Is writing a coping mechanism?

I was nine years old when my mother bought me my very first diary. I remember that day quite well - she took me to the mall and asked me what I wanted for my birthday. We walked into a stationary store together and I saw a fluffy pink diary with a heart-shaped lock and a pink pen with pink feathers. My mother approved of my choice, and that's how my writing journey began.


At first, I wrote down songs lyrics of my favourite songs, I wrote lists (my favourite songs, favourite movies, favourite cartoons...). I quickly moved on to writing stories about my school crush and eventually I wrote about my emotions and hopes and dreams.


A year and a half after getting the diary, my parents died - and just like that the diary became a sort of "safe haven" for me. I wrote about my confusion and pain, and I wrote about my anger. I was angry at God and the world for taking away my parents. I was angry at my family members who didn't seem to allow me to grieve the way my 10-year-old self wanted too. I wrote in my diary every chance I got. In many ways, writing took away a bit of the pain.


The older I got, the more I wrote, and the more my writing became sombre. The world around me felt bitter and reeked of broken hearts and abandoned dreams. Although I tried to write about a better life, it often felt like a distant dream that would never become reality.


When things began to look up, I did not stop writing. I guess losing my parents was like getting a large tattoo on my chest - when I could finally clothe myself I forgot it was there until I looked in the mirror and remembered it. The feeling of emptiness still accompanies me everywhere I go, and writing helps me cope with it.


Now I write about everything - the ups, the downs; the good the bad; the sweet, the bitter... Writing isn't just a coping mechanism - it's a way of life. It has become like second nature to me; something I do in order to survive and to keep existing.


Tragedy changes you. It has a way of moulding you into the person you are destined to be. I know that I am destined to be a writer; I knew it since the day my mother bought me that pink fuzzy diary. But it was a tragedy that began to mould me into the writer I am becoming today. I can either accept it or resist it. I no longer write to "cope"; I write because l love to write.


dictionary.com defines a coping mechanism as "a psychological strategy or adaptation that a person relies on to manage stress" and adds that "sometimes, coping mechanisms are intentional choices, while other times a person may be unaware that they’re using them." When you suffer the loss of a person you love, I guess your heart and mind search for ways to ease the pain...


Perhaps I'll never stop writing because the pain, to a certain degree, will always be a part of my life...










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