*Warning: talk of suicide and disabilities*
I have spent hours starring at this blank page, watching the cursor blink as the letters on the keyboard taunt me. I have been putting this off for weeks. I remember the first class we had where the assignment was to post on the WordPress page about disabilities. That is my specialty Professor Helms. I have convinced myself that disabilities make you more interesting, maybe harder to deal with, but we will always keep you on your toes! Personally, I only suffer a few disabilities which I do not like to consider disabilities because, yes, they might disable me, but that word is a stamp. I feel the stamp on my forehead when I go into classes. I feel the stamp burn when my professors ask me how I am coping.
After going through all of the materials that we have read throughout this semester, I saw a pattern. Some of the most famous authors, poets, writers have mental illnesses or a physical disability. Sylvia Plath was in and out of institutions at a young age but won several scholarships for her grades throughout the different colleges she attended. In her last three years, she wrote her best work and when she was satisfied with it, she took her life. Virginia Woolf wrote amazing essays, books and diaries but she as well, suffered from depression. On March 28th, 1941, Woolf filled her coat pockets with rocks and walked into the river behind her house. The note she left for her husband reads,
I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.
I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”
Would you even know who Virginia Woolf is if your high school English teacher never made you read some of her work?
Ernest Hemmingway suffered from depression, paranoia and alcoholism throughout his whole life. He shot himself in the head during the summer of 1961.
All of these authors are famous because of the words they put down on a piece of paper and decided to share it with the world. There are millions of writers in the world that suffer from disabilities but that does not make you any less talented than anyone else. These three people are bad examples of overcoming their diseases because clearly, they did not. Writing has always helped me escape and reading books written by people that are like me gives me a sense of belonging, a sense of home. The pages in my notebook are more reliable than most people.
I do not necessarily understand.
I never have cared much.
I keep to myself, usually.
I like the peaceful quiet.
Gives me time to read.
Books aren’t rude or judgmental.
They are my escape away.
I miss the old bookstores.
The best memories always made.
The smell of books never gets old to me.
Always familiar faces.
I wonder how many books we have in common.
My collection is vast.
I need more shelving and new bookmarks.
Books have always been a part of my life and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to hold on to the pages of each book, the spine that is starting to wear, the folded corners, the cliff hanger endings, the heart breaks, the salty tears on pages of despair, I love it all, endlessly.
When I get my own house one day, I need to have a huge separate room for my books.
I want that sanctuary.
I started off going in a completely different direction in my head and then I found myself researching famous poets that I had read about in high school. We always read what they have written but have never heard their actual stories. I included one of the poems I have written about my love for books and what they bring to me.