The Bigger Picture

Writing was meant to help me sort my head out.

It was a tried and tested part of the recovery process, and the subject was meant to be clear. Me.

Somewhere along the way, my psychological exercise got sidetracked and made a slight digression into the world of sociological and anthropological contemplation.

It got a tad distracted in the tangled web of philosophical and literary exploration.

But it wasn’t a wasted trip.

I may not have the academic expertise or the celebrity status required to make a bona fide social commentary; but, journalistic etiquette aside, I had lots of time to think, the emotional intelligence of a decade’s worth of therapy to draw upon – and an English degree to put to good use.

Because my diversion started with Jean Rhys and Emily Dickinson, with George Eliot and Thomas Hardy.

It started with people who could articulate me better than I could.

It started with the surprise and comfort that came from hearing my thoughts expressed by people who’d lived – if only in the author’s imagination – before I was even a twinkling in my grandparents’ eyes.

There’s nothing like realising that you’re not totally out of sync with the world. It makes things considerably easier when you realise that your thoughts and feelings and emotional traumas are nothing new.

It’s just the context that is different.

And therein lay the next challenge. I could get where my feelings came from (being human – and there was a long track record to prove it) – but I couldn’t quite get how the context and the consequence worked.

I just knew that it was important to look at the bigger picture.


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