Writing is in my blood, I have fond memories of being able to read before I could write – I always had my head in a book. I found myself spending my free time writing stories and song lyrics, this was before social media and technology when we had to find other forms of entertainment. I always enjoyed the ability to take myself away from reality and become whoever I wanted to be.
However, as I came into puberty and adulthood, I stopped writing, I was too busy and on another level, it just wasn’t cool to write and I didn’t want to make myself more of a target then I already was. I even remember teasing my father for writing poetry.
At 20 I found myself unemployed, in a very bad mental state and incredibly bored. I just decided to start writing one night, I pushed myself a little bit every day and over time it became so much easier, I now find that I cannot stop writing and sometimes I need to wake up at 3am to jot down an idea.
I write in many different ways, I blog often and write short stories, however I have really fallen in love with poetry and is something I have been perusing behind the scenes. Writing just makes sense to me, it fits and I don’t think I will ever go a day without writing from now on.
So why do I write?
Writing is an expressive art, just like painting or knitting. It is incredibly therapeutic to take some of that negative energy out of my mind and put it onto paper and make it physical, this way I can learn about myself and start to understand my thoughts and pain. Writing has helped me so much that I now feel no resentment towards my past, I am very much at peace with myself and I feel lighter than air – writing is magic like that.
Now I do not claim to be the next Shakespeare of a literary genius of any sorts, in truth there is a 99% chance that I am dyslexic, but I have not got the diagnosis due to the cost – despite showing all symptoms. In a way, my problem with reading and writing has been there as long as I can remember but I never let it stop me, as I enjoy it too much. I would always encourage everyone to write, even if it’s a note, in a diary or to start a career in writing – however you do it, it will be so beneficial for your mental health.
Because of my writing I have sort of fallen into Mental Health Advocacy, it seems my candid writing relates to readers and is supportive and that fills me with so much pride and purpose. I now have a passion to use my writing to inform and support, to end that stigma attached to mental health. So really writing helps others but it also helps me, it’s a win-win and I wouldn’t change a thing.
by Charlotte Underwood
April 4, 2016