My Therapist Says Healing Isn’t Linear


I put pen to paper.

It’s like picking a familiar scab, a wince of pain followed by a pool of blood.

It’s like telling yourself that you’re letting a wound breathe.

It’s like telling yourself that writing about it will let you breathe.

Get the thoughts out before they ooze from your tear ducts.

But, either way, the scab never heals.

And maybe neither do I.

How many times will I do this until I realize that

No poem, no thoughts, no journal

Will fix the memories that play on repeat in my head?

I reopen these familiar wounds,

Hoping that if I just keep writing, keep breathing,

Maybe I’ll understand them,

Maybe I’ll understand how they make me myself. 

I keep putting pen to paper.

Am I processing, or just digging into these wounds

to remember the pain?

It’s like wrenching your own heart out for all to watch you bleed.

But I keep picking, 

Need to breathe again.

Is this what healing feels like?

MJ Gray is a junior studying environment, sustainability, and policy, geography, and policy studies. MJ is captain of the Mock Trial Team and wants to study environmental law after graduation. She enjoys writing poetry, personal essays, and anything prose.