Writing for the Soul: Overcoming Minor Bouts of Depression

"Mountain Hiking Girl Woman Trekking Happy Jumping" by aatlas is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

“Mountain Hiking Girl Woman Trekking Happy Jumping” by aatlas is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

I don’t often write poetry. It isn’t that I dislike it; I’m actually quite a fan. It’s just that the only time I ever feel like writing poetry is when I need to alleviate a great weight of emotion. It’s like writing for the soul. I don’t often write it because it’s like opening my chest cavity or my legs up to a stranger. Having my poetry read is an intimate experience I find difficult to share.

I’m a writer. As such I’m a big fan of that quote from Finding Forrester: “Writers write so that readers can read.” Or something like that. Even though it’s a mild bastardization to put that quote into this context, I find it fitting: I don’t write to keep it all hidden. I don’t even keep a journal.

This post isn’t like the others.

I guess I’m writing for the soul, in a way.

I struggle with minor bouts of depression, and this week has been difficult. The weight of my last undergraduate semester has fallen squarely on me, and I want to run away; to be a hermit; to join the circus; to go to sleep; to never wake up.

It’s melodramatic, but it’s also true.

Melodrama gets a bad rap.

Intellectually, I know that the posts I launch here should be ones my audience actually wants to read. No one cares about the emotional content.* You want the words and the books and the feminism.

I’m all out of those today.

Journals don’t help me. If something is wrong, I have to tell someone, or it will eat me alive. Writing in a journal is like telling myself shit I already know; it’s preaching to the choir. Poetry and prose work for me, because I have convinced myself  that someday someone will actually read them.

I’m a writer. It’s all I know how to do. If I don’t succeed at this, there’s nothing.

So I write for the soul.

* That was my terrible Bruce Lee impersonation.

Do you write to overcome depression or other emotions?


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