I was inspired to write again by this by Hannah on Scripted Vulnerability. I have always written; from the macabre Plath-esque stories of my teenage years, to a 40,000 word dissertation, to the web content of my charity’s website. I have countless unfinished notebooks ready to be filled with only profound and finished thoughts, but what I have begin to realise recently, is that I don’t need to write the finished story. Apart from anything else, my story is unfinished and scattered throughout pretty notebooks and carried through the lives of the people I love.
I have been writing almost exclusively on mental illness for the past couple of years; and whilst I don’t doubt it will appear here, I need to remind myself that mental illness is not the sum total of my life and work is not the sum total of my life. So I’m coming back to this space, carved out seven years ago when I began at the London School of Theology, to write about the little things and the big; marriage, my love of stationery, who I’m becoming, books I’m reading and the God I’m seeking to serve through all the seasons.
I’m writing, not because I think I have anything I know to be wise or fantastical to say, but because I’m learning and I learn best when I write. One of the things I am learning most at the moment is who I am aside from the labels I’ve given myself; some good like ‘wife’ and some others, borne from the darkest chapters of my life. Dan B Allender writes in his book “To Be Told”
“I find my name and story when I struggle with tragedy, and either I will lose my name completely because of it or I will face my truest name as I meet it face to face. The tragedies of life, small and large, carve contours in our character that draw us to a different way of living, one that God intends to both us and transform”
My writing at work seeks to make sense of myself through mental illness- tragedy, but I am learning that I am more than mental illness, that there is more to my story than tragedy and so I’m writing new words, different words as I re-tell my story.