Have you had an experience that is too difficult to talk about?
Is there a secret in your life that you have never been able to share?
Did someone do or say something to you that shocked you so much you could confide in no-one?
Maybe there are subjects that are so taboo that you bear a cross alone.
Maybe you even accept that this is how life goes and put it all down to experience.
Until very recently I was happy to do just that. I chose my words carefully there and meant happy.
You see, for many years I have suffered with a condition where the symptoms were too embarrassing for me to talk about. Too embarrassing despite the fact I work in the care sector where a large part of my job involves personal care. Too embarrassing because I mind what other people say about me. Too embarrassing because it makes me vulnerable.
But a couple of days ago I wrote about it. Here on Medium. I wrote a lot more in preparation, but the nitty gritty all went down in black and white right here.
I admit, I thought the number of reads would be in single figures. If no-one reads it, no-one will ever know.
Instead, it turned out to be read by significantly more. 50 times more.
I cursed myself for thinking the article would just disappear into the ether, never to be read. Not even by my Mum, because she doesn’t have internet access. In fact, I would die of shame if my Mum did read it.
But here’s the rub. I’ve suddenly found a voice. And it’s a good voice. It chimes with me. And strangely I find myself wanting to use it.
In fact, and this is a big deal for a mouse like me, I found myself using it in public. I conversed with a waiter even though I had knocked milk all over the table. I spoke to some random guy who was on security duty for the night wishing him a quiet one.
I shared my experience of IBS with a colleague. She was suffering in silence as much as I had with exactly the same problems. I thought about the year we had spent working together and the penny dropped. The reasons for certain things that happened were suddenly obvious. And you know, I didn’t see her as a person of ridicule and shame. Or a person who needed to be carried by the team. I saw her as a human being with courage and strength, dealing with adversity and still caring for others. Was she feeling the same?
The mouse has got wings, she’s a bat. She’s a superhero! With one article I’ve found a whole new me. One decision to take the plunge. One investment in myself.
Seriously, you can do this too. That cross you are carrying alone? Share it, and let it go. Exorcise those demons that are holding you in chains and fly free. Exorcise them loudly, exorcise them quietly, exorcise them with words or pixels or paint. Find your voice, stretch your wings and be the true free creative you want to be.
Just start by writing. Then write some more. Then keep writing……Then, when you are ready, share it.
For me, this is the beginning of a story. I’d love for you to follow along the way and perhaps you can share your journey too.
If you got value from this, please pay it forward and share wherever you can :-)
Janice Gill used to write when she was at school. Then she became a Scientist. Then she became a Mum. Her nest emptied and she cared for other people. In her spare time she created pictures. She has now had an Epiphany and plans to write herself right out of the day job. If you are a creative looking for a home perhaps you’d like to join her.