Her work is expressive, unique and empowering. Her words show a sense of maturity that many may consider uncanny for her age. But that’s never stopped, Christina Valles. While she considers herself new to the world of poetry, 18-year-old Ms Valles has always been a writer.
“I was in 5th grade when I realised I wanted to write my own books. I would use all of my mum’s computer paper writing down stories by hand. It started off with five paged short stories, and as I grew older I started expanding my mind, thoughts and ideas for books,”recounts Ms Valles.
While her initial focus was fictional writing, there soon came a shift. Ms Valles’ battle with anxiety led her to write in the non-fiction genre. Focusing on her struggles with anxiety and later recovery.
“Poetry is actually new to me. I started diving into it around my junior year in high school. I’ve always journaled- simply as a way to pour out my thoughts. Soon, I began shortening my entries into poems and loved it. There’s been no turning back since,” says Ms Valles.
Always wanting to do something in the field of the arts, Ms Valles never shied from expanding her creative capabilities. Whether it’s drawing, painting, writing or reading- the arts were more than a mere stress reliever. They were profound tools of expression.
Regardless, writing is and always has been Ms Valles’ favourite. While she isn’t too fussy about genres, fantasy and horror have been close to her heart.
“The thing about fantasy is that you can go into a whole new world. It’s exciting and unpredictable. As for horror, I’ve always been a fan of anything scary, I’m not sure why,” says Ms Valles.
However, motivating Ms Valles to read a book is easy. All you have to do is tell her you loved it, and she’s in. There is no hesitation or questions. Simply an unabashed curiosity to read what’s been has been recommended.
As for what motivates her writing, the uncanny catalyst to her creative spark is in fact – failure. Ms Valles is a poet who believes in getting up and trying again.
“I don’t get discouraged by failure, but am rather inspired to do better, and learn from it. Going through life and its different experiences are definitely the most inspirational thing. Something new happens every day, living is a learning process; and failure has always pushed me to be better,” says Ms Valles with that uncanny sense of maturity once again.
Diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder in junior year of high school, Ms Valles struggled to find a firm sense of self, for some time. However, with the support of family and loved ones, Ms Valles regained her sense of self, confidence and began to win her battles with anxiety.
Couple that with her motivations from failure and the need to push boundaries and you have the writing styles of a woman who is strong, confident and a living example of the word independent.
Today, her, writing is nothing if not about taking risks. That’s how she describes her style. Writing about her battle with anxiety was risky but she went for it. Irrespective of how nerve wrecking it may have been, the various internal hurdles she needed to prevail or speak up about difficult personal experiences to remind others battling anxiety that they are not alone, Ms Valles did it all in the most honest and genuine way possible.
“Having a mental illness is something that is hard to describe to one who doesn’t. Not just because you’re embarrassed or nervous to tell someone, but because you don’t really understand it yourself either. I suffered for a long time with my anxiety and just recently decided to write my book, Mind Medicine,” explains Ms Valles.
“I was always ashamed to tell anyone in my life about my anxiety. I was scared to get help. I was scared of life. When I got myself under control, the last step to the process would be getting it all out and off my chest. It’s coming along, but is a definitely a process,” she adds
It is with this in mind that Ms Valles wrote her first book, Mind Medicine. Broken up into ‘my story’,’ my struggle’ and ‘my recovery,’ Ms Valles gives readers a detailed dive into her journey and thereby helping others understand that they are not alone in their struggle, and reminding them that there is in fact light at the end of this dark tunnel. She gives her readers much-needed advice on mental health issues as well.
“ I tell my readers things I wish someone had told me. Whether you are personally struggling with mental health issues or are part of the support system for someone who is, I hope my book helps,” explains Ms Valles.
While her work is honest and warm, Christina Valles displays a larger than life spirit when it comes to coping with her personal struggles. This is an artist who has channels her creative capabilities towards benefitting others who’re going through the same struggles she has gone through.
It doesn’t matter if the piece takes days or weeks, for Christina Valles, it’s about how that piece can help someone while conveying her emotions with specificity.
“I am basically sharing my journal with the reader. I don’t hold back. I will never do something solely because it is trending at the time or if I don’t like it. I’m a very honest person. I speak up when something bothers me and I think that shows through in my work,” concludes this 18-year-old poet and wonder woman – Christina Valles.
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