I was talking to someone a couple of weeks ago who once felt they wanted to bring things to an end for themselves. But then he began to write. Not a novel, short story nor a poem; nothing complicated. Just free-flowing words about life with an injured brain.
He got out of his head and onto his computer screen, all his thoughts as they swirled to the front of his awareness again. That done, he read through it.
With all the “c**p” in front of him, he was able to put his thoughts into a kind of order – cutting and pasting, creating a beginning and a middle.
The middle is where he still is. It is a middle made of challenges and support, ups and downs, downs and ups.
He’d stopped after a while. Two weeks ago he began again.
“Writing is something you find really helpful, then,” I observed. “Any idea what it’s doing for you?”
“Do-gooders mean well. But no one else can understand what it’s like being me. It’s hard to explain in any case,” he answered.
Here’s how I see it: A way of stepping out of one’s experience.
How? By taking what’s on the inside, placing it outside, looking back at it all. Uncluttered, one’s mind is free to organise, re-read, check out if it looks/sounds right, re-organise and read again. When it does look/sound right, mixed emotions and confusion have become more understandable.
Dr. Gillie Bolton is a therapist heavilly influential in Writing Therapy circles. Click here to learn her thoughts on its benefits. It’s a publicity video for one of her books, but even so…
Typing is not for everyone. There are packages available out there that can turn speech to text. If the right words don’t come, so what? Comics / graphic novels tell it all in pictures and bubbles.
Keeping a diary can be great for compensating for poor memory too. As well as appointments, some people put descriptions of new faces as well as their names. Blessings can be counted, addresses and phone numbers, doodles – anything.
Next month, Part Two with how story writing can help organisational skills and more.