Starting in the fifth grade I began to write stories. I found comfort in my characters and their lives. When I was writing, or reading over what I had written I felt as if I was escaping my real life and as time went by and these characters became real people to me I started to feel that someone besides my mother loved me. They were my closest friends who knew everything about me, even the dark parts. They knew my secrets and still did not judge me.
I started off writing fan-fiction of my favourite movies, television shows, even books. It was beautiful, peaceful, and took me places I never wanted to leave. Over the years the fan-fiction became frustrating because of the limitations. I could never publish them because they were based off of someone else’s hard work (and my secret hope was to someday publish my stories) so I started branching off into writing my own works.
This is one of several positive and effective coping mechanisms that has served me since the fifth grade and I believe will always be a very important part of my soul. Without my characters and their worlds I would have fully allowed the darkness to take me, I would have taken my life believing that I had no purpose and no one would miss me. They seemed to call out to me, urging me to stay around for them, that if I died, they would too. The thought of losing them was unbearable.
To this day I write novels and short stories, even lyrics and I illustrate the characters within their worlds. They are very much a part of my heart and soul and hopefully someday I can share their stories with the world. They have saved my life on many occasions, the least I owe them is to let them tell their stories!
If you are struggling with mental illness, relationship issues, abuse, anything that causes you pain, please! I urge you to write! Write about everything and anything, it was key in my survival, hopefully it will be for you too. It doesn’t even have to be a novel or even a short story. Start by free-writing! Just write down everything that pops into your head. It can take practice, but once you give it a try it’s amazing.