Words by Robin Horner
I think my writer’s block is fear.
It’s becoming one of those days where thinking about what to write, and rereading things I’ve already written, fills my head with a sort of melancholy that makes me feel so tired of even trying. For some reason my own writing makes me feel like going to bed, hiding my head under the blanket, and turning off my brain. Forcefully numbing myself with social media or Netflix. I don’t know why this is. Maybe because confronting all the things I hold inside of me is frightening. It’s easier and more comfortable not to take things out and examine them. Easier and more comfortable to try and live at a surface level, where everything is fine, even though I know I’m always going to be unhappy at my core as long as I keep ignoring how things make me feel.
But I don’t want to deal with all that. I don’t want to process it, don’t want to go through all the steps of examining, feeling, and then (hopefully) releasing. It feels like too much. It’s intimidating. It’s uncomfortable.
I’m afraid of plunging myself into the emotional pool that is waiting for me. I’m afraid of reaching the bottom, and equally so of how long that might take. Or if I ever will. I’m afraid I’ll never come out again.
I can’t keep living in fear of my own self. How absurd is it to be afraid of your own mind and emotions? But I am. I’m afraid of how deeply I am capable of feeling, and so I try to shut myself off from it as much as I can. I’m afraid of acknowledging the hurt inside me, and how deep it is, because if I do that makes it real, and if it’s real, I have to somehow walk through it or let it consume me. Who wouldn’t be frightened of that? Of course I don’t want to acknowledge it. But at the same time, how can I say I love myself if I deny myself the opportunity to heal? How can I give the best of myself to the world and to the people who love me if I can’t bear to even let myself grow into my best?
But I am afraid, and a coward, and I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to make it more real. So many things I don’t want to think about, I don’t want to open those boxes. So I hide.
I walk this precarious path, refusing to face what threatens to consume me. If I don’t look it’s not there, if I don’t look back, it can’t catch me. Stay under the blankets, you’re safe if it can’t see you. It’s not real unless you accept it.
I’m afraid, and I’m tired of being afraid. So I am caught. I made a promise to myself that I would try to live as fully and truthfully as I possibly could--I didn’t realize at the time how frightening and painful that could be. And yet, this is a goal I want to follow through on. I don’t want to give up, even though such a large part of me doesn’t want to move forward. I want to do this work. I have to.
There are things that I need to give words to. Experiences and moments and people that I need to allow myself to grieve for. To give words to how I feel, and why I feel, and why these things are so difficult to release. They need to be honored with the words that they require. And if they are given words, then they exist outside of me. Until I remove them from myself by giving them language, I cannot let go of them. Words make things real, make them tangible, give them shape and form and understanding. You cannot let go of something intangible, it is part of your skin and your breath and it tangles in your hair. It has to be removed from you, and putting it into words does that. Words give emotional hurt a physical shape. Language opens the path to healing.
But first I have to learn to move despite my fear.
About the Author:
Robin is a traveler who writes to feel at home. A collector of words, rocks, and seashells, Robin understands herself through writing. She lives deeply and can often be found up a mountain or down by the sea.