Poet In The Making
Publishing my first poetry book
I have a distinct memory of bringing my home-made-scotch-taped-together-hand written-on-computer-paper-book into show-and-tell in kindergarten. I proudly presented the “book” to the class. Of course the main character had red hair like mine. I read the story I wrote to the class with passion and stood up as they all clapped for me at the end.
I’ve always been a story teller. Whether I was writing a story, or telling one to a friend, telling stories, both fictional and non-fictional, has been my favorite ways of communication and creation for as long as I can remember.
I like to think I’m a creative individual. I tapped into that creativity at a young age with one thing remaining a constant thought out my life, writing for fun. No matter what hobby I was fascinated with: soccer, basketball, volleyball, dancing, or playing the drums, I never stopped writing for pleasure.
Writing can be my escape and also the way I connect with others, depending on what I’m feeling and what I’m writing about. As a younger kiddo, I was very anxious. I was diagnosed clinically at the age of 4 with generalized anxiety disorder as well as obsessive compulsive disorder. Writing woukd help me understand myself better, with time of course. Asking me to write when I was anxious was just recipe for disaster. Anger would often be the result. However, now at age 25, almost 26, it’s safe to say that writing has saved my life. But how did I get here?
I was 16 years old, sitting in the middle of Spanish 2 class and I took out a piece of notebook paper. I hadn’t eaten in 2 days and I was terrified of what was to come in the near future. Newly on antidepressants, and in therapy again. Diagnosed with Anorexia and major depressive disorder, I felt like a shell of a person and like no one understood me. All I could think to do was to write. In a desperate attempt to explain how I felt on the inside; I didn’t make complete sentences at first, I wrote down the emotions I felt. Then the words just kept flowing from my pencil. I wrote and wrote, and wrote until the bell rang and knocked me out of my trance. I looked at my piece of notebook paper on my desk, and before me was the first poem I had ever written. I haven’t stopped since.
A few weeks after writing my first poem, I was admitted to a treatment center for my eating disorder, self harm behaviors, and depression. I remember crying for the first 3 days straight, and every second I could be on the phone I was talking to my mother begging her to let me come home. I tried my best to convince her that in those few days I learned everything I needed to and would be fine. I am grateful today that my mother listened to the therapists and doctors instead of me. I was restored to a healthy body in 7 weeks time before being discharged to outpatient therapy again.
In those 7 weeks, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote every chance I had, and when I returned to school, I proudly shared my new found love for poetry with a close friend. So much so, that she started to write too. We had a journal that we’d write in and exchange in-between classes to share ideas, drawings, and poems with each other. I learned so much from that friendship, I will forever be grateful for her and that time we spent together.
For the last 2 years of my high school career, I would continue to write poetry and fall deeer and deeper in love with the art of writing. I would also begin to enter poetry contests online, and even win a publishing contest for a poem I wrote my senior year. Unfortunately though, my mental health would make another big decline after graduation. I did not attend college after graduation and my parents feared I never would. I proved everyone wrong by attending college online and earning my bachelor’s degree in English. It took me about 5 years to earn my 4-year degree, but I am proud of myself nonetheless. In 2017 I had to return to treatment for an eating disorder relapse which resulted in a temporary break form college, but I did go back and I finished strong in October of 2020.
I am so beyond happy to say that at 25 I have a book published and available for purchase on Amazon.com. My book is entitled “Dancing Out of The Comfort Zone.” This poetry book is everything I hoped it would be. I am real and authentic in every poem I write. I believe each reader gets the chance to take something different from my poems, yet can also learn who I am through my writing. I am thriving, and I will continue to do so as I continue living life every day.
I am currently working on a new series of poetry books. There will be 4 books in this series. Each book will be a different color of the non-binary Pride flag. My sincere hope is to reach as many people as I can with my story and with my poetry.
About the author
My name is Amanda and I am a college graduate with my bachelor's degree in English. I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember and am a proud advocate for mental health and abuse survivors.