This I Believe

Madison - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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The Therapy of Writing

I began writing full time when I was in eighth grade. I was stressed out from all of the homework I was given, and I suffered from depression. People told me to relax and take a break, but no amount of lazing in front of the T.V. relieved me of my tension. No matter how many comedies or dramas I watched, none of them related to me, none of them cared about Maddie; so I decided to write. I had heard that writing is supposed to be an emotion outlet, and I had always enjoyed language arts, so I figured what the heck, I’ll give writing a shot. I was soon to discover that writing for a grade and writing for myself were two different things.

It started slowly at first, a pen wandering across a blank page, uncertain of whether to make contact with the pure whiteness and fill that pale emptiness with bluish-black ink. What could I possibly write about, who was I to think that I could be a writer? Uncertainty and nervousness kept me from putting my thoughts down, because I was scared of what I might find out about myself. What if I write some poem about my depression and I’m sent to an insane asylum? Would my thoughts and opinions offend others? I soon gave up on the idea of trying to write. I threw my writer’s notebook under my bed and abandoned it. But the longer I left it there to rot, the harder it was for me to fool others into thinking that I was okay and happy. Inside I was waging a war, struggling with my emotions.

I came into my room after school about a week later to find my notebook on my bed, lying open with a pen in it. I stared at it for about ten minutes before I stretched my hand down to pick it up. My mom had found it under my bed when she was cleaning up, and had moved it there to keep it out of the way, but simply the presence of that notebook was enough to make me snap. I grabbed the pen, slammed the notebook on my desk, and in a flurry of dark ink and white paper I formed words. Those words formed thoughts, those thoughts formed feelings, those feelings formed Maddie.

Today I am writing that same story. It is not an autobiography or an essay of my contribution to our country. My story does not contain some politician’s thoughts, views on society today, or the purpose of life. It is all about my thoughts and my feelings. Words that tell who I am, who I was, and who I am going to be. Writing comes from the heart, and when you allow yourself to open up, it is amazing what you can discover about who you truly are.