Write it out

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The other evening I was having a conversation with an ex-colleague and it turned toward my writing. I told her that I was writing about depression. As she expressed interest in what I have to say, she commented that she wished she could find a way to deal with her depression. I asked her if she wrote. She replied that she doesn’t because she can’t. And so our discussion began in earnest.

Writing is not just for those who can write. It is for everyone. Writing is a form of self expression – much like interpretive dance (but without an audience who may find what you are doing extremely funny). When you write, you take the thoughts from your head and put them on paper. Those thoughts might not make any sense when you are writing them but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are expressing your feelings. Writing is actually the least expensive form of therapy you will ever find.

I have books littering my home. I love stores like Typography with their beautiful books filled with untouched pages just waiting for me to make my mark upon them. When I see a book I love, I will buy it and with joy, write. Then I find another book and… well you get the picture. I journal frantically for a month or two and then my journalling drops off for a while until I pick it up again. But I’m so glad that I do journal. Because when I journal I leave a legacy for my children. I capture what is happening in my life at any given time and it is there for all time.

“I pulled this journal out again today. I’m probably being a bit arrogant thinking my children will be interested in reading the meanderings of my mind when I’m old and senile (although they probably think I am now 🙂 )”

25th November 2006

Maybe I am being arrogant, but I do know that my children wonder what makes me tick. Maybe my writing will help them understand me. I know it helps ME understand me. It is also such a release. Writing is cathartic. That’s probably why I enjoy blogging so much. I get to share what I have learned and anecdotes about my quirky family with others in the world. And in doing so, I realise that I am not alone. There are others who feel the same as I do and understand what I am trying to say. Through my writing and journalling, I have recorded thoughts and feelings that I can now look back on and recognise them for what they were – symptoms of depression. There are pages filled with minutiae about the days but then there are the pages filled with my innermost thoughts.  My journals record my journey through life.

So how does this fit in with my conversation? I urged my colleague to buy a book (or find an old exercise book) and begin writing about her experiences and her feelings. She was worried that her husband might find the book and read it. So I suggested that she either hide the book or write her feelings about her husband out and then burn them and let those feelings go. Either way works well.

There is so much more I can say about writing for therapy but I’ll save that for another post.

“My stars said that today I would take time out to find peace and quiet. I think this was it.”

3rd June 2010

Have a blessed day 🙂

ps: Throat is a little less sore this morning but I feel still heavy in the head. Hi Ho, Hi Ho.. it’s off to work I go 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Write it out

  1. Sue – Thank you for sharing the power of journalling and expressing ourselves through writing! Something wonderful happens when we take what’s in our heads and empty it out. It lets us become a witness to ourselves. It creates space where there was a lot of tangled stuff. Its allows us to see who we are. It lets us be authentic and open. It’s very healing … and inspiring.
    Glad you are feeling better and taking a dwarf approach to work today 😉

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  2. So true, thank you so much for sharing this insight. I once gave similar advice to someone who was struggling with depression when I was 15 years old and at the time I had no idea what I was talking about. It wasn’t until I was 24 and caught myself diagnosing my own depression based on something I heard on the radio that I truly realised the power of writing for myself, an uncensored look deep into my thoughts; an expression of that which, unless I write, remains unexpressed.

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  3. Reading about your friend’s dilemma, I could see a bit of myself in her. Unlike her, I love to write. I’d much rather write to someone than call them on the phone. My difficulty come with what I feel comfortable sharing in my writing. There are so many things I would like to say through my writing about people I know but, at the same time, I’m afraid to let these people know how I feel. I took your first suggestion many years ago and hide what I write. Although this is tolerable, I wish I could just put it all out on the table for everyone to read. I don’t feel burning is an option that I want to even consider.

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    1. I suggested burning the writing if it was something that you needed to get out of yourself but was too raw for someone else to see. If what you write is going to cause hurt to another, I suggest burning it.
      However, have you ever thought about writing a letter to these people?

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  4. Nice post! I have always been unable to write about anything “personal”. Then I started to blog. My daughter’s words “who cares what anybody thinks about what you write”, runs through my thoughts, every time I publish a post. I do have to admit, that I’m a bit nervous to have my blabbering read by people who are writers, because what I type out, is pretty much what’s on my mind. I don’t do much editing, so there are probably grammatical errors all over the place. I know I have fragmented sentences most of the time. Oh well. It is what it is, and I will continue on.

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    1. April, I love your writing. 🙂 It’s true that you shouldn’t really care what anyone else thinks about your writing. If you are writing for you, then that is all that matters. Continue on with your writing. You are good at it and know exactly how to get your point across. 🙂

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  5. Writing is such good therapy! A suggestion for your friend, she could creat a blog, make it private, it will be password protected and no one has to see it. That’s how I started here, at first it was just a diary just for me, then I took “the plunge” and went public. Only I still haven’t told my family or friends about it.

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