“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
– audre lorde
There was a time when writing was the only thing that made me feel alive.
I was working several jobs, attempting to find a full time one that would provide me with the health insurance that I needed, and dealing with full-body chronic pain that would often leave me completely debilitated. I would go to doctors appointments where health professionals would brush off my concerns, leaving me feeling unheard and without options.
I was in so much pain that I would pace or sit in one position with ice packs on my arms and back for hours trying to get the pain under control. But when the pain eased just enough for me to use my hands in some small way, I found myself writing. I couldn’t really draw, which had been my go-to for so many years. But I could write poetry, I could write short stories. I could still create.
Writing became my saving grace, something I could use to work through my pain. It became part of my treatment when near everything else had failed me.
Over a year later, my situation has changed, but still I write. Only, I find that my reasons have changed as well. I’ve felt hesitation at admitting it, because it has been an exercise in healing for so long that for it to be anything else feels almost like a betrayal.
Today I write because I want to. Because I find it exciting. No longer is it a crutch for me because I have no other choice, and that is both freeing and terrifying. To write not because I have an impetus or a need but because of a want feels dangerous, selfish even. For now, I work to remind myself it’s okay to do something not because it has a purpose but because it makes me feel good and balanced to do so.