Thursday, March 13, 2014

This Is Why I Write

This morning, I got an email, from a young woman, which made me realize that sometimes our words mean something and sometimes the internet is good.

*dear erin,

i'm writing you because i want to say thank you. a few months ago, i read your story "the green sweater" on mr. beller's neighborhood. it is a haunting read that really resonated with me. i started reading your blog and bought the anthology book. it was so good to read about addiction from someone who isn't a celebrity and isn't an idiot.

i am 21, in my last year of college, and i have been using heroin off and on for the past 3 years. my family doesn't know and most of my friends don't know either. i haven't gotten too strung out and keep stopping and starting but i'm concerned that it's heading that way.

although we come from different backgrounds, i could totally relate to so much in your stories. i have quietly struggled with depression my whole life and heroin provided some relief. at least, it did.

you are really inspiring and i am at the point that i think i need to ask for help so that this doesn't turn into something worse than it has already become.

so, thank you. thank you for writing so honestly, thank you for writing so well about addiction, and thank you for making me feel less alone.


I write about myself, maybe too much, maybe too candidly. But, this email really touched me and I thought about why I write. Clearly, on this blog, a lot of what I write is light, and okay, maybe sometimes stupid/frivolous/unimportant. 

I write the other stuff, too. I write about the stuff that makes some people say, "Don't you want to leave all that mess behind you?" When we write the truth, when we write about our experiences, we reflect things back- emotions, situations, life. I may or may not be an idiot, but I write what I know, what I've learned, and about the road that got me from there to here. 

We turn to art and make art to feel less alone, to stir something, to think, to breathe, to dream, to recover. This email reminded me of that. Thank you, J. I hope you find the road from there to here, too. 

*J gave me permission to post her letter here. 

(If you are interested- you can read The Green Sweater here and you can buy the anthology here.)


Anonymous said...

our words can be really powerful. its nice to read something not negative about what happens on the internet. :-)

OliviaG said...

Wow! I want to know what happens to J.

Anonymous said...

whoa. i don't know how id feel if I got an email like that. are you worried that your glamorizing drugs? just thought about that aspect. anyway, your writing is pretty good. i would just be careful about how you influence people. cheers.