the most heartbreaking, emotional, autobiographical book I will ever write pt. III

June 9, 2016 Writing  One comment

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in the deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
Rainer Maria Rilke


It was only through writing Jamie’s story, exploring and grappling with her demons, that I was able to unveil and wrestle with my own.

Because in every way, Jamie’s scripts, those lies she believes, are mine. Verbatim.
The only difference is the circumstances under which they were formed.  

Those lies look a lot like:

The earth can open up and swallow you whole. The ground can fall out from beneath your feet at any moment. It’s best to always be prepared.

Nothing good can come of this place. I will keep recreating my past if I do not disconnect myself from this place completely because there are too many vulnerabilities & variables to control for.

You are all alone. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

Emotions are bad. Weak. Shut them down. Shove them down. Dislocate. Dissociate. Survive.

The only way to survive is to toughen up. Stop being so sensitive.

Depending on others and letting them in is how you get hurt because they will let you down, they will always let you down. They will leave you.

I am innately selfish. I will leave and hurt those I love. It’s inevitable.

When you are trapped/stuck/lost control, bad things happen.
Fight it. Do anything you can to survive.
If you’re stuck —> run.


For the past year, I have been on a journey of unlearning. Of unbecoming. Of breaking open.

Because for the past year, I’ve had space + time + distance.

I’ve been away from the place where all those lies got twisted up inside my head, had latched and embedded themselves into my heart like barbed wire.

I wasn’t able to see the truth until I got some perspective. Some clarity.

In Michigan, I was always so caught up in the storm of everything going on around me—friends, family, relationships, turmoil, tension, conflict. I was always just trying to manage the situation I was in. I never had the capacity to dive any deeper than that.

But being away, here in Charleston, I’ve been able (with the help of a therapist—thanks Mary, you’re a rockstar! In your own introverted, quiet way) to chip at, strip away, the layers and get to the core of those lies—into the belly of the beast, if you will. Into the dragon’s lair.

I never expected Charleston to be a cure-all.
I didn’t expect all my problems to suddenly just disappear when I got here.
But I certainly wasn’t expecting to be dealt the gut-wrenching blow of depression that has gripped me in recent months.
The darkness inside of me in stark contrast to the bright golden sunshine just outside my office window.
Turns out, no matter how far you go—you can’t run away from yourself.

All I know is that I never would’ve been able to write this story, as it is, while living in Michigan.
And that, writing this story saved my life.

Because I’m finally able to look those demons—my demons, the ones that have been buried so deep I couldn’t even name them all of these years—in the eye and level with them. Burn them away with the truth.

The realizations that hit Jamie throughout her story arc, are the very ones that have completely stopped me in my tracks in recent weeks. Jamie’s character arc has been my path. Her struggles have been everything I’ve had to work through myself. I just didn’t realize it at the time. I couldn’t see it on my own. Only through the veil of my characters was I able to see the truth.

Writing Running to Stand Still has been my destruction.

But not destruction for the sake of destruction. Destruction for the sake that something new, something better can be created.

And that is everything.

That is why, if I never write another thing in my life, I will be satisfied knowing that I’m putting this out into the world.

Because to me, it’s not just a story. This is real. This is my life.

And I don’t want to live in the shadows forever. I don’t want that to be my legacy.
I want the light to shine in. I want to be everything I was created to be.


This is the quote that sits just above my computer screen. I read it every day when I sit down to write.

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would like complete destruction.








 Cynthia Ocelli


Until next time, farewell & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity


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