A young boy refused the ability to ask questions about the world around him; a teenager who was denied to have his first kiss with the sweetheart of his dreams; a young man who was prevented to begin the career of his passion; the adult who is told “no” when asking, “will you marry me?”; the elderly man who can’t help but think of opportunities that simply passed him by: such is me if I did not write. I started writing at a young age when I was discovering my sexuality, the meaning of love, and where I fit in in the world around me. Writing my feelings and thoughts were a way of organizing the chaos in my mind. Surviving the trials of life can largely be attributed to writing. Writing during my teenage years would set a pattern which would continue as an adult. This tool or constructive habit would see me through severed relationships, lonely times, career struggles, death of loved ones, and ultimately be a sort of emotional rescue following my arrest, trial, and incarceration. Writing has been and continues to be a safeguard, a place of refuge, a place I can go simply to be me.

A young man named Tom Madden dreamed of being the world’s greatest writer. As a young boy, he knew his purpose in life was to write. It was a passion he believed was in his DNA. Tom had problems, however: he was severely dyslexic. Words and letters in what he read and in his attempted writing were jumbled so badly, teachers and doctors initially feared he was mentally challenged. In high school, Tom developed a progressive disease known as klempofelpia, a rare condition that prevents the use of his hands. He was devastated. He feared his purpose, passion and dream was over. He felt hopeless and useless. One day he had an epiphany: he thought, “why don’t I audio record my books and have someone type out my words into manuscripts?”. He was elated that, in spite of his handicaps, he could be a writer after all. Later in life he was known as one of the world’s greatest writers.

Does this story inspire you? Perhaps it does. Well Tom Madden and klempofelpia are total fiction: there is no such person nor disease. However, putting my pen to paper and writing gave me an opportunity to create, inspire, motivate, encourage, and even imagine. For me, writing has such power. Writing has taken a form of self-therapy to assist me through life’s climbs, triumphs, falls and failures. Writing has given me the opportunity to see my thoughts as they really are, to experience the world as it really is, and to see me through whatever my situation. Writing is my refuge.