Suicide is the topic of a blog post by Sam, a teenager, which came to my attention recently.
Sam writes about mental health matters in Depression for Teens from a perspective that often gets little credit from adults – until it’s too late.
Sam’s writing brings issues out of the darkness that have lurked there far too long doing damage under the cloak of ignorance, stigma, and fear. It is important that these things get said.
But writing can help drive out those demons in another way. Having gone a few bouts with the Big D myself, I have found writing out my mental anguish in a journal forces it into the light of day. Writing puts it into a form that helps me recognize my mental state for what it really is and deal with things accordingly.
If I leave my thoughts and emotions alone, they just continue to burrow. They create tunnels of downward spirals I slide through with little control and little hope of climbing out. (It’s no coincidence hell is portrayed as being underground.)
Writing is a relief valve for emotional hell.
I have years of personal journals. Sometimes, when I think about how bad my life is now or when I feel that creeping, continuous sadness that presages depression, I look back at how awful things appeared to me. These entries help put life back into perspective and reinforce my victories over a pernicious foe.
Oh, I didn’t fight my depression with writing alone. I’ve had lots of help from many different sources. But the act of writing helps me see that reality is far from the dark, hopeless world depression portrays as truth.
When I was a child, I would see monsters in the dark that terrified me until, after turning on the light, I’d realize those monsters were just the shadows of stuffed animals or books leaning awry. Let your pen be a sword of light to help chase away some of the dark, malicious thoughts depression feeds on.
Thanks so much to Chris the Story Reading Ape for introducing me to Sam, and to Sam, whose writings provide an essential service to many, many people.