We’ve all been there — alone at night when the world goes to sleep. We’re left with our worries, fears, and pains. The weight can be unbearable, even paralyzing. The feelings of chaos in our head, and the racing of our heart and nerves can make sleep difficult, sometimes impossible. As a chronic night owl, I’ve been there, and I empathize with anyone who is, or has ever been, in the same boat. Being someone who has struggled with depression, and self-loathing, I have been lucky enough to find a light in this dark tunnel. For me, something that has been a huge help has been writing about my problems.
Cliché alert, right? This advice is really common, and nothing out of the ordinary. However, I believe the problem is that people do not get a fresh perspective on this activity. For me it’s not about solving your problem, or getting over it. Writing serves as a means to come to a more complete understanding about what you’re struggling with — and perhaps even why — in the first place.
As strange as it sounds, I view this as an opportunity to sit down and talk with yourself. We often assume that we understand exactly what’s going on in these heads and hearts of ours, but realistically the problems that we face can be too big to process without intentional dissection and examination beyond the immediate moment we experience it.
Not only does this type of writing help lead to understanding — which can lead to healing and empowerment — but it also puts you in the spotlight. I’ve always looked at life as an epic story, where each one of us is the hero in our own tale. In the noisy and fast-paced society that we live in, we can feel forgettable, and unimportant, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every single time that you wear a smile when you’re hurting, every single time that you let the tears flow, and every single time that you get out of bed, is an important moment to recognize. Writing about yourself gives you the stage that you deserve, to see not only all of the things that you’ve survived, but also how strong you are.
Looking back on your writing can be a true adventure, giving you the proof that you’re so much more than your problems, your sadness, or your illness. An important clarification to be made on this type of writing is that you absolutely must keep it private. If you give your subconscious any inkling that this writing may be examined or read by others, it may bring up defense mechanisms and walls that you might not even be conscious of, in order to protect you from revealing and confronting the whole truth.
From now on: close Facebook when you’re still up at 4:00 a.m., and open up a Word Document, or a private WordPress blog (they’re free). Let your mind run free and give your head the release that it needs. Decorate your entries with images and quotes that empower you, and represent your feelings. Do whatever you want, because it’s your writing. Just know that you have this avenue to escape those solitary nights. Every little bit of progress counts in the journey to happiness and loving yourself.