I’d like to say it’s for you, but it’s actually for me.
I write an essay every day.
Simply put, the things I write about matter to me.
My former sacrificial self would have said I write them “to help others” and improve this or that.
Those things would be a lovely side benefit, but they’re not my primary motivation.
I write about things that are important to me.
It’s why I’m not niched into one essay topic. I write about grief, psychology topics, private practice, religious deconstruction, art therapy, autism, writing and more.
All the things I care about and have personal experience with. Things I have something to say about.
Frequently, I want to say them because I don’t hear other people saying them. Or because our culture is telling us false things. I don’t agree, and I say so.
I want to point out and name the harmful things.
I want to evaporate the systems, beliefs, and norms that harm us.
That’s why I write essays.
I’m not out to vanquish the entire world, but I can address the things I’ve seen and lived.
For example, I write about Christian beliefs that are harmful because I think they are harmful (for example: Anger is Not Sin). I experienced them myself (you can read about that here) and was told those beliefs were the one true way to live.
It matters to me to say that they are not the one true way to live and they’re actually quite damaging - because they are.
Will anyone else benefit from me saying that? Maybe. I hope that it will resonate with some former Christian who lets out a sigh and says, “Oh my god, I feel the same way, but have never been able to articulate it!”
I hope my essays on various other topics will positively impact those who read them.
That may not happen for each essay though, and I choose to be ok with that. I don’t want my value or the validity of my essays to be tied to how valid others think they are. That would just be repeating the trappings of my Christian upbringing, where I was praised if my beliefs aligned with Christian teachings and was criticized if they did not align.
My experiences and my opinions are valid simply because they are mine.
With each essay I write, I am slowly building my body of work. I am stepping out of invisibility to say, this is what matters to me.
I hope my words can also help potential clients discern if I’m the right therapist for them or not. I strive for accessible professionalism in my essays, which for me means mixing in personal experience with the psychological and sensitive topics I address. I want clients to have a taste for who I am so they feel empowered in their therapy choice.
So why bother writing my essays, versus making social media posts, tik-tok videos, podcasts, or YouTube (well, I’ve actually done a tiny bit of that with my talk show Autistics Unscripted)?
Writing helps me. It helps me to take the time to articulate my thoughts in written format. I deeply enjoy the process of writing.
It is one of my most joyful times of the day - and when I feel most alive.
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