Writing Violent Impulses

An idea has been percolating through my head for years, since before my mission. I wanted to write a fictional version of my life. It was going to be a trilogy. The first book would be about high school. The second would be a completely accurate tail of the girl’s mission. The third would actually be fictional about her grown up and married and losing a child. That would be the only one not based on my life.

I had pseudonyms for all of my friends picked out. I knew exactly how the first book would end, I knew how the second book would start. I even wrote random scenes while on my mission in preparation for writing these books.

And then the real story happened.

Seven months into my mission, I had a mental breakdown. For the next two weeks I struggled with the decision of whether to go home or not. It was a difficult, gut wrenching decision, and I see-sawed back and forth almost hourly.

My journey after that is what I’m writing about. Violent Impulses is the story of a girl’s discovery of her own mind. It’s about mental illness and the ramifications that they can have on a person’s life.

I didn’t count on how hard this would be to write. There are times when I can write an entire scene and other times when I can’t even get through three paragraphs. With the help of my two best friends and writing group, I wrote a scene last night that will likely prove to be the hardest scene I will have to write for this book. Reliving that experience was very emotional. I felt the anger, pain, and sorrow that I felt that day. But I was also able, for the first time, to see that scene from the eyes of the other parties involved. I’ve been so angry for so long about the reaction I got, but as I see it through their eyes, from their point of view, I realize just how hard it must have been for them. You’ll notice I’m being very careful to not tell you what the scene is about, because I think that if I were to tell, if you were to know before reading it, it would take away from the intensity of that scene. I wrote that scene from my perspective, exactly as I remember it and as I look at it now, the character comes across as almost overreacting. I tried to portray the emotion and pain that she felt that made her act that way, and I hope I succeeded.

I’m writing this book because people need to understand. Though Bipolar Disorder is only one mental illness, I believe reading someone’s point of view, emotions, and experiences with it can help people understand the others. If I can convince, through my words, even one person that it’s okay to get help, that it’s okay to accept that something is wrong, that you’re not weak for getting therapy or medication or whatever it is that you personally need to live to your full potential, then I will feel as though my life, my struggle, and my words are all worth it. I want others to not have to struggle for as long as I did, to not have to fall as far as I did, before getting help. I want others to not have to go through that pain for themselves before admitting that it exists.

That is my goal with this book. I pray it works.

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