I started keeping solid memories when I was five and a half years old, and at that point, I was somehow already a writer. My journals were instinctively my safe space to explore the infinite in my mind. The first diary I remember had a soft cover, navy blue with the galaxy printed all over - moons, stars, rocket ships. It smelled like marshmallows. It said “GIRL POWER” in pink on the front, and it featured an easily breakable lock on the side. Every day, I grabbed the matching pencil, the kind with an endless supply of replaceable pencil tips inside, and I scribbled out whatever pieces of truth my racing mind and tiny hands could muster. I never shared my writing with anyone - all the overpowering emotions, the ways I was hurting, or my desperate hope for the Powerpuff Girls to be real - but putting words to all of it made me feel more real amidst the surreal chaos. Where my soft and fearful voice failed me externally, writing empowered me internally. I wrote to survive, and when my teachers praised me for being a “good writer,” I couldn’t understand how I could be “good” at something that simply kept me alive. (The need to die crept up on me slowly over the years.)
As I've grown older, writing has become less fantastical and more mundane. Another pill I take to keep going, another way of exorcising my demons and cleansing myself enough to make it through. I stitch together words on the notepad of my phone as I fall asleep at night. I quiet the need to sketch out characters for fear that I may sketch out some parts of myself as well. My journal sits largely untouched. Although I’ve always had infinite stories, both fact and fiction, simmering within me, I’ve rarely believed it was enough for anyone else to read. I didn’t think my truth was exceptional or worth truly hearing. And now, as I am healing, growing, and learning more about my mind every day, I am realizing how that way of thinking has permeated my beliefs about my own living story. My journals, poems, and prose are woven with evidence of pure, raw survival through times so dark I’ve locked them behind a heavy door in my mind, but still it has taken me over 20 years to realize that I do have stories to write - and to tell. My mental health, my experiences, and the memories I’ve lost and misunderstood through my life are all real, all valid, and all worthy of sharing.
And so here we are. Welcome to my story. It is a toxic tangle of deadly and delicate, forever becoming balanced in my blood and in my body. It is Lithium & Lace.