I feel like I can’t breathe and my eyes are heavy with tears. The air around me is thick and I feel like I am about to fall into a cosmic black hole of depression, guilt and shame. I feel like I am falling to pieces, coming undone. I am falling to pieces, coming undone in thick, oppressive layers. I want to run, but even if I could, where would I run to and would it change anything once I got there? I feel trapped and despondent. And alone. All alone even in the midst of this vast universe with so many people around.
There is no one to talk to and even if I did would it make me feel better? Would it help? Would they understand or would they judge me? Fuck, I hate judgement. Would they give me empathy or sympathy? Would they sit, and really listen to me, or would they hurry me along or treat me dismissively? I do not know and I cannot chance it. I cannot share the things I feel with others and not have them understand, feel, empathize, cry with me, hold me.
So I turn to the source that will not judge me, where I can wax poetic even as I am falling to pieces, where I can come undone and then be tenderly woven back together. I go to the source where I feel empathy in pen strokes and scribbles as page after page, I empty the things that burden my heart and weight heavy on my mind and soul. There is no judgement here. There is no chastisement. There is no look of condemnation and no I told you so. There is only me, pen and paper and a desire to feel free, feel purged, feel some semblance of me.
So I put pen on paper and shed the weight of fear, shame and guilt from the things I’ve done, choices I made, things that have been thrust upon me. And as pen glides upon paper and words spill through the tip of my pen, the air feels less heavy and I am starting to breathe again. The oppressive layers I carry begin to be replaced by warm, comforting garments and I start to feel like I am in my skin again. I no longer feel so trapped and alone because even as I write the things I feel within, key words float up to me, providing strategies and solutions for the things I face and I recognize that the Divine is always within me.
So I keep writing. About the betrayals, the shame, the rejection, disappointments, the hurt the abandonment and the fear of the unknown. And I write and write until I feel it has transferred from within me and into the journal or I write until my pen goes dry and there is no more feeling in my hand. And as I write I feel better about it all. More hopeful, more at peace, more alive within myself. There is no judgement here between me, pen, journal and words. Only hope, peace, lightness and restorative love. The more I write I realize that the answer to every problem and challenge I face is already within me. I am my own therapist in that moment. Writing unearths it like the probing questions of a therapy session. So I keep writing and as I do the Divine in me reveals to me the things I need to take me to the next stage and I experience catharsis. This writing thing is potent. It is cheap, heck, free, it is revealing as it helps me to see myself through different lenses. It gets to the root of the things I think and carry. It is confidential. It is so many things. It exposes me to myself and helps me the feel at one with myself, pulling me back together, no longer being splintered or fragmented.
And that is why I write. That is why I journal.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.