The War Within Words

Words are everything in my world.

They comprise the books I love reading after a draining day at work. They fill pages after pages of stories that take me from where I am and launch me into another world, someone else’s world. They stand as an open door luring me into an unknown escape. They don’t rush me or hurry me along, they wait patiently on me to crack the spine of the weathered book they lie dormant in and come alive until my eyes are heavy and I am lulled into sleep.

They are my own personal solace for when I am feeling happy, sad, overwhelmed, indifferent, angry, and all emotions in-between. They willingly fly from my fingertips onto a page. Relief crashing over me like the feeling of finding someone I thought was lost. They bring me peace and comfort. When my emotions overcome me I run to my computer or my journal. I blindly write until that need, that nagging itch, is satisfied.

They shine light into the closed off room of my heart, they explain what I sometimes can’t when talking. They make me bare, translucent almost. They pull venerability from my heart and they make me brave and confident. They help others to understand me and they oftentimes help me to understand myself.

They help people from different ends of the world come together in similar thoughts, feelings and situations. The unite us all. They sometimes hit us just right and the feeling of being alone fades away as we find there is someone else that understands us.

And some sad times, hopefully seldom times, they crush me. They hurt me. They are cruel and mean and they fire out from the mouth of someone who doesn’t cherish words the way I do. They rip me to shreds, these words. Horrible words that come from the beautiful language I cherish so dearly. The fact they can go from everything I enjoy about my small little world to the weapon that breaks my heart, ultimately does just that, it breaks me.

Then I do the unthinkable. I use them to hurt others as well. I lash out, I think of the meanest words possible and sometimes I say them. Other times I beg the person I am screaming with not to say them, always aware of the power they hold.

What’s worse is that they stay with you. Loving words flee quickly, easily taken for granted, but the ugly ones always stay. They permanently do, even when I think I’ve let them float away. These words are ones I can’t stand. They stick all over my body like leeches. I try to rip them off, I try to move on but I can’t. They suffocate me and they suck the love right from me. They vibrate through my mind for weeks after. I feel their weight on me. I feel other people’s eyes on them covering me. I hate these words.

And yet, I love them, they are magical in all their power. I have always loved them and will always love them and part of that means willingly taking the bad words with the good. The kind words with the cruel and the loving words with the hateful ones. I am reminded to pick my own words more carefully, for I can create love with words, or hate.



I haven’t been able to write lately. Not because of writer’s block or a lack of something to say, but because I won’t allow myself to sit down and open the gates, letting the words pour out like water crashing down over the sharp edge of a waterfall. I can’t stomach the notion that these emotions that are drowning me every waking moment will be littered on the blankness of this page. I can’t stomach much these days. My stomach is an endless ball of tangled knots that tighten with each breath.

It could be denial. Maybe by doing the one true and comforting act of giving words to my feelings, they become concrete. Currently, these feelings are living only in my own body, in my bones and my far away eyes, in my coarse hair and nervous hands. Now, they will live infinitely on paper. They will live in other hearts as someone else’s eyes dance over them. Their realness is not escapable once this happens. I will be trapped in the here and now.

I can’t go on trudging through the box of memories in my mind and recreating moments where things fell apart. I have learned through this agony that there were so many tiny small moments that I now miss. Like grains of sand they slipped through the hourglass until our time was up, until we were left hollow and empty. Writing will require me to live in that emptiness. To reside in that space where nothing feels quite right. You laugh, you work, you make plans, you sleep and wake up, yet each day you crawl out of your skin. Your heart beats, yes, but no longer to the same rhythm.

This will also serve as a time machine, forever bringing me back to this moment. I look forward to the day I am out of this but these words on this page will always send me shooting back, like a bullet released from a pistol. I have ran to this page many times for comfort and ran away each time because of fear. I long to find that security I once felt from letting my fingers race along the keys. I long to feel anything real or familiar.

I know that familiar isn’t where I should be. The strange thing about all of this is that moving forward seems terrifying but moving backwards does too. The future is too far ahead and the past is forever gone and changed. I live in grey, between these two worlds. I hate the grey. I feel like a tree without any roots. I am in a car but not driving, I have no control or sense of what will be. That is the grey. It is the middle land, the space after an era ends. The space after a loved one is lost. The space where you want to sleep but your bed isn’t comfortable and you want to be around friends but once you’re there you can’t wait to be home.

I think the important thing about sadness is to respect it and feel its sharp corners. Let it rock you like a wave and wash over you. I don’t try to avoid any feelings, because without darkness the light isn’t as bright. Each day I pass through anger, sadness, confusion, laughter, numbness and happiness. I accept this. I don’t want to sleep away emotions or drown them in wine or crowds. I like to sit quietly with each of them, allowing them to shape me and push me forward.

I know this will not last forever. One day I will feel comfortable again. My heart will surface and the unknown won’t be as daunting. Writing will be my kind, old friend again. My computer will come out from where I have hid it and my smile will become genuine again. Until then though, I will continue waking up, breathing and thinking about the day when  it all feels good again.