i woke up this morning and had a painful realization: i've forgotten i'm a writer.
after a lifetime of poetry pursuits, performances, submissions (and even publications) to magazines, college courses in creative writing, daily journalling, participating in supportive writing groups, sitting on 100+ pages of a novel draft, and just generally conceptualizing myself as a writer, it's stunning to sit with the fact that i haven't thought of myself in that way for... years.
i have a lot of excuses: descent into PTSD after finally leaving an intimate partner who had been abusing me for three years left me feeling dried up creatively, damaged, and without talent. writing became painful and scary. i initially threw myself into it, keeping both a blog and private journal, but soon was overcome with inability to articulate what had happened and how i was processing. this lasted for several years, and, i'm realizing, is something i am still just surfacing from (seven years on).
worsening of my medical conditions, and the addition of even more diagnoses to what already seemed a too-long list, has had me focusing on mere survival - versus creative thriving. oftentimes thoughts toward personal essays, poems, or simply insights i'd like to journal never get written down because of the pain in my hands, the effort in writing, and the energy spent that i won't get back. energy is currency and when i have so little, i must be so careful with where i spend it. generally speaking this means i'm in the poverty mindset - i can only spend it on necessities, taking meds and making meals, keeping myself upright.
i say excuses, but these are valid, understandable reasons. i don't blame myself. or... i don't want to blame myself. because i know i've been doing my best to keep myself going, and in pursuit of that, things categorized as "unnecessary" fall to the wayside. that's ok. that's understandable.
i want now to shift my thinking tho: to return to the days when writing was labelled as not only necessary, but as vital. i want to return to giving myself over to that need, even if it is solely in a self-care context (gone are childhood dreams of best-selling novels and poetry collections, and i'm ok with that - i want the gentler, no-pressure approach of simply creating for its own sake, for my own sake).
it's easy to fall back into old habits, of ignoring inner voices or callings that stir me to create. a blog feels like a wonderful journey: a chance to hold myself accountable, to share, to prioritize self-expression. and it's ok if that simply means venting about whatever symptoms are currently flared-up (as i write this, it's past one o'clock in the afternoon and i haven't dared eat any solid foods yet, as my gastroparesis has made that nearly impossible. instead, i'm sipping ginger tea and battling intense nausea).
so here i am, putting myself and my creative pursuits out into the public domain. because writing is only a part of it - creating jewelry and altar items out of discarded and disabused nonhuman animals also acts as creative catharsis, as does tarot and oracle reading (for myself and others).
hopefully the beginning of something special. please join me if you'd like.