I find it hard to take credit for my work because that feels like taking credit for breathing.
“What a beautiful breath you just exhaled” you exclaim.
“Uhh, thanks?” I stutter in return.
My words are my mind made manifest, made concrete, made in a form that the rest of the world can sometimes understand.
I write because just as my lungs reflexively grasp for the next breath of air, my mind reaches for a story in the man I pass on the street, asks me for tales as the snow falls heavy and all this because if it did not, I think I would cease to exist.
Mental suffocation does not come with bloodshot eyes and purple lips. It sneaks in, sedentary and vague, a lack of empathy that infuses all actions until one voice sounds like another, sounds like another, and the words those voices speak become muddled in a background buzz of societal static.
I cannot live without words.
Without wings made of ink and paper my mind is locked in a cage it outgrew years ago. It strains against the bars and breaks free over and over again only to be forced back in.
My lungs under water scream for air; my mind in oppression screams for words.
I find it hard to take credit for my words because without them I cannot breathe and if I cannot breathe I have no voice to say “but I am here.”