I’ve been really digging into the writing as I work on my next book. It feels good to do this again, to meet the challenge of the blank page and rise to the occasion. It seems to be reopening lost doors in my brain, portals I thought were erased by the decades of drug addiction. With each bit of progress, another shelf slides up out of obscurity in my neural net; I look down its length and I swear it goes on for miles, packed with lost information and forgotten skills.
I’ve felt like a fraud for so long, hemmed in by this pain, my past destroyed by the decades of drug blight. Though my mind has healed significantly in these last few years of sobriety, I still haven’t felt like I was anywhere near the cognitive level I once was, before the drugs. And I’ve lamented this pain, which eclipses my thoughts and makes me feel like I have brain damage, unable to fully use whatever intelligence I have left.
But I’m on fire now with this project. As my life gets harder and harder, I am crushed under the press of adversity now more than ever─but at the same time, I’m consumed by this deeply meaningful writing project, fighting with all I’ve got to get this book done and birthed out into the world before the rising waters pull me under.
I sit and write through the pain almost every day. It’s not much time that I can push through the pain for sitting─20 to 40 minutes max. And I can’t do it on days I have to do a massage, go to the food bank, or run a TST event; those leave me broken and in way too much pain to concentrate. But these short bursts of working with the emerging text are highly productive.
I believe this creative process is expanding my mind again─dark and disused connections relighting, reconnecting, coming into being in novel webs. I am grateful for this healing process, and so very excited about this young bookling I’m nurturing.
Lilith Starr is Chapter Head of the Satanic Temple's Seattle Chapter, and the author of "The Happy Satanist: Finding Self-Empowerment." She holds an English BA from Harvard and a Journalism MA from Stanford. She lives in Seattle with her husband Uruk Black.