The power of words

By Ashna Shareff:

Writing is my listener when there is no ear to hear me, my companion who doesn’t complain when I am down.

We may close our eyes and hearts to many things in the world if we want to, but the one thing we can’t flee from is pain. We have all been to the point where facing it was inevitable.

What we might suffer from comes in different shapes and sizes: like the death of a loved one, a dream we have but can’t achieve, or we might simply suffer from lonesomeness in this big world when the care of family and friends isn’t around.

Even though we are inclined to live a happy life, happiness often comes only after hard work, and pain. A fact we are all conscious of, but some of us pretend not to be.

It’s not possible to avoid being hurt, but it’s definitely possible to find ways to conquer the feeling without resorting to wrongdoing. In my life I have realized that writing is one of the most powerful ways to defeat sorrow and grief.

When I was a kid of about seven my dad was sent into exile, after he had been arrested so many times, and so I and my family had to leave Hawler to join him. When we first left Hawler, we had nothing. We didn’t have a home to live in, we didn’t have money to live on, and we didn’t even have clothes except for those we wore when we left.

It was very painful to accept the idea of my family suffering, even though I was a child. I had no one to talk with, because everyone was too busy working and earning some money so that we could rent a house and have a better living standard. Life was too expensive and unfair.

Spending my childhood in isolation made me think of so many questions that I didn’t have any answers to. Why was all this happening to me and my family? I couldn’t understand.  Everything was happening fast and inexplicably.

By the time I was twelve, I decided to buy a diary and write down everything about my life. My writing wasn’t so organized or proper, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to release myself from all the pain that I had carried in my heart for the past five years of my childhood. I wrote down everything that crossed my mind: Whatever I felt and all the questions I had and knew no one would answer for me.

It was healing. Writing helped me to find the friend I didn’t have, someone to talk to about whatever I wanted. I didn’t need to go and cry whenever I was sad and alone. I didn’t have to break anything or do something mistaken whenever I was angry. I just had to take a piece of paper and transfer everything on my mind and in my heart onto the paper. It didn’t occur to me whether the piece I was writing was good or not, nor did it matter whether people would read it or not. All that mattered was freeing myself from grief and depression.

Writing did liberate me and help me triumph over hardship. Writing has made me a better person, a hopeful person.

Copyright © 2012

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