Talking To MyselfI’m fighting the urge to immediately say I’ve always written just to have ‘someone’ to talk to. It sounds a terrible indictment of my friendships, but especially when I was a teenager I didn’t have a plethora of friends I could share some of my thoughts with. Perhaps this is true of us all.
Since then I have scribbled down words and drawings – in the end mostly words. I have decades of my innermost thoughts stashed on random bits of A4, or in notebooks. A lot of it looks like a tightly annotated scrapbook. It was/is therapeutic to write it down but I rarely check back to look for patterns or valuable insights. It’s too dense. Sometimes if I’m looking for good lines for songs I’ll have a trawl through it.
There’s something about getting my stream of consciousness ‘out’ that’s useful for me. It can make things clearer and it allows a voice to less dominant parts of my personality. I try not to just use it like a diary, although something that’s happened during the day may trigger a series of thoughts, I like to try and explore it in some depth. As I said, I want songs and poetry; I want ideas for stories and psychotherapy. If I lose this freeform creative part of myself I’ll just become the man who works, who smiles at everyone, and who has paid for himself just in time to have a few words chiselled into a gravestone.
I’ve tried a few things to keep it creative. For a while I tried to do it all in rhyme because it made me think of strange ways of saying things. I could do hundreds of words in blank verse and where I’d end up was entirely random. It broke down repressions. In the end I’d always end up finding something ‘true’ that I hadn’t thought of at the start.
If therapy involves finding insight in my situation, clarity in the confusing world we are all thrown into, and the uncovering of my hopes, dreams and values, I believe writing is essential in maintaining my mental health.
Then, of course, there’s here – EP. That’s therapeutic too, in a way. How much to share? Even anonymously I have ‘lines’ I won’t cross, but I tip-toe towards them, sometimes overstepping, feeling vulnerable for a while, but then the therapy part of it kicks in, processing the learning – who really cares?