Writing for the Soul: Overcoming Minor Bouts of Depression

I don’t often write poetry. It isn’t that I dislike it; I’m actually quite a fan. It’s just that the only time I ever feel like writing poetry is when I need to alleviate a great weight of emotion. It’s like writing for the soul. I don’t often write it because it’s like opening my chest cavity or my legs up to a stranger. Having my poetry read is an intimate experience I find difficult to share.

I’m a writer. As such I’m a big fan of that quote from Finding Forrester: “Writers write so that readers can read.” Or something like that. Even though it’s a mild bastardization to put that quote into this context, I find it fitting: I don’t write to keep it all hidden. I don’t even keep a journal.

This post isn’t like the others.

I guess I’m writing for the soul, in a way.

I struggle with minor bouts of depression, and this week has been difficult. The weight of my last undergraduate semester has fallen squarely on me, and I want to run away; to be a hermit; to join the circus; to go to sleep; to never wake up.

It’s melodramatic, but it’s also true.

Melodrama gets a bad rap.

Intellectually, I know that the posts I launch here should be ones my audience actually wants to read. No one cares about the emotional content.* You want the words and the books and the feminism.

I’m all out of those today.

Journals don’t help me. If something is wrong, I have to tell someone, or it will eat me alive. Writing in a journal is like telling myself shit I already know; it’s preaching to the choir. Poetry and prose work for me, because I have convinced myself  that someday someone will actually read them.

I’m a writer. It’s all I know how to do. If I don’t succeed at this, there’s nothing.

So I write for the soul.

* That was my terrible Bruce Lee impersonation.

Do you write to overcome depression or other emotions?