Writing this book was a very difficult, yet very rewarding journey. It was difficult for obvious reasons; I don’t think I have cried in my whole life as many times as I did while writing this. I was forced to go back into dark memories that were deeply buried. I threw off the covers and let all the monsters under the bed out. All these experiences that I had never shared with my friends, my husband, and didn’t even allow myself to acknowledge—I have written out for the whole world to read.
But it was rewarding too. It was cathartic, as you’d expect, to release all those demons. Once the light shines on them, they’re not so scary anymore. I had a Writing prof in university tell us that we swallow the saliva in our own mouths unconsciously, all the time…but if we were to spit on our desks, we’d never lick it up and swallow it again. A crude way to put it, but it drove the point home. Once you let something out, it’s not the same anymore.
And most importantly, it’s not in you anymore. And thank goodness for that!
It was also rewarding because of all the wonderful people I have met online! I wish I could gather you all in a huge bear hug. Posting this on my Tumblr blog, my Facebook page, and on Twitter has allowed me to connect with so many amazing, gracious, kind, and loving people. I really could only get through this because of your encouragement and support. Every time I got a message, whether it be from an old high school friend, a closeted ExMuslim woman in Saudi, or the child of one of my work colleagues…it was like a fresh shot of oxygen that gave me the energy to plough through.
There were many times when I just couldn’t bear the thought of sitting down to write again, of ‘going into the darkness’ as I started to call it. But that’s when I find a note in one of my inboxes with a heartfelt message from someone who could relate, or who was writing to express their gratitude or appreciation. So that’s why I continued. I wanted to be brave for you all. I heard you cheering me on from all over the world! From France, Iceland, Italy, Poland, to name just a few; and from my own backyard in the US and Canada. Your cheers meant the world to me, and they still do. I know I could not have done it without you xx