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The moving canvas (1 Viewer)

LostWords

Senior Member
This was a essay i wrote for english yesterday, it wasn't written to be proper but just for meaning effect. I hope you enjoy it, reviews and advice are welcome also.

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The moving canvas

Life is not what you see it as but life is what you make it. These words I had to learn by experience and for better or for worse it was a long lesson of which had I not experienced I’d most possibly be dead. In the past eight months I’ve turned my life around, from dealing with alcohol and anger issues and also opening my mind to absorb new things. Believe it or not I’m not the same person I was in 2004. When you make bad decisions you somewhere down the line have the chance to fix them, and I did.

In mid 2004 I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, a psychological term that means constant mood swings due to chemical imbalance in the brain. Though the causes are unknown I can take a guess that years past of drinking had a play in it. I had suspected that I had it for a while, but it took a few years for me to actually go see a doctor and get my suspicions answered. This would trigger a period of me going on pills that were suppose to not cure but help the process heal. My faith in it was about the same as the effect it had, not much. Once I found out the pills weren’t going to heal my totally I sought out therapy. It was a good idea but the process would take a long time because appointments were hard to come by. In the time I was waiting I just sat around depressed and not really trying to get better. My first appointment came about two months after scheduling it, after two unsuccessful suicide attempts I finally got the chance to try to break open. The first session was about anger management and how to deal with boast of anger that arise. It was from that that I knew where my self therapy would begin.

Apart from professional therapy I decided to also heal myself. My first thing to do was to get sober completely. I hadn’t been a big alcoholic but I knew I had to give up all alcohol for this to work. The temptation teased me for a little bit but as time grew I didn’t really even desire it. I went from two or three drinks every other month to nothing, though there was no reason to do this it was to prevent from anything negative from taking place in the future. With that temptation gone, I then focused on where all this anger was coming from. I traced it back all the way to elementary school, where it started. Stuff that I hid behind even from myself I dug up and had to revisit. This is not as easy as it sounds, thinking of old events that hurt you before is never easy and it always offers a chance for the emotion to catch up. A big root that was causing a lot of this built up aggression in my opinion was kind of secluding myself in younger years and not being accepted by the “popular” crowed, feeling left out. It also had seemed to continue into the latter part of my life, to the point where I didn’t trust many people.

With the key source of my aggression found, I went about solving it by doing a lot of meditation, researching ways to deal with anger and learning ways to express myself peacefully. I looked up a lot of Buddhist mythology and a lot of Buddhist mantra. And really gave into the life style of living a free life of now holding in feelings and treating everyone equally. This was step one of my process and it took months to figure out how to do it right. Step two was to mend friendships that had problems currently going, and to drop friendships that I knew wouldn’t work out. This two week process seems at hand hard but was easy. Everyone seemed to understand I was trying to become a better person, and needed time alone. I took the time alone after I made sure everything was smooth in all my friendships, the slate clean. As mentioned, I did loose some friendships but those were mainly people who had hurt me in the past, people I forgave but know the same mistakes would take place.

With friendships healed, others tossed and my mind still sorting out six years of events the feelings I felt was like my skin was being torn open and the bone poked at. I went very deep in reflecting, talking to people about old events and really making connections and finding out why I feel the way I do. I had the help of some close friends who kindly listened to me talk about my past, and even a few of them found out they were part of the hurt and pain I’d held in. Being able to reflect on old events and try to get over them is like the first breath after the storm has stopped. The freshness fills your body and you get dizzy at the beginning. However there was still a lot more to fix. Sure the past relationships were fixed, the anger was being managed but the sadness was still there. I wasn’t happy despite the big turn around.

I learned it was not only about changing how I treat others, but how I treat myself. I had no self confidence really and put a negative spin on things and events whenever I could. It was a fear response to feeling unaccepted. Now of course I didn’t realize this right away, I realized this by doing a lot of soul searching. I found out I wasn’t happy with myself, and the reason was because I choose not to be happy. I spent months being depressed and sad that I grew use to it. I got use to the feeling of being helpless and alone. As odd as it sounds, I liked it. It made me feel safe. Not everyone can relate to this, but when a person suffers depression it doesn’t just effect their mood but it affects their life. It makes you not think straight and you make dumb choices. All the drinking and all the stuff I was doing was just a temporary solution to fix that void I felt in my life and it had shadowed myself for a long time. I didn’t know who I was; I didn’t know how I was supposed to find out.

