W is for Writing

 

A tub full of writing.

This is my collection of notebooks, journals and steno pads – all with my writing in them. There’s also about four of my favorite books on the far right.

I am a writer. I don’t write every day and I don’t have a scheduled day or time, but I still consider myself a writer.

But, what does writing have to do with Mental Health? It does a lot more than you might think. Besides keeping a journal or diary, writing can help you heal in a lot other ways. Sometimes, just putting yourself in the process of writing helps you feel better about yourself. In other cases, such as Stephen King, writing is so much a part of you that you can’t heal until you take it back up. Look up ON WRITING by Stephen King and read what he says after his leg was broken in about eight different places.

But, my experience with the healing quality of writing came while dealing with grief. When my mother passed away in March of 2012, I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. I wrote in my journal several times with some form of “Goodbye Mom,” but it never seemed to be enough. I couldn’t figure out why.

Then in February of 2013, I was writing a scene where my character saw someone’s ghost go to meet Jesus. In it, this ghost told me nobody could hurt her in heaven, there was no pain there and she would always be happy.

Suffice it to say, I had not sat down with the intention of writing anything other than the ghost disappearing. I was in tears before I finished it. I’d finally realized what my mother would tell me if she could. Instead of saying “Goodbye,” I had the ghost say “See you later.” That’s what Mom would have said if she’d had the chance. When my character answers, I honestly felt like I was saying, “Yeah, see you later” to Mom.

My grief didn’t go away, but I healed quite a bit on that day. I’d finally told my Mother that I’d see her again some day and thanks to something I wrote, I knew I would.

Ghost

Ghost (Photo credit: Pétur Gauti)

On Writing

On Writing (Photo credit: Jody Art)

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