Yesterday, I was reading the blogs that I follow, and I came to Jamie’s “Live to Write-Write to Live” blog titled Writing the Hard Stuff, and I found myself gulping Jamie’s every word. It was a slap upside my head while simultaneously stirring up so much emotion I had buried deep in my heart. I blinked back some tears as I read Jamie’s blog and realized that my last blog was a reblog, but that was August 8th, 2015; the last time I blogged. Why haven’t I blogged since August 8th, 2015?
I don’t believe we stop to consider that as writers we are more alike than not, and especially so when it comes to shutting down to keep from writing the “hard stuff.” That changed for me yesterday as I read Jamie’s blog (a gift) and I also read some of the comments on her blog post. I knew it was time to “disarm the villains by meeting them in the inky gloom, welding my pen like a sword that cuts through the dark to let in the light.”
For more of my life than not, I have checked out annually, frequently beginning around October and re-emerging sometime in January or February. The time periods when my demons have grown accustomed to showing themselves and taking over my being; however the demons have been held at bay for several years now. So, what happened this year?
In July of 2014, I lost two aunts to cancer within six days of each other. My one aunt, my Aunt Veronica was the one constant in my life when it came to blood family, and I have yet to come to terms with losing her. 2014 morphed into 2015 when in March, I lost my adopted (by choice) mother of 90. We brought her to live with us in December of 2014 to improve her quality of life and to keep her safe; we made it to March. 2015 continued to deliver emotional blows that would knock the life out of me for a time.
On June 17th, there was the senseless slaying of nine parishioners during a bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the place I call home. On October 7th, 2015 I tweeted, “I have not been active on social media due to the SC 1000 year flood. #PrayForSC #bloggers #writers I will return soon.” On October 31st, the Russian Metrojet 9268 disintegrated in flight after leaving Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport in Egypt, killing all 224 passengers and its flight crew aboard. On November 13th, multiple terrorist attacks across France resulted in the slaughter of 130 innocent people. On November 22nd, 19 innocent people were killed during a terrorist attack at a Mali hotel. On December 2nd, 14 people were killed, and 22 seriously injured during a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
On November 13th I awoke early, turned on the news as I do every morning, a habit I have taken to since retiring from active duty after nearly 28 years. Upon learning of the Paris terrorist attack, I immediately grabbed my computer, deactivated my Facebook account, both my personal and my writer’s pages, and I deactivated my Twitter account. My immediate actions were the result of fear; a fear that I have lived with since I retired following two back-to-back deployments that changed my life forever. Fear has become my demon, and it paralyzes me, and there is no medication or anything I can do to rid myself of this crippling emotion except to keep pushing forward, one day at a time – one moment at a time. These are the hard things for me to write about, and yet I know that I must – especially so after reading Jamie’s blog post yesterday.
I have since reactivated my Twitter account and today; I return to my blog. I have not yet reactivated my Facebook pages, and it may be a while before I feel safe enough to do so. But I know I must write about the hard stuff because although it may not feel like it when we sit down and start writing the hard stuff, we have to believe that it will keep us moving forward.
There are few blog posts that I have reblogged, but I am asking everyone that reads my blog to reblog Jamie’s blog. There are so many of us that need to be made aware of what Jamie has taken the time to share.
Jamie, I don’t know if you know the significance of the gift you have given to me through your blog, Writing the Hard Stuff, but again, with all of my heart, thank you,
Jamie proffered in her blog, Writing the Hard Stuff:
“Today I’d like to add that the world would be an even better place if more people were willing to write about the hard stuff – get in there and get dirty, risk their own vulnerable hearts, share their own pieces of darkness.
Because, despite the perfect lives you see in social media feeds all over the Internet, each of us has our own darkness. Each of us struggles. Each of us lives with a retinue of personal demons who love to creep out of the shadows to taunt and torture us, especially at times – like the holidays – when tension runs high, stress levels are off the charts, and the ghosts of old wounds, regrets, and grief come to visit. The best way I have found to disarm these villains is to meet them in the inky gloom, wielding my pen like a sword that cuts through the dark in order to let in the light.”
Source: Weekend Edition – Writing the Hard Stuff by Suddenly Jamie (Jamie Lee Wallace)