I bought my first official journal when I was eight years old. I purchased it with my allowance from The Disney Store in Tower City. It was pink and purple—my favorite colors at the time—and featured Princess Jasmine—my favorite Disney princess at the time. I couldn’t wait to get home to start recording my thoughts just like older girls did on television. I remember I sitting down at my Little Tykes desk with a pencil and going to work, pouring out my thoughts about the world as I knew it.
I’ve talked about how I’ve been writing since I was able to hold a crayon. How I would scribble my name or words on any piece of paper I could find. Sometimes those words turned into sentences. Sometimes those sentences became (unfinished) stories. For some reason, I’ve always found solace with a pen in my hand. It has been like a security blanket or a warm hug for so many years that I can’t imagine what it’s like not to write.
Writing has especially been a comfort in difficult times. I’ve mentioned the bullying I experienced in middle school here before and how I withdrew from many things but my words were the one thing I had. When the school days were long and tough, I knew I had worlds I created waiting for me when the final bell rang. My characters didn’t mind if my tears blurred their stories, they cheered me on—urging me to keep going. I was writing to survive.
As of May 2014, I’ve found myself writing to survive once more. Since the last time I blogged, my migraines have persisted. My diagnosed has gone from “migraine” to “chronic migraine.” In the last few months, I’ve had doctors’ appointments, hospital visits, and tons of absenteeism. I’m eternally grateful that my boss also has migraines and is empathetic to what I’m experiencing.
On my headache days, I feel like a legion of tiny dudes are kicking me in the head in Doc Martens. Sometimes the pain is so bad that I have a difficult time looking at my computer screen. Or worse, I can’t keep anything down (Note: puking at work isn’t fun, guys). There have been several days that I felt like giving up. Days where I can’t leave my bed because sitting upright intensifies the pain. Or nights where I stay up past midnight because the pain has me terrified to go to sleep because it might be the last time I wake up.
But through all this I’ve managed to write. Writing has been one of the few things to keep me from tapping out. My desire to see the stories I’m currently working on and those still floating around in my migraine-ridden brain make their way out into the world has kept me going. It has been one of my many coping strategies (others include: binging on Netflix and the comfort of tofu-based meals).
Has there been a time where you wrote to survive? If you feel like sharing, I’d really like to hear about your experience.