I decided to start writing for the Odyssey during one of the most turbulent times in my life. At 19, I was being forced to reevaluate myself as both an individual and as a member of the community around me. Needless to say, things were not great.
I work as a Writing Tutor here at ASU, and the only place in which I felt utter calm and unemotional was at work. Assisting other students with their papers, diving from my world into theirs, was such a fantastic escape that I wondered how to carry that escape home with me. I hadn’t written anything for myself since middle school and, when I first sat down to write, I felt burdened with the enumerated amount of things I wanted to say.
I truly got my voice back. I traversed through the various topics and avenues that writing can take on, and I pushed myself to write unlimitedly; not bogged down by research backed arguments, but rather stories I knew – the things that only I knew how to say.
After my hospitalization I was faced with two options; I could tell everyone about it all or I could keep it to myself. While I didn’t want to run and scream from the mountains shouting what had happened, I wanted to be able to control the narrative. The truth always comes out, and I figured if I addressed the situation immediately people would understand my perspective and maybe I could assist others in similar states of mind.
Writing for the Odyssey has been a freeing experience, but the way that my voice has adapted itself is no longer fitting with the personal narrative voice. The way that I am best able to express emotions (something I am very bad at) is through poetry, which is ironic because I absolutely detest poetry.
So, while I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at the Odyssey, I do believe it’s my time to say farewell. I think I need to spend more time pursuing what will further my mental health and, while writing about it has been beneficial, I think some of this journey must occur behind the scenes.
I hadn’t truly realized how public my writing would be and that I’d be subjected to the views and opinions of people I’d never met before. I was, of course, aware that others would be reading my writing, I just hadn’t grasped the true scope of people that my words were reaching.
I truly hope that my writing has positively impacted you. I love finding new avenues with which to express myself, and I hope that writing honestly about the things that are impacting me or the globe in general has had some benefit to your life. I want to continue to help those who are going through their mental health journey. I want to be the voice of reason and an advocate for mental health reform, but I cannot truly do so right now as I am still working on finding balance in my own recovery.
I wish you all the best, thank you for reading what I have to say. As always, I hope to remain a person that people can go to if they are struggling mentally or at least someone who can send you in the right direction. Until we meet again.