Over the last five months I’ve been struggling desperately with my depression and the effects of this damn PTSD. For a while it reached the point where thoughts of self-harm became pervasive to my internal dialogue. To speak honestly, there were more than a few occasions when I had fallen so low that if not for what I have waiting back home I would have jumped into the middle of the infinite ocean.
I know I needed help, but access to the kind of help I required was severely limited. And I was not prepared to deal with the stigma I would have had to face if I came out said, I can’t take this anymore. As a result I continued to press onward regardless of the challenge. Thoughts of home were all I had that kept me willing to see each day through to the end.
During this time as I struggled to hold on I found myself often putting pen to paper. This practice allowed me to see my conflict in a tangible way. I could trace out triggers and better understand what was going on inside of me. Writing (as it had once been in the early years of my youth when access to help was non-existent) became my desperately needed therapy.
This therapy rekindled an old love, and soon I found myself in the throes of passion. Writing exercises, short story prompts, intentionally putting pen to paper each and every day gave me the ability to press on; I found control over myself, and a way to keep the depression from maintaining its hold on me.
Every day is still a struggle. There is not at least one moment when I want to quit. The only difference now is that I have no desire to give up. When the pressure starts to feel like it is too much much, I open my notebook and let the ink bleed for me. And I am getting better because of it.