When I was in sixth grade, I had a great English teacher. She was the one who made me fall in love with writing. I always looked forward to spending class periods writing a story or poem. Since then, I`ve been writing poems as often as I can, and in 9th or 10th grade, I got a poem published in The America Library of Poetry. Today, journaling and writing poems play a critical role in my mental health as I manage my symptoms of anxiety and depression.
I draw from several different sources for my writing. My main source is just personal experience. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I experience a great deal of strong emotions, and it helps to get them out on paper, whether it`s in journal form or poetry form. If I`m feeling sad, I`ll write a poem about what is making me sad and what I`m feeling and thinking. I do this with any negative emotion I feel, including anger, disappointment, hopelessness, etc. Afterwards, I not only feel relief, but I feel joy having expressed myself in a creative way. I also do what`s called in the mental health world positive journaling, a form of journaling in which you write about the positive things that happened in your day or in general. It helps people with negative thinking patterns focus on the good things in their life, and most of the time, they realize that things aren`t as terrible as they may think they are. If one bad things happens in our day, we tend to focus on that bad thing, instead of the 5 good things that happened, and positive journaling helps bring that to our attention. Positive journaling is beneficial when I can`t stop thinking about that one bad thing and need to turn my mood around.
The social media site Tumblr is a great source of inspiration for writers. Tumblr users all over the world post their writing, or even poetry prompts for others to use. I go through people`s poems and find relatable lines and topics to draw ideas for my own poems. I do the same thing with music. When I hear a line I like and can relate to, I`ll use it as inspiration.
Taking walks is another one of my coping strategies. I have several different parks around my home town, White Plains, that I go to and people watch. I imagine what their life might be like, how it might be similar or different than mine, and use that to come up with a poem, or even just write about my thoughts.
Writing has played an important role in my life. Without it, I wouldn`t have made as much progress with my mental health as I have. I enjoy being creative and coming up with writing that I can be proud of. There`s a significant amount of resources to get inspiration from, and as a writer, I`m incredibly thankful for that.