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To write or not to write…

To write or not to write that is the question or is it? I write to relieve my brain, give my thoughts freedom and to pass along those things that I think can bring value to those around me. I am enjoying this journey and thought that today the process deserved some understanding of the intention and history behind it.

My writing started many years back with the exercise as prescribed by my then therapist, Randie, that gave me the assignment. She said that I needed to get what was wound tight in my head out. The assignment was to start writing, just write whatever was in my head and get it out on paper. Don’t correct anything, not spelling, grammar or punctuation and don’t read what I wrote…Just write. I did and it worked. Typing has always been easier than writing as I type as fast as I think and therefore my Google Docs were born. I did exactly as assigned and wrote for years. And then I started reading some of what I had written and wow. I could not believe what had come out on paper. Much like therapy so many of those thoughts that I didn’t even know I had locked inside started to come out as stories, recounts and full of emotion, EVERYTHING unfolded on those docs. I still never thought much of it until sharing a few of those entries with others and seeing their reactions. It was then that I realized that there may be more to this, more to give back, more to share, if I was willing to open these very vulnerable documents and truths about myself to the world.

There are times that I am learning that you don’t write or more importantly don’t publish. I had my first understanding of that a few weeks back when one of my loved ones was going through a tough time; a tough day and I realized that to write nothing at all, to let things lie where they were, was the right thing to do as that was my way of honoring her. I found myself feeling much the same way last night. Two mass shootings in less than 24 hours…and what in the world is “right” to publish? What could I write that wouldn’t seem callous to what had just gone on and what did I have to add to the conversation of the day. I think it’s an atrocity, I think it’s scary as hell right now and it falls somewhere in between believing there has to be more control of guns but more importantly MORE emphasis on mental health! I will leave the gun debate to those that know more than I but with regards to mental health I am going to beat that f’n drum as loud as I can and as often as I am given the soapbox because ultimately this is what is fueling these fires. So it was with that respect, to those lost and to those left to survive that I left last night unpublished. There will be many more days for me to write about all that I know, feel and believe about mental health/illness, last night wasn’t the time for it.

The more I write the more I read and the more I read the more I become fearful of what I don’t know. This creative energy has a lot more to it than I have originally invested. I decided it was time to write and I did, I decided it was time to publish and I did and now as I decide to perfect this craft I will become a student of writing but will work hard not to allow it to restrict my flow of creativity, thoughts, emotions and everything that has compelled me to write in the first place.

As stated this all started with a mental health practice of journaling/writing what was tangled up inside as a way to straighten it all out leaving room for things to resolve. The only thing that has changed is that I have found the courage to now allow those thoughts to flow out in a public forum, where you are welcome to join me in this journey. Take what serves you and leave the rest. Share what moves you or keep it close to your vest.

I have passed along this same advice to many that have confided in me about their own angst. Just write, don’t read it, don’t correct it, just write. It’s the best medicine and has opened up an entire world to me; internally through my mental health and now externally through sharing with you…my world. This is life as I see it – L.

p.s. Today we lost our sweet Smokey. She was our beloved cat who was blessed to live a very long life with us. She was 22 years old, as best we knew as we got her about a year after moving to South Florida. She disciplined our kids better than we did; swatting at them when they would simply walk by her and was my husband’s biggest fan. She loved G more than any of us and he her although he would spend years denying it. In the end, she gave us as much as we gave her, unconditional love and a sweet life. You will be missed as you are as much a part of this family as any of us. RIP Smokey Kiel –

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