Writing And Sanity

It may shock you to hear this, but I can be a screwed up mess of a girl.

In all fairness, I must say that sometimes my messes do not actually originate with me. Sometimes other people are messing and the mess just oozes out and covers me like slime because I’m not quick enough to run away. Then it sticks to me until I can scrape it off again. I swear, sometimes dealing with people is just like herding cats.

Present company excepted, of course.

And most of my messes really do start with me, although I’d rather not believe that. So I don’t.

This is where writing helps keep me (relatively) sane. There’s so much in life that I can’t control, so many things that are bigger than I am. It can be overwhelming. I’ll get thinking about what I need to do, or worrying about the future, or just trying to figure things out. My little mind starts whirling and whirling and whirling like it’s slipped a gear. Then I’ll say to myself, “You don’t need to think about this right now. You need to think about your book. What are you going to put in the next scene? Will they have sex?” And focusing on a problem I can and will solve helps me calm down a little bit and keep me anchored.

Writing as a peace aid became even more important when I decided to stop eating badly. Now that I can’t turn to ice cream — mmmmmmm…ice cream — for comfort, I had to find something else to distract me from obsessing about life’s little problems. Writing is cheaper and less destructive than other alternatives.

However it came about, writing is the thing that helps me hang on to the fragile thread which is my sanity. My mother’s sanity aid is painting and cryptograms. For my sister it seems to be scrapbooking and crafting. Some people I know find the key to sanity in photography. I work with people who are all into running or biking or other kinds of physical fitness. Yeah, I can’t explain it either. But I think we all need something – other than television!! – to take us outside ourselves. Then when we come back, the world seems to be a more manageable place.

The advantage of using writing for this purpose is that I can put people who annoy me into my stories, and then…get revenge.

Not that I would EVER do that.

heh heh heh


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