Writing for Life
Recently a colleague learned I have a blog. He immediately assumed I was sitting on tons of money as a result. He asked why did I choose to blog if money was not the motivation. This conversation revealed something interesting. It reminded me there are people who only do things to get paid. It makes no sense to do anything that doesn't earn coins in their eyes. The problem with this train of thought is one's happiness or contentment is rooted in how much money is made. By default, when that person is not making money, they lack a sense of value. I disagree with this mindset, mostly because my identity is not based on my monetary value. But his question did make me reevaluate my motives. I answered this question for myself when I initially considered blogging. A lot has changed since then. So I figured now seems like a good time to ponder it.
There was a period in my life I found myself struggling with one thing after another. It turned into year after year of trial and tribulation. I always managed to float through the motions of being okay, but I was on a downward path and didn't recognize it. Then last year the constant struggle culminated into a blast I was not ready for. I found myself being suffocated under a storm of long suffering that proved to be life changing. In addition to personal goals I had been working on a process to improve my financial stability that resulted from inconsistent employment during the economic downturn. Just when the books were balancing with a reasonable savings and things in my personal life started looking better, things went belly up.
Life altering health issues came up. This created a toss salad of emotions and stress. What should have been an exciting time in my life turned into a crossroad of changes, decisions, risks, experiments, financial strain and tested faith. Instead of celebrating my birthday with optimistic ambition and joy, I received a devastating diagnosis that required immediate treatment. Medical insurance is great but it does not cover the entire cost incurred. In addition to unforeseen expenses and debt, my ability to work was hindered by the limitations of my health crisis. Living with heart failure is no joke. Some days breathing is a challenge so your plans are always subject to change because you literally don't have the energy to do anything. So I was unable to work for six months which reduced my income drastically. That didn't stop the medical bills from coming in.
As if dealing with my own health crisis was not enough I experienced another major life event I was not ready for then and still struggle with now. The death of my father last summer was the tornado that snatched me off my feet, tossed me around and dropped me in the middle of the ocean to sink or swim. Confronting my health issues and the loss of my dad are topics for separate posts. For the purpose of this one, I'll focus on my need to release the tension. Failing health, grief and anxiety do not mix well. Let's just be clear about that.
I needed an outlet. A method of coping. Drugs and alcohol were not viable options. Writing was my vice. I've always had a knack for creative writing, I was even published as a kid. I've journaled consistently for most of my adult life. But this was different. As tempting as a good smooth cognac was, writing offered a more effective option. It's lighter on my wallet, can be done conveniently without a trip to the store, bar or street and has positive side effects without the hangover. Actually writing is helpful at improving your health. Releasing my frustrations on paper reduces my stress level and stimulates my creativity. Writing about how I feel has helped me see solutions to some of my problems. Something about putting a situation in writing makes it easy to look at all aspects and strategize resolutions. I chose to blog because it was new for me. I wanted to learn how to do it and see what it was like. I figured it would strengthen my writing and stimulate conversation. Most of all, it would allow me to channel my energy into something productive. It might even be fun. I enjoy reading blogs so why not write one? Who knows, a blog post may even help someone. As I work through my issues someone else may relate to it and get something out of it. Lord knows reading books and articles has helped me in ways the authors may never know.
I blog for myself. I blog for mental health improvement. I blog because I like to write. I blog to learn and try new adventures. I blog to define the crossroad I landed in so I can choose my path or follow the one God guides me to. I blog because this journey of life has brought me to this point. I write for life because words have power and I choose to use mine to encourage myself and those who read them.
I invite you to share this journey with me. Read an article or devotional, post a comment or share a post. Writing is my vice and I like it because it allows me to navigate with clarity. What is your vice? How do you cope when the storms are crashing? I encourage you to find a healthy method that allows you to maximize your potential. Rise up and be blessed.