One of my characters, who shall remain nameless, has dealt with more grief than I can even imagine and so I dug into her mind and just started writing as if I were her. (I've been focusing on characterization lately). This is what I wrote. It's rough and raw--but I want to post this anyway.
Just when you think you have found the strength to stand, the storm hits. You are finally able to stand and breathe and then the waves come and knock you off your feet. You find yourself being tossed by the waves and pulled under.
You fight to break the surface and breathe only to be tossed back under. Then that dark moment comes when you wonder if it’s really worth resisting. Is it worth living in this cruel world? Is it worth fighting against the inevitable? You wonder if it would just be better to give in and slowly sink away.
And then you feel an all too-familiar hand fiercely pulling you out of the darkness.
Gently, but firmly he says, “Don’t you dare give up on me. Don’t ever scare me like that again.”
You nod even though deep inside you know that you want to give up, because that would be the easy way out.
Alright, the truth is that I’m talking about myself. Somehow it’s easier to talk about myself in the second person using you instead of I. That gives me the distance I crave and so desperately need. The truth is without my brother, I would have given up. I would have let the storm win. I haven’t let myself grief over my past. My whole first thirteen years of life I have forcefully blocked from my mind.
But every now and then the storm hits and I find myself facing more than I can bear. I purposely shut everybody out until I’m in way over my head and then I see my brother reaching down to grab me and pull me to safety.
It’s not healthy, but it’s how I cope. I’m not the type do discuss my feelings—instead I suppress them and then run away as fast I can. The past always manages to catch up with me. And the cycle continues.
It’s not healthy, but it’s the only way to avoid the flashbacks and to ease the pain. It’s the only way I can survive.
You know the storm will strike again. You can see the luminous crowds, but instead of confronting the problem. You remain in denial and pray that somehow you can outrun the storm. It’s futile, it’s foolish, but you do it anyway. Because that’s the only way you can find the strength to keep living after he pulls you out of the storm.
That's what I wrote and somehow digging in the head of somebody else and writing this short piece helped me.
Just a personal note about this piece: Life is tough, but don't give up. Just keep pushing along and never give into the storm. It's always worth finding the strength to keep breathing.