Everyone deals with their mental health differently, we are after all individuals.
Three years ago I had a life-changing event, it left me doubting myself, my self-worth and left me depressed and very anxious about everything. I had been rocked to the core when I encountered some workplace bullying.
Writing has always come easily to me; I’ve kept a diary since I was 18. I said to a friend recently that sometimes, for me, writing has been like copying something on a blackboard; it’s just that clear in my head.
I am a big supporter of the ideology that words have power. Even if the words are your own, directed at yourself, actually words directed at you from yourself are probably ten times more powerful than anything anyone else could ever say to you. My brain is very good at using a lot of negative words at me. I call that part of my brain Evil Brain.
Evil Brain is very good at whispering in my ear telling me how crap and rubbish I am and that there’s no point in my trying this or that because I will certainly fail. It will also tell me that people laughing are actually laughing at me. They won’t be, they probably won’t even know I’m there but Evil Brain is a powerful convincer. It will leave me feeling depressed and very anxious if I believe its lies.
As a result my head will get so full of negative things that then lead to anxiety and anxiety leads to depression and then it just goes round and round in circles, like the water going down the drain. I get sucked into it and if I don’t write I get sucked down into that whirlpool and once I’m there is a very hard place to pull myself out of.
When I write it somehow silences my brain, all the thoughts and the anxiety that have been spinning around in my head go away and it’s easier to think things through. It’s like downloading something I guess is the only way to describe it.
As I write my thoughts they just disappear from my brain and only exist on paper. Once they are out of my head and on paper I feel like I own them they no longer own me. I have the power then to do what I want with them, most of the time they help me to see exactly where the wrong thinking is going on.
I can finally see the forest and not the trees. What usually happens is I’ll have an epiphany moment half way through, that moment of perfect clarity where I know exactly how I’ve got to that point and where to go from there.
Sometimes just the fact that it’s written down helps, the act of putting pen to paper grounds me, it makes me feel better about the world and better about whatever has been happening in my world and the panic, the anxiety and depression are kept at bay.
Guest blog by Tiff Franks