Ask anyone who currently journals and they will tell you that you it’s one of the best hobbies they have ever started. I do it and I swear by the practice of keeping a journal. Here are five reasons you should too:
I could not believe that he lived in this. Not wanting to touch anything, the smell grabbed me in a choke hold. The peace I felt was out of place. You could not feel life or death; it was as if your senses went numb.
We started to sort through his belongings, things to keep, things to give away and things to throw in the trash. Wanting it to go quickly but yet not wanting to leave. This is where he lived, a small room with a small bathroom, little fridge, table, chair and bed with dresser. Covered in things he had gathered, most of it just things you use daily, not much collected from the past, no photo frames or trinkets. The walls were dirty, well everything seemed dirty. This is where his life had ended.
Time had stopped for him, his grown children cleaning up the mess, sorting his stuff. They had not seen him in years, all they knew was he was in the city trying to get by.
Three children, now with children of their own, taking care of their father’s life now that it is gone.
This is poverty, down and out, he had shelter, friends and a job, but no one should live like that.
I have to unlock this door, the latch is rusty, the hinges are weak and the door itself is soaked with tears.
My hand shakes with fear; I tremble at the thought of entering. The small, damp, dark room on the other side frightens me. The small room is sound proof and I fear the door will close behind me and I will be locked in.
I know it is sound proof; I was in that room, locked behind its door, and no one came when I called for help. A silent scream for help was never heard.
I freeze with a sense of terror; I cannot urge my hand to place the key in the lock.
The memory of the darkness that surrounds you completely, goes through you in a blanket of hopelessness. The dampness that seeps from the walls, floor and ceiling pierces your body in waves of pain. Your body aches with every movement, every thought and every cry.
I know there is a need to open the door and let light in the room. I need to let there be rays of hope and heat of love into the room. It needs to be washed of all self doubt, lies, unjustifiable negative self image; the toxic thoughts and venom. With light, warmth and laughter the room will be livable. It may never disappear but if talked about, the darkness and loneliness within will.
I did not escape without help; I had to confess to myself that the room was my prison. I had to make peace with my thoughts and tell someone. I had to give myself a voice. Although I still stand on the outside of this room, it still stands there. It still exists here with all its suffering. I am almost ready to open that door, in fact to take the door off.
Maybe the strength of acknowledging it and not letting it exist in darkness, but bring to fill it with light and with laughter where it will shine and be a positive force in my life.
*Depression is an illness that stays with you, even when you feel you have dealt with it.
We can try to ignore it, turn our heads, or deny it will ever happen to you. It could, just like anything else. We try to prevent illness and we try to prevent poverty, but it can happen and happen without warning. Poverty and homelessness is not a choice, it happens as a result of some choices that are made but it can also happen by other circumstances beyond your control.
Judgement on those that find themselves homeless, living on the streets or in a shelter is harsh. We stereotype the homeless as older men, unshaven, dirty clothes and a paper bag with booze in it. We see the shopping cart full of odd belonging and cardboard boxes. We turn our heads when we see the signs that read "Hungry please give" or the paper cup stuck out from the curb.
For all that is visible there are thousands, both genders, all ages, many untold stories that we do not see.
Homelessness happens whether we want it to or not, it just happens, no one opt into.
For families living a paycheck away from the streets, expenses such as emergency medical care can precipitate homelessness. Other factors might be mental illness or chemical dependency. www.change.net