Writing as Therapy - Dya Ragil

12 Juli 2019

Writing as Therapy

Have you ever questioned the purpose of your life in this world? Have you ever felt so worthless and the meaning of your existence is only a mere failure? Have you ever given up on life and desperately sought justification to end it?

More than five years of fighting against oneself and continuing to scavenge even the slightest reason to be able to continue living, I fight alone without anyone's help. Living in a family that is blind to knowledge about mental illness, in the midst of an old-fashioned environment that will generalize every sufferer as a "crazy person", I don't know where to go for help.

I was silent, for fear that I would be labelled as a "crazy" (in a negative way) and then be taken to a mental hospital. Super-high morality people would accuse me of my lacking faith in God. Guess what, my dark times were times when I was at the most religious point of my life. Guess again, all the religious things didn't seem too helpful. Or maybe their words were true. All my efforts to draw closer to God were never enough. Who knows?

I know I do not have the right to diagnose myself. Without an official test from an institution that deals with psychiatric problems, my mental status cannot be determined. However, I also knew that my condition was severe when I saw any items that could be a means to cross into the afterlife--rope, sharp weapons, insect repellent, even water in a bathtub. I also thought of hundreds of ways to end my life as fast as possible.

The closest thing to death that I have ever done might be trying to sink my head into the bathtub. Reality came back to me when the water had entered my nose and mouth, blocking the oxygen path so that I could not breathe. I raised my head as soon as possible, as soon as I felt like I was going to drown. Then I would shut myself up in the bedroom for a whole day and cried silently.

It happened seven years ago. And the memory of it still intact in the dark side of my brain.

When I visited a psychiatrist at a public hospital last year, after all the tests, she said I still had anger and anxiety issue, then I told her what happened seven years ago. She said if the symptoms never came back again, and hopefully will not, I have already get better. No need for medical prescriptions. But she advises me to go for a light method of therapies.

Fortunately, I have already done it since 2014. Ever since I found writing as my source of "paradise".

That was why I choose to be a writer. A fiction writer, in purpose, to escape reality (lol). When my family told me to pick a more proper job, I did not answer them. I did not need to. I knew a writer as a profession does not offer big pay. But I never look for a lot of money. As long as it keeps me happy and mentally stable, it is more than enough.

In recent years, I started a bullet journal to balance my "digitally" writing. When I am not writing fiction, I reach for my bullet journal to plan my life forward. Pen and paper, besides of computer/laptop business. Manual and digital, that is what I need to balance everything. 

I have always written "I am grateful for..." and fill in the blank, every single day. I throw all negativity away and motivate myself by writing a long morning page with positive words in my bullet journal.

But, writing as therapy obviously not for everyone. People are different. They have a different way to cope with a mental issue. For me, it is writing.

What about you?

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