no one in my family can seem to do what's right for themselves without trampling fifteen others on their way. And because being Switzerland is hard work, especially when you can't even have chocolate to balance it all out.

I stopped writing because other people were saying everything I had to say, only better. Wittier, worldlier, wiser.

I stopped writing because of another damn doctor, another damn test, another damn failure. Because for every little nudge forward, there's a giant chasm of backwards to fall into. Because there's new medicines to battle, new insurance issues to curse, new hope that I don't even want to acknowledge. Because there's another tube to lie down in, another unanswered set of questions, another nowhere to start at.

I stopped writing because the dark didn't make sense to me, and the light was too bright. Because there was nothing to share when you are both inundated and empty.

I stopped writing because I can't even depend on the people closest to me, because there's nobody who sees me 100% and nobody I trust enough. I stopped writing because I stopped depending on myself a long time ago, and I don't know if I trust myself enough to try again.

I stopped writing because everybody else started living in my brain, and there was no space left for me to try to craft things - thoughts, words, whatever. Because I forfeited the ground out of self preservation, and when I started to reclaim it, there was more than one protest.

I stopped writing because I sought out distractions, brainless, effortless, Calgon-like distractions, in any form I could find them. I'm lucky that my vices aren't extreme, or punishing, or expensive, but they could be, if I let them. And sometimes I really want to let them.

I stopped wiring because it takes energy to write, and I didn't have any to spare. Because lifting my body into my chair and out again became all that I could manage, and there was still lunch to be made, to eat, to clean up after.

I stopped writing because there were chairs to rock in, people to nurse, hellos and goodbyes to be said. Because there were things to be made, parties to plan, hugs to accept. Because there was no pause button, no matter how much I needed it.

I stopped writing because other people have bigger problems than I do - life threatening illnesses, children they don't know how they'll feed, father in laws that make passes at them - and all of my problems seemed to be both mountains and molehills. Because I felt like complaining, and, at the same time, knew that I was blessed.

I stopped writing because I couldn't find the connection - because I couldn't plug back into whatever conduit there is in my brain that lets the words come out meaning something. Because trying to write when I'm not plugged in is really just typing, and I don't need the extra practice there.

I stopped writing because things gathered up around me, in heaps and in piles, until I couldn't find anything I was looking for and I was forced to attack them back. Because I couldn't find a place to put the words until I could find both paper and a pen, and I knew they had to be at the bottom of the stack I couldn't tackle.

I stopped writing because every last thought was trapped in there, somewhere. Because my brain became a cell, and I couldn't find the key. (It was probably buried in the stack as well.)

I stopped writing because there was a frenzy, and I don't do well in frenzies. Because it's my last defense, and the universe decided I should be defenseless.

Because... honest to god, I don't know why.

And I started writing again because I couldn't not.

5 comments:

Sue Jackson said...

I'm not sure whether you're referring to writing your blog or other types of writing projects, but what you have written here is eloquent and beautiful and perfectly expresses what we all experience in this daily battle. Thank you for that.

Sue

Laurie said...

This is a powerful post, NTE. Tough, tough stuff, but put together so eloquently.

I am so sorry there is so much going on right now. I hope coming back to writing makes working through it at least a bit easier.

Thinking of you!!

Sharon Wachsler said...

Thank you so much for writing and submitting this poignant and eloquent post for PFAM! I was so glad to receive it!

I hope you enjoy the rest of the carnival.

I wonder whether you'd consider a request? Many people with disabilities are unable to leave comments if they require word verification. Would you consider disabling Captcha on your blog? That way, anyone who wants to leave a comment will be able to. If you want more info, here is a post on the topic: http://aftergadget.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/waspish-wednesday-about-captcha/

picnicwithants said...

I remember reading this the first time you published it.
I thought I commented then, but see I didn't.

When I read the first few things you said...about babies, children, not teaching....I thought, that's why I do write...to fill part of that void.

This is beautiful
I'm glad you shared.
wendy

Megan said...

This is both lovely and heartbreaking. I completely understand the exhaustion and also the compulsion. Sometimes writing is the only thing that helps.