Writing My Way to the Future

For many months I have been working on a manuscript called Mirror Image. It is a project I have always felt was worthy of telling – not only for the story itself, but for the underlying messages too. It is a manuscript I believe in and I know that, if I were to write it well, it is a story that would catch editors’ attention.

However, it is also a story that runs parallel with my own life. Whilst it isn’t the story of my son’s suicide, it closely travels the path of what my family went through. This makes it a manuscript that stirs emotions in me that I cannot control, cannot combat. And I doubt I’ll ever be in the situation to face the heartache that the manuscript puts me through when I’m working on it.

After much thought and soul searching, I have decided to put this manuscript aside…permanently. The pain it causes me isn’t healthy. The feelings it stirs in me makes me depressed, which leads to not being able to sleep and when I do…I have nightmares. In turn, the sleep deprivation causes me to feel irritable and angry towards other people. And I don’t mean just angry, I mean really, really angry – to the point of wanting to hurt someone, anyone. This isn’t me at all and it scars me. I thought I could pull myself through it and I thought it would become easier with time, but I can’t and it isn’t. For my own sake, I have decided that I have to put my health first in the hope that my emotional strength will improve over time.

I have also decided, finally, not to tackle the manuscript I had planned and started to write called Suicide: A Mother’s Story. If I can’t write a fictitious story about suicide, there’s no way I’ll be able to write the true story.

Having given myself permission to stop, I feel somewhat relieved…and free. I didn’t realise these two manuscripts were like dark clouds hanging over me until the decision to stop was finally made. There’s no guilt, which is something I expected. I do not see the time spent on these manuscripts, especially Mirror Image, as a waste of time either. I can chalk the time up as writing practice, but more importantly I see the writing as therapy. Maybe that’s all I really needed from the manuscript. To face the emotions and torment I felt. Maybe I’ve spent the last two years working on something that has made me face my past so that I can move on to my future.

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3 thoughts on “Writing My Way to the Future

  1. Karen,
    I was very saddened by your post. Your are obviously in deep pain and while writing is often considered to be cathartic, I feel it can be just the opposite. Experiences as painful as those you are dealing with just seem too overwhelming when put on paper! I can talk to close friends about what happened but feel physically swamped, panicky, when I try to write about it.

    You are wisely letting it go. Be assured if you have a change of mind at some future date, when you feel stronger, the story will still be there, indelibly etched in your memory.

    I hope you will continue your posts on this site. You have been an inspiration to so many people, with your ability to acticulate your feelings.

  2. Thank you, Maree. It’s been several weeks since the decision was made and I’m happy to say that the nightmares have stopped and I’m sleeping much better. It’s difficult to believe that writing about it had such a dramatic effect on me.

    I do intend to write more posts. Probably not as frequently as when I first started, but when the need arises. Writing posts for this blog isn’t the same as writing a 100,000 word manuscript. One draws everything from me, the other helps me to see things as they really are.

  3. Dear Friend,
    I am touched by your pain and I care. I understand – We lost our 17 year old son in an accident that broke his neck – Sept 1, 1007. That was just a year after your sons death,
    The pain, the loss, is still there. Today our 16 yr. old had to go alone to a youth gathering. She misses him so.
    We all hurt, but in hurting turn to our Friend Jesus, th only one who understands fully.
    I am often awed that God was able to give up His only Son for me. I have 3 more sons and yet I miss Paul so much.
    Your poem from Grace Crowell ministered to me.

    To One in Sorrow

    Let me come in where you are weeping, friend,
    And let me take your hand.
    I, who have known a sorrow such as yours,
    can understand.
    Let me come in — I would be very still
    Beside you in your grief.
    I would not bid you cease your weeping, friend,
    Tears bring relief.
    Let me come in — I would only breathe a prayer,
    And hold your hand,
    For I have known a sorrow such as yours,
    And understand.

    ~~by Grace Noll Crowell~~

    Thank you for posting
    Rachel

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