Back in December 2015, I wrote a post for Literary Mama’s After Page One Blog about writing and healing. I end the piece with,
So I held to the singular goal of blogging each day. I put a few words down some days, many words other days, and as I did so, the weight of each day lifted off my shoulders. I shared my thoughts with those people closest to me, and to those I barely knew, and found that not only did writing the posts serve as a catharsis, but they helped me in other ways, too: writing blog posts helped me to mourn what used to be, to prepare for what was to come, and unexpectedly, to heal.
And that year, I did blog. Every. Single. Day. Especially that summer, when I spent so much time with my folks, at their house, helping Dad recover from a fall and helping Mom come to terms with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
In fact, I remember sitting in my parents’ kitchen, watching my mom move between the sink, the refrigerator, and the calendar on the kitchen counter. I remember reflecting on the hurt that had settled in my chest as I watched her make the same motions, over and over again. The act of writing certainly helped me on those long, summer days filled with tears, frustration, and defeat. They did, as I said above, help me to heal.
While I wouldn’t have consciously admitted to that fact earlier in my life, I’ve come to realize that writing and healing have always gone hand in hand for me. How did I survive four rather long and arduous (read that horrendous) years of high school? I wrote. How did I work through a particularly painful break up? I wrote. How did I handle the stress and strain of a graduate school rotation? I wrote. In fact, I have always put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard when my life situation has called for it.
The beauty of that connection is that when I’m in the throes of great sadness and desperation, I find my authentic voice and write some really powerful pieces. In fact, much of my greatest work has birthed itself on the days that I categorize as “not much fun, hope we don’t do this again anytime soon.”
While I’m hoping that this summer goes well for all parties involved, and that I do not find myself in the pit of despair, I’m also hoping that I can challenge myself to dig deep, unearth that voice, and use it on a daily basis. Both my blog posts and my current WIPs could stand to be uplifted to a higher plane.