on writing a blog

I was thinking about that Warsan Shire quote today, the one about hurting out loud, or something. My thoughts turned to this neglected blog, this website, this place to put writing, this site of hurting out loud.

Oh, here are her words:

Not everyone is okay with living like an open wound. But the thing about open wounds is that, well, you aren’t ignoring it. You’re healing; the fresh air can get to it. It’s honest. You aren’t hiding who you are. You aren’t rotting. People can give you advice on how to heal without scarring badly. But on the other hand there are some people who’ll feel uncomfortable around you. Some will even point and laugh. But we all have wounds.

I posted that quote on my Facebook page at some point (along with plenty more punch you in the face wounded words and songs and miscellany). I wrote a lot in January and February. I felt compelled to get everything down on the page, to give voice to a whole lot of pain. I spent most of this winter unwell and unhappy, which sometimes looked like over functioning and sometimes looked like giving up.

At some point, I stopped writing, although I briefly returned to direct some venom Jian Ghomeshi’s way. I deleted a lot of what I’d posted here, trying not to look at it as I did so. I got rid of photos. I started to feel weird about privacy. I started to feel embarrassed about my public emotions. I wanted to pretend it never happened. I didn’t want to see it or engage with it. I wanted to move on. Actually, I don’t know that I wanted to; it just became evident that I had to.

But I think it’s more complicated than that.

I think it wasn’t just that I didn’t want that stuff out there, it was that with some distance and with some wellness coursing through my veins, I felt profoundly sad for then-me. I don’t regret writing in the way that I did, because it led to connecting and reconnecting. It led to ‘me too’ and ‘hey, thanks’.

I stopped writing as a form of bloodletting because I needed to go away and do some healing. I lost the compulsion to shout about how much everything hurt.  I sat around and felt all of my feelings deeply, then I started making life choices more reflective of a person who loves herself. I turned around one day in the Spring feeling a familiar feeling and it took me a moment to realize I felt happy.

Of course, like any good person-who-has-sometimes-been-not-super-stable knows, life goes up, life goes down, etcetera. However, sometimes a dark period can be seen quite clearly in the rear view mirror from a vantage point beyond it. When things get a bit lighter it is easier to see how heavy they were. And things were very heavy indeed. Heavy heart, heavy feet, heavy words.

I miss this writing, though. I miss crafting myself into anecdotes and memories and pieces of the good and the bad and I know that it’s an important part of whatever it is that I do. Logging back into this site was anxiety provoking. I didn’t want to look at whatever posts I’d decided could remain. But I once again feel compelled to share words, but maybe in a different way. I’m not sure yet what that will look like. I’ve been watching a lot of Nashville lately, so the obvious answer is a whole lot of country songs. So it goes.

One comment

  1. Mavis DeGirolamo · July 11, 2016

    Thank you for your honesty, courage and forthrightness, Ali. You are an amazing woman with every justification to feel both proud and once again, happy and in love with life. Please look after yourself in all the ways you need to, and stay strong and keep writing as your muse determines. You are loved!


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