Self-Censored

It may seem like I’ve been gone for a while but I actually have 10-15 drafts lined up waiting to be (probably never) posted.

Three years ago I started writing because I was having a hard time processing my emotions. I tend to repress things and act like I’m perfectly in control all of the time. I feel like I have to be. I’ve always been the rock of my family and friends. They need me to be that stable person.

“You’re so level headed, so sensible”, they’d say, not realizing that while I was helping them sort through their feelings, mine were neatly packaged up in a lock box and I’d thrown away the key.

That brings us to last year. The first six months of the year were some of the happiest I’ve ever had. I’d fallen in love with a career path I’d never considered and was excelling in, I’d finished my degree after four long years and I had a healthy balance of work and play. Things were finally falling in place for the sensible one.

And then I had a falling out with my best friend. That sent me reeling and before I’d realized it, I’d slipped into a dark place . It seemed like that was the turning point and after that I just couldn’t feel happy, no matter how hard I tried.

I started working at the family business more to give my dad some time off, which meant I wasn’t able to put as much time to studying for the biggest exam of my career as I should’ve, delaying the whole process by a few months. My sister had just moved back and was pretty much living at my house with her husband and infant. My family was busy living their lives, while I was in the background facilitating everything without any of the rewards. I had no time, no space, and no desire to be anyone’s rock anymore.

Keeping your friendship circle small means when you lose one person, you’ve lost half your social calendar. So I was working all the time, couldn’t find an escape in my own house, and I was lonely as hell.

I couldn’t fall asleep at night and I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. But all the while, I kept cruising by on autopilot. The rock of the family was intact, and no one suspected a thing.

During the last six months, I kept writing. I wrote late at night when everyone was asleep and the house was quiet and finally, finally no one needed me for anything. I poured my heart out and found a place I could be brutally honest. I wrote with the intention of hitting publish but every time, it felt too personal. My thoughts felt too dark and I was ashamed of them.

I started repressing my only emotional outlet… If you doubted I was insane before, just consider the amount of micro-managing my brain did to make that happen.

So that brings us to today. Or rather, what could be considered the present in our little timeline of my emotional turmoil. I’d say I was sort of in a better headspace, or maybe just better at coping. There’s still dark days where I have to work extra hard to push the depression away but I’m more at peace with myself.

But where do we go from here? Do I post the drafts I have from the last few months, regardless of how emotionally vulnerable they are? Or do I just go forward, putting out whatever I want as it comes to me?

I don’t really know the right answer. But I’ve started to understand that sometimes there is no right answer.

There’s just life.

– S.

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