To find myself, to find my personality it would take more then just soul searching it would take interaction. I have always been afraid of the process of making friends, always scared I’d be laughed at or rejected for my ideas or looks. It was clear if I wanted to find myself I had to let it show through, and to a new set of people. Now finding friends seemed like a hard task in words but when I got around to it, it turned out I just had to meet one person and it set off a chain reaction which instantly got me in touch with five or six people. Little did I know at that time that these five or six people would become very close to me.

In the past I held a lot of people close to me, this time I made a promise to myself to not put myself in the stupid situation that everyone can back stab me and send me back to step one. I was careful this time to not get extremely attached to people. I kept them at a distance, not knowing exactly who I was but enough that I wouldn’t feel sorry if I lost them as a friend later on. Was this the right thing to do, I still cannot tell you to this day. Its played out good so far and its been very easy to connect and share because I don’t feel obligated to share events of the past.

My predication of making new friends kind of did cure my sadness. I gained more confidence in my life and more will power to go out. I feel had I not taken that step getting happy would have been a lot harder. Nothing in life is ever a simple fix so making friends wasn’t the only thing that got me happy; writing and expressing my feelings really helped. I kept writing poetry and it was the canvas for my paint of anger and sadness to draw upon. That’s how I found art to not only be something to enjoy looking at, but to use it as an escape.

Art for me in the past has always just been entertainment; till I became the art. When I started to write, I was able to look at things and relate to them more. I was able to find the deep meaning and feeling everything had. By expressing poetry it created a window for me to get out all feeling. It took me until January 2005 to share about forty poems with everyone and looking back at it all it really proved a great tool. The art I created couldn’t of been made without the suffering that inspired it. In many ways due to the suffering that produced the great art I’m happy it happened. Art really impacted my life after I started writing it changed my whole life style, and it opened my eyes.

Seven months and a lot more happy, and more friends and there wasn’t much else I could ask for. There was still one thing though I had to fix, keeping the friends I had and making the friendships stronger while at the same time showing the world the new me. Its like the window was clean inside but dirty on the out, I had to be more out going and just be loose about everything. Not holding grudges and listening to peoples sides of situations was the hard part. I’ve always been caught up in myself that I never really listened to people. If you just give time, and you take that time and listen you not only find out useful information but you learn a lot about that person. With information you grow, and you evolve. Maturity is not age dependant but it’s dependant on what you learn and how you apply it.

It has been almost nine months since I started my ‘recovery’ and I’ve never been this free and happy. One thing I really learned is that my lifestyle will determine my death style. If I live and make bad mistakes then that will result in the way I’ll die. If I make the right choices, and can prepare myself mental wise then my death will reflect a good and justified life style. Making friends was a very useful thing for me to learn, I never knew how to do it right but now I do and its effected my lifestyle in positive ways. Getting off drinking though it wasn’t necessary it was a habit I was about to slip into and so by stopping it I stopped a lot of problems from forming. Checking into therapy for my depression will help in the end as well, in addition to my philosophies I’ve picked up it will teach me how to deal with problems.

Had it not been for myself to realize I needed to fix my life, and to start over then I don’t know how I’d be today. God played a big part in it in my opinion, giving me the strength in hard times to continue and giving me the support needed to fight through this. But in the end it was will power and determination that ultimately changed me for the better. I’ve learned to love everything and take nothing for granted. “If the mind is dominated by hatred, the best part of the brain, which is used to judge right and wrong, does not function properly.” – The Dalai Lama.
 

americanwriter

Senior Member
You start off well, and overall there's a lot to work with, but it needs a lot of editing for grammar, etc. There are several places where the sentences could be tightened up, a few that need to be shortened or just omitted.

I would suggest you keep working on it, one sentence at a time, and make each one count. Remember the basic structure for a piece of writing applies to the body of work as well as paragraphs, and you need to work on concluding sentences that will help segue into the next paragraph. Even free form essays have a natural structure to them.

Keep working on this. You've got something here.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
lw...
ok... i read it, as i promised to do in your other thread about this piece... it's a very moving and powerful sharing of an important period in your life and valuable for that alone... but it's not good writing, as i'm sure you admit...

if you'd like to get this into good shape, so all who read it will focus only on the message and not be sidetracked by all the goofs, i'd be happy to help you... just drop me an email if you're interested in making this good enough to submit to teen mags, where it should go, so all kids can read it!

love and hugs, maia
[email protected]
 
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