Gut-retching, thought consuming and physically painful. Most likely at some time in your life you have experienced being poisoned in one form or another. Like most people I am guilty of keeping a vile of my own poison, but I like to think that I have it stored away in a place so secret that even I cannot find it. Slander and gossip are the worst kind of poison. It is spread by words from mouth to mouth like a virus, and if untreated can slowly cause death. As a writer you are responsible for the words you print, as a human being you are responsible for the words you spread. One person’s poison can lead to the destruction of an others reputation, or even destroy a family. It has taken me many years to recover from the poison my ex-husband tainted my life with. To this day I can still see, still feel, the scars.
Sometimes we need a reminder about the power of our words and the path they take. Rummaging through boxes of old memories this week-end I came across a vile of poison, a stack of letters that I could not ignore. Some people might have thrown them away or burned them with ceremony in the fireplace, but the writer in me cannot destroy words, even poisonous ones. I put them back in their box and stashed them away. They serve their purpose as a reminder to do better and to be careful when I am looking for words to choose. So, what’s your poison? Think carefully.