I started to write when I was about 10. I would make up scripts for movies that I would pretend to star in. I would venture into the backyard and have an entire movie all planned out with imaginary characters and all. I’m sure my parents thought I was a little odd when they would look out the window and see me having an argument with someone who wasn’t even there. But this was my outlet. My thoughts went onto paper and then I would act it out. So naturally, I assumed I was going to be a famous actress.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m traveling to New York and Los Angeles to pursue this dream. But it wasn’t meant to be. So I kept writing. I loved writing. I wrote an autobiography, several songs, poems and a few short stories. I would write in my journal until my hand would cramp up. All of my thoughts, fears, prayers and insecurities would just fall onto that piece of paper and before I knew it, I felt better about whatever it was that was troubling me. It was a release. Sometimes I would write thank you notes for my blessings. It was my way of “letting it all out”. The good and the bad. Words that I had trouble speaking flowed freely onto the notepad in front of me.
Like everyone else, I’ve had some crazy and traumatic experiences throughout my life. I’ve seen a therapist for years but for some reason, I couldn’t quite form the words that would truly express what was going on inside of me. I could never find the right words to express myself and to start the healing. But the moment I would start writing or typing, it would all just pour out of me. I found that I had so much to write about, so much I was holding on to and writing was my way of letting go.
The past few years have been especially tough. I was partying too much, which led to a broken collar bone thanks to my drunken dance moves. My grandfather passed away, I went through a difficult break up and I completely lost myself. Worst of all, I was sexually assaulted. I felt as if I could fall apart at any moment. But I kept writing.
One day I received a book that I ordered on Amazon. It was about surviving rape. Inside the book were some handwritten words of encouragement from the previous book owner who was also a survivor. I felt I had to reach out to her so I sent her a letter to let her know how much I appreciated her words and the hope she had given me. She wrote back and we became pen pals, sharing our experiences, our pain and our triumphs. She is also a writer and she inspired me to share my stories. So I started blogging.
I had no idea what I was doing or where to start. At first, I used Blogger, but then decided WordPress would be better for me. In January, I decided to submit one of my blogs to Positive Outlooks (a popular website/blog that inspires its readers every day). A few months went by, but one day I had an email stating that they really liked my blog and would like to share one of my stories. Since then, six more of my articles have been published and my original story has now been shared over 30,000 times. What a confidence booster!! But that’s not the best part.
Through my writing, not only was I healing myself, but I soon realized I was reaching other people who had been through similar circumstances. I started receiving email after email, comment after comment, about how much my writing had moved them. My written words were not only stitching up my own heart, but I was helping other people! One reader stated that I gave her the courage to tell her story and to begin healing. Another reader told me that through my writing, he found the courage to seek the therapy that he needed. Several people told me that they just couldn’t believe how familiar my story felt to them, and it was comforting to know that they are not alone.
It was terrifying to put myself out there. Writing about things that have happened to me was so scary and intimidating, but what came from it was far more rewarding. I had no idea what would happen or what to expect. I still feel a little over whelmed at times. So when things become too much for me, or if something is weighing heavily on my heart, I write about it. Not only does it help clear my anxious mind, but maybe, just maybe it will help someone feel less alone. And maybe that person will decide to get the help they need, or find the courage to change what is holding them back, or maybe they will even share their own story. For me, sharing my story and owning it gives the power back to me. It’s freeing. And if just one person can feel a little less alone by reading my words, I feel like I have made a small difference in this big, scary world. I have taken the bad things that have happened to me and ripped them open and found the light that was hidden inside. The pain wasn’t for nothing. I won’t let it be. I feel like I have finally found my purpose.