Of all my autobiographical writings, sometimes this one gets forgotten. It shouldn’t be.
Writing has always been a way for me to cope with things. From fall 2008 to winter 2009, I wrote a novella, more like a long short story, The S.M.T. Letters, set in 1808–1809 and written by a young scientist, S. M. Tallis. It is a traditional sea story and a short one at that - the main feature of it is that it’s based on real life, essentially a journal. I cast real settings and events into a pseudohistorical analogy, or at least the plot revolved around my perceptions of actual events at the time. The date on each letter is the same as the date it was written, only two hundred years earlier.
It is not a well-written or interesting story, besides being painfully flowery at times. What brings me back to it today is the fact I cast one of my personal issues, an anxiety disorder, as a character. In the story, I wrote him as the main antagonist, and the narrator as the defenceless victim. The antagonist's appearance in the plot comes as sudden, unforeseen, and unexplainable; that is, true to life. He comes, goes, and returns again, over and over.
He turned, and I saw his countenance for a moment, awful and cruel. In an instant he raised one hand to hood himself, and with the other he struck me a blow, sending me backwards into the bulwarks. The waves were chopping and the ship rolled severely as I recovered my feet. The stranger was merciless in his attacks, and I thought his purpose was directed in getting me overboard, sending me helpless into the bleak green sea. I fought back, but I was weaker than he—at last, I was compelled to cry out, long and clear, for help.It wasn't fiction. These are sad, somewhat heartbreaking sentences to read in context. It would be four worsening years later before I accepted this fact; it was an apt analogy... “this antagonist is not me. And I can’t save myself.” Only at that point, long after I finished this story, was I was truly and finally healed. I had only ever needed to recognize that disorder as an illness, something only God could heal me from, and then stop trying to outthink it and just let Him save me.
This is as much as I’ve ever told anyone about that issue, and I’m not sure I’ll ever share the complete Letters. I guess what brings it up all of a sudden is I've been reading Poe and Verne again lately; they were two of many authors whose style made it possible for me to write this kind of journal and find comfort in it, as poorly written as it is. Not only that, but I want someone to know, to have some idea anyway.
This irrational fear and subconscious disbelief warped my sense of time. It became a definitive part of my life, like a physical illness in that sense, but impossible to understand or explain (I never could). Thankfully, my healing and recovery were so complete that now I often forget it ever existed. Although, to my regret, I sometimes take for granted these entire days that my mind is free of anxiety, especially that one which caused so much pain and depression. No longer being too unhappy to cry, too confused to talk - it feels like I have come back to "the life I once loved."
It's Sunday morning, past 2:30 a.m. Someday I will write about this in depth. For now, it's just here to remind myself, and to talk about it aloud, for the first time. Not for me, but because of Him.
You must think very badly of me, for I am always recording my grievances and continuously harping upon the same subject(s); but I think I might be granted pardon. After all, one must tell someone. Those thoughts which are pent up in one's mind seek an outlet, and, within these pages, they may find such a thing without feeling restricted (within reason and certain boundaries, of course!), and without being met with ridicule. The writer must write, but so must the solitary individual who has no other audience, or would in no ways else relate his thoughts.