During an interview last week, Doug Blecher, the founder of Autism Personal Coach, asked me: “How has writing helped you deal with trauma in a way that other outlets have not?”
If you’ve ever journaled or kept some kind of diary, you will know the answer to that question. Writing things down helps us understand ourselves and helps us organize our emotions. Personal writing is by no means the only way to deal with problems and trauma, but it is available to you for free, at any time of day, and you can be as brutally honest as you desire, utilizing every four-letter word in the book if it pleases you.
I recall using a few choice cuss words in my own journaling during a particularly dark period in my life. In 1995, my husband and I lost our daughter Samantha who was stillborn. That I was able to put pen to paper to try to make sense of a nightmare that made no sense, was a lifeboat.
Looking back at my journal entries, I see that I wrote a great deal during my healing process. It’s clear that there was no straight path to feeling better. The pages also reveal that it took time and a lot of soul-searching before I could find a place in my mind and heart to accept that my daughter was gone. Equally important, those words I wrote reveal that there were and still are people in my life that have quietly held me up and supported the journey. Recognizing that is a gift.
So how has writing helped me? A helluva lot.