Writing as Therapy

P1030685“I was an empty shell walking around the street, and writing made me feel like I had a soul.”

When I began taking writing classes earlier this year I felt exactly like this auther of this quote, John Mulligan. My father had died only a few months earlier. On top of it, I had lost my job as a writer, and was told that I wasn’t very good. I felt like I had been taken out behind the woodshed and beaten till I could hardly breathe.

Immediately after my dad passed away, I did a number of things to try to deal with my grief. I went to a grief support group, which turned out to be not so supportive. I tried counseling, but after a few weeks, the counselor kept trying to move me into talking about things that had nothing to do with what was so acutely painful for me: the loss of my dad.

In an attempt to distract myself from the pain, I took a writing class online. Suddenly, all the trauma that had seized me for four months came pouring out on paper. Emotions that I couldn’t find language to describe, finally had words that I could write down. I couldn’t speak them, but I could write them.

I remember seeing a story about a severely autistic man on PBS. He could hardly communicate verbally, but when he sat down at a piano, he played the most beautiful music. I felt like that man when I wrote. The traumatic scenes that had overwhelmed my mind started to make sense when I made stories about them.

For some, writing may be a powerful form of therapy. But for others, it can be a lifesaver.

Note: this entry was based on a CNN article, “Writing for Therapy Helps Erase Effects of Trauma.”

Advertisements

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. darksculptures
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 15:14:38

    Well we all agree that your writing is wonderful. I’m also happy that is has been a healthy outlet for you as you work your way though challenging times.

    I just can’t believe that our BWW group has managed to stay together. At times I feel closer to you guys than the friends who I get to spend face time with. Life seems to have a way of bringing us the things we need at the time we need them. I think life has brought us all together for a reason.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      Nov 01, 2009 @ 16:17:49

      I feel the same way. It’s very cool how a bunch of people I don’t even really now are such a great support to me!

      Reply

  2. dayner
    Oct 31, 2009 @ 21:08:27

    I’m glad you found a useful outlet. I too write for therapy and find it has saved my spirit from an untimely death. I’m also glad to have met some valuable writing buddies in my first writing class. 🙂
    I’m trilled to take on this novel writing adventure with you and I hope it bridges some gaps in your life and maybe even becomes a satisfying income.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      Nov 01, 2009 @ 07:15:30

      Dayner, thanks so much for challenging me to do this! (remind me of that next week!)

      I am excited…and I should get off my blog and get writing. Day 1!

      Reply

      • dayner
        Nov 01, 2009 @ 15:01:21

        I’ll make sure to remind you when your cursing me for getting you into this. I think it’ll be sometime next week–or so I’ve been warned.

        Reply

  3. natasha
    Oct 31, 2009 @ 15:45:50

    Testing 123…..I tried leaving a comment earlier and then didn’t see it show up on your site. So I tried resending it and got a message that it had been already sent (or something to that effect). But I still don’t see it. hmm….

    Reply

  4. natasha
    Oct 31, 2009 @ 11:27:22

    Kathan: I am SO glad you took that writing class online! Glad that it helped you with your grief and glad that it brought some writing buddies together.

    And excuse me, but someone at your old job told you you weren’t a good writer? Hello??

    I don’t know what kind of writing they were talking about; certainly NOT the writing that I’ve seen you produce. You’re good, and don’t forget it.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      Oct 31, 2009 @ 17:27:27

      Natasha, for some strange reason your first note ended up in my spam – huh?

      Anyway, yes, thanks, someone was trying to drive me out for political reasons. You read my story “Mean Girls?” 😀 Let’s just say the characters were based on real people…

      Thanks for your kinds words!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Archives

post categories

HighCallingBlogs.com Christian Blog Network
© Kathan Ink 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathan Ink, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
%d bloggers like this: