A Portrait Of How I Was Saved

I had decided I would stop feeling. I refused to be a slave to the emotions which had once so heavily impacted every decision I made and, as a result, every word I put to paper. It was tiring, feeling so much all the time and then sorting those complex feelings — most of which were painful — into controlled pieces of prose. My writing was praised by all and even celebrated, but it drained me and when I experienced my first true heartbreak at the hands of my first love, I decided to put an end to my misery: just stop feeling and, thus, writing as well.

At first, it was a wise idea. The hiatus was what I needed — what my mind needed — but it soon extended into months of inactivity. The kicker was that while I wasn’t writing anymore, I continued to feel. I felt more than I ever had before, it seemed, and I kept ignoring the emotions and pushing them down in the cellar of my soul, now unable to deal with them. Inevitably, the cellar became too full and I was forced to deal with years’ worth of emotions which I had ignored and it occurred to me that writing was the only way to successfully deal with these monsters. But I was blocked. Getting back into the swing of writing was easier said than done and I floundered about, desperate to find a way to cope with myself and failing at every turn.

Then I met him and I fell in love for the second time in my life. It took me by surprise, as love often does, and we enjoyed a few weeks of blissful romance in which we shared everything from cigarettes to saliva, and forgot the world outside each other. We delved into week long debates about art, artists and their world; we shared meals, philosophies and each other’s beds; I would stare at him for hours while he painted and feel regret at not being able to have talents like his; he would read my old stories and tell me to return to fiction and I’d brush him off. We found in each other a pillar that doubled as the perfect romance, but like all good things, it soon ended when he left me for another.

The rejection that followed sliced through my heart and left me crippled with indescribable agony. For the second time in my life I felt the excruciating pain of heartbreak, but unlike the first time, I couldn’t run away from it this time. I couldn’t escape the turmoil and numbing pain that coursed through my body, the restless nights during which I was kept awake by nightmares in which he broke my heart over and over again, the feelings of utter dejection and worthlessness that enveloped me like the companion I never requested. I was unable to fight it, so I decided to deal with it the only way I knew how: by writing.

Once allowed the words flowed from me, seemingly unable to stop. I wrote down every emotion I felt, every memory with him that haunted me; I created stories upon stories of people like us who constantly experienced the worst sort of heart break I could imagine and soon I began to feel the weight of sorrow lift, like the clearing of storm clouds. By breaking my heart, this man had unknowingly opened the cellar door and, as a result, all my other ignored emotions lined up and wanted to be dealt with as well.

Today, I continue to deal with these emotions as I am able and have a growing collection of fiction inspired by them with seemingly no signs of stopping. Contrary to what my friends believe, I have no hard feelings against the man who broke my heart and caused me that excruciating emotional pain. I actually, secretly, thank the universe for what happened between us because it was what I needed to get back to writing. I needed to feel that hurt which had become so foreign to me and the only way I knew to deal with it was to write, write, write — and by writing, I was saved.