Over the years the expression 'Write about what you know' has passed my ears on many occasions, and generally my writing revolves around subjects that I enjoy. History, archaeology and travel to name a few.
Lately my mind has nagged at me, often at the most inconvenient times, telling me that I have a story to tell. A story that is highly charged and emotional, that will take all of the strength I have to write it. A story that needs to be told, not for my sake but for the sake of others, so that others can feel they are not alone, so that others can see that there is hope and so that I can try and help break taboo and stigma.
I have wrestled with the idea for a while now. I was reluctant and also embarrassed, it would mean bearing my soul completely, it would mean others knowing the full extent of my life, it would mean asking friends and family to recall details they may rather forget. I would be opening myself up and laying myself bare. A scary thought.
After much consideration I finally made the decision. I finally began writing last week and am already ten thousand words in. I have already been on an emotional roller coaster that has been hard to stomach and had conversations with people I love and who love me that have brought situations flooding back, some of which I'd rather forget. It has been hard and at one point I asked myself if I was really making the right decision. But I know now that I am and I'm determined to continue.
The story I am talking about is a hard one but I need to tell it, you see I have Epilepsy. A condition that is incredibly mis-understood. I am not alone and there are many others like me, but I am fortunate to have been supported by a wonderful group of people over the years. My story may take a while to write, it may be hard, and at times upsetting, but I am determined to do it. I'm determined to publish it, and get it out there for people to read. It is important that people who have the condition know they are not alone, and that is my sole purpose.
When writers write, they write about what they know. I am doing that, but on this occasion I am also writing from the heart, and it's the hardest thing I have ever done.