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I used to feel trapped by the thoughts in my head. Constantly, I would be pushed and pulled back and forth, dragged down by my mind and my heart, not knowing which way was up. I felt like there was no escape, no way to let out all of the bad things, the uneasy feelings, the confusion that weighed heavy on me for so long. So I kept everything inside, and felt like a burden when I opened up to others, even if they told me it wasn’t true. Talking helped, but it also hurt enough to not want to do it too much.
Thinking back, I don’t know why I didn’t start writing in journals earlier. Sure, I kept a few diaries when I was in elementary school, detailing the boys I had a crush on each week, the fights I had with my best friends, and the hopes and dreams so outlandish they could only be dreamt up by an eight-year-old. But I never wrote just to write. I thought there always had to be a deeper meaning to my writing, some bigger purpose. I didn’t think I could just write down whatever words came into my head, regardless of whether they were logical or not. I didn’t think I could write poetry until I tried to make sense of the thoughts in my head and the words that ended up on the page moved me to tears. It never occurred to me that I could just write for writing’s sake, until I did.
Again and again I turned to the pages of my journals, writing poems and snippets and pages—long confessions that burned with heartache, pain, darkness, love and hope. I lost myself in those pages, my mind and heart and soul are in those pages. I didn’t even realize I was helping myself heal until the darkness turned to optimism, the loss turned to light. Writing has become a coping mechanism, a release from the stress and expectations of the outside world. It’s a reminder to pause, a place to express without judgement. Being able to write freely has helped me come to terms with my thoughts and feelings, relieve stress, express my creativity and open up comfortably. So to anyone itching to write but not knowing what to write about, or anyone struggling with the thoughts inside their head—just pick up the pen and start writing.