Wow. This is actually a very sad article I wrote about how writing literally saved my life during a time when I was clinically depressed. I wrote this in the summer of 2004. For my spiritual friends, you probably already know that it was Leviathan who carefully picked up my broken heart and directed me back toward my writing. I almost wasn’t able to post this because re-reading it takes me back to that dark emotional place I found myself in ten years ago. Evidently there’s still some pain here. But it’s worth sharing for the simple fact that I find it rather well-written and it’s a part of who I am. Who knows. Perhaps sharing it will help someone else.
It was in early 2002 that my husband and I were diagnosed with the heartbreak of unexplained, primary infertility. We were devastated after two failed artificial inseminations, and no insurance to cover the mounting bills. I found myself withdrawing from the world around me. My social life suffered, as did my writing. I had not submitted anything for months. The only writing work I did manage to continue with was my computer column in a national trade magazine. I honestly found myself wondering if life was worth living anymore. I had lost hope, my sense of purpose, and my passion for writing.
Close friends turned on me. They called me selfish, and could not understand why I did not seem interested in things that were once important to me. They wanted me to help them at a time in my life when I could not even help myself. The fact was, my priorities changed. I became a different person, obsessed with having a child and believing it was the only thing that would make my life worth living. It was the first time in my life I felt alone. It was the first time I experienced not having control.
Being told you’re infertile, with no explanation for that diagnosis (after numerous tests), is like being told you’re defective just because you are. You don’t want to believe it. You curse the universe, you curse your biology, you curse science, you curse the fertile, and you curse yourself. My emotions boiled over having no outlet for release. I had to get it out some way so I started to write. It started with files upon files cursing my ex-friends for abandoning me. I wrote angry rants directed at unwed teenage mothers, people who had children they could not afford or didn’t want, and people who beat their children. I kept writing as if writing could help me take back the control over my life that infertility had taken away.
Months of weeping and writing went by. In poems I mourned the loss of the children I would never have. The mother I could never be. I wrote essay after essay attempting to convey my feelings, though I never seemed to be able to go deep enough, to core of my pain. Deep down, a weak flame of hope would flicker and die, then re-ignite when I heard stories of people who had tried for years before conceiving. I fell into a deep depression lasting months.
My lowest point came when I realized I had alienated myself from everyone and everything I had ever loved. I literally stopped living. I had to do something so I threw myself back into something that made me feel alive and passionate. I began working on my novel again. My writing came alive with renewed vigor. For some reason it seemed like my only hope.
It was like a natural force of energy. The words and emotions flowed from my fingertips, raw and unhindered, like water from a wellspring. I started writing even more, having spurts of inspiration that would last me twelve to twenty hours at a time. I found myself unable to sleep, and would write into the wee hours of the morning. I would write six thousand words a night, more on weekends. I joined several writers groups to take my mind off my own personal hell, and to keep me focused on my new writing goals. Writing about writing in an online journal became a source of creative therapy.
Before I knew it, I was no longer writing about my anger and grief. I began writing about my life experiences, and began creating stories from the deep recesses of my imagination. Even though my womb was barren, my imagination became fertile. After a long hiatus, I began submitting my work again. I completed the first drafts of three books in the span of sixteen months. I wrote over thirty articles and finished three short stories. For every ten things submitted, one would find its way to publication.
I discovered my writing was something I could control, which in turn made me realize that I did have a purpose. It brought me hope, and peace. Even though I may never have children, I’ve learned that I am, and will always be, the mother of all that I create.
Writing has become my pillar of strength; an outlet for my emotions. Creation, ironically, is my purpose. It is with this realization that I feel like the phoenix rising from the flames, re-birthed in Baphometic fire.