“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Before my depression and physical illness grasped their ill-fated hands around me, I was quite a talker. I think I started talking since birth and I haven’t stopped. Well, until recently, when my voice seems to have no sound of its own. Perhaps it is why my writing has become so important to me. It has become one of my few ways of communication. Too tired, too sad, perhaps a little of both. I am searching for my voice. Both vocally and through my written word.
There are times, due to my physical illness, that speaking out loud takes too much effort from me. It leaves me drained. It’s hard to explain how talking can leave one breathless and weak. Yet, that is how it leaves me. The depression kept the voice from articulating itself due to many reasons. One is that it is hard to hold a conversation outside your head when the darkness barges in. I’m not sure my family and friends are relieved by my silence or miss my voice. Probably a little bit of both.
I’ve passed on the talking gene to my youngest. Sometimes he talks, I think, just to hear his own voice. That’s okay. I like hearing his voice even though it reminds me of what I have lost or given up on. He writes and creates when he feels like it and there is nothing that can stop him.
My oldest tends to be on the quiet side. When I hear him talking to his friends, albeit on the internet, my heart rejoices. He prefers to express himself through his music and art, though he does not like to share. It is all very personal for him.
I’m somewhere in between them. I have always been, though, lately the voice I once had seems dim, at least vocally. The writing is once again finding its way out of my head through my finger tips. Perhaps that is what my illness has brought back to me? My writing voice. Could be that is the one thing that these illnesses can’t take from me.
I am a sum of more than my illnesses. My vocal voice may be stifled, but my written voice doesn’t have to be. Not even when I do not get a response to my writing. I am more hesitant to put my words to paper then I am to speak them out loud. They feel more personal to me. They often hold more emotion, more vulnerability. I believe in the quote of Virginia Woolf. It is a good reminder, that though I write with the reader in mind, it is my words that matter. At least to me.
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