You are my discovery, everything I’ll ever need. It’s so hard to find this feeling.“Discovery” – Kailee Morgue
I haven’t really written in over a year.
there was a time when writing wasn’t even a second thought for me. it was a reaction, a pull, a craving that I satisfied by feasting on my emotions and regurgitating prose when I couldn’t hold it back anymore.
it’s a funny thing. between the ages of 18 and 23, I had a blog with a following that grew into the tens of thousands, many of them young like I was. they felt like my words were a mirror to their inner thoughts, their own unspoken fears. I received messages expressing adoration, asking for advice, professing jealousy, hatred, joy. it was overwhelming. it was addictive.
I wrote for the people I would never meet, and the people who would run into me at a coffee shop or convention and shyly say they followed me. I wrote to spite the racist trolls that wanted to see me fall, to profess to the lovers that I knew still held space for my words even though we’d never be close again.
I never wrote for me.
to be honest, I didn’t know how, nor did I want to. writing for yourself seemed boring. it required honest interrogation of your words and what they meant to you, and I didn’t give a shit why I felt what I did. I cared about turning my raw emotions into poetry and prose so my followers could feast on a palatable version of my mental state.
I cared about keeping everyone’s eyes on my blog, and not the deteriorating young woman behind it.
did you know that depression is a fossil fuel? it’s not just a fog in your brain like some folks will have you think. you can mine it. depression is a heavy, clear rock that you can burn for inspiration. if you’re desperate, you can run a whole identity on it, become a smoky wisp of a person, get high off the fumes of your mental health on fire.
I discovered this young. my depression-fueled prose was beautiful. messy. angry. skilled but untamed. I had no boundaries and so became used to hurting others and being hurt. I felt little and everything always. the numbers on my posts were salve, the messages of support were treatment. until they weren’t.
when I burned out, it wasn’t fiery. it was a slow, sputtering death of every desire I had to create anything. I was 24 and already so tired…of writing, of myself, of caring what others thought or wanted to hear from me. I logged out of my blog, stopped checking it. although I logged in recently and my posts are still interacted with by the hundreds each day, the follower count growing even though it’s been 2 years since I published anything meaningful. if you want to believe in ghosts, create a blog, then abandon it.
I started going to therapy when I stopped writing. my therapist is a tiny asian woman who has no problem calling me out on my bullshit when I can do better, and celebrates my successes with me, like when I tell her I set a boundary or ran all my errands without needing a depression nap. she and I, together, have worked hard to keep me alive and functional over the last couple years.
I recently told her I didn’t enjoy writing. that every time I sat down to type up anything longer than a 280 character tweet, I froze. everything felt foreign. I didn’t recognize my words without a trail of my shattered mental state and the scent of smoke.
“you’re trying to write the way you used to, but you’re an entirely different person from who you were when you first started coming here.” she smiled. “perhaps your voice sounds and feels like someone else now too.”
do I sound different? I feel different. maybe because I’m writing this to myself, to let go of what used to be, and that’s something I’ve never done before.
I’m grateful for the way you fought to be heard. the way you created a voice out of nothing, and all that you were, and all that you could be, at the same time. there’s no resentment here. I wouldn’t be me without you, and all the mess you went through, and the thousands of words you typed and shared with so many people. you were both brave and so, so fucking stupid.
I love you now. thanks for holding on.
this isn’t just goodbye. it’s also a welcome for who I am today. I’m excited to write again. for me. maybe I still don’t know this voice, and I’m getting used to finding new fuels…
but I’m here.
hello. it’s nice to meet you.