Does Writing Help You To Heal?

Although I would love to tell you, and myself, that I have been consistent and constantly writing to help myself heal and process a lot of the things that have been happening in my life over the last year. Last week I told you about having some mental breakdowns, moving into my own apartment since I was 19 and dealing with a pretty moderate case of COVID. I briefly wrote about it, but what I didn’t write about was how hard it was for me to even take the time to think, to process, and to voice how I was feeling.

I did a half ass job, and the positive side of my brain tells me that at least I showed up and that I tried. The negative side of my brain reminds me that I have made a promise to myself and I am failing at that promise. That I keep telling myself that I am going to be consistent and I stop showing up. Stop putting me first. And stop using my writing to heal.

But, then I remember that is realistic. It is realistic to find healing by writing to be hard. It should be a challenge. It should bring up emotions. And it should be something that is a struggle for me to be consistent in doing as it brings up a lot of things that may be triggering for me. But, it also helps.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

It helps me to remember things more clearly. It helps me to feel those emotions that I was too numb to feel at the time. It helps me to voice my perspective and share my ideas and notions with the world. And it helps me to have a new perspective and a new space to think about things in a different lens.

And it is something that I have been slowly and consistently trying to do for quite some time. I have always loved to write, but now, I not only write because I love it, but because it can actually be useful to heal from your pain. Heal from your grief. And change the way you tell your story in your own words and with your own stamp on it. I have been doing that, and even though I struggled to do much of anything this week, I am still doing that.

And I think it may be helpful for you to try to. Use it. Journal. Write a blog. Make doodle notes about how you are feeling in that moment. It doesn’t matter how or when you write, as long as you are doing it when you want to heal. And there is five things you need to remember when you do take that time to write (adapted from Story You Used To Tell by Sandra Marinella

  1. Experience your pain and grief. For awhile you can ignore what is happening around you and avoid thinking or processing how it made you feel, but at some point, that is no longer going to work. You have to feel things in order to deal with things so you can heal from those things.
  2. Break your silence and find your voice. Our stories become our teachers and if we aren’t tell our own story, then it is not true. Take back your voice. Use those experiences and challenges and even the positive things to heal your soul, but make sure it is your soul you are trying to heal. This is your story.
  3. Accept and piece together a difficult or broken story. Not all parts of our stories are going to be easy to write about, or even face. We are human and there is going to parts of our writing that are not flattering or that we are not proud of. That is okay. Being broken is one the first things that allow us to heal, so let your self be broken, let yourself be uncomfortable and piece together the whole truth, regardless of how messy it may have been.
  4. Find meaning or make sense of the story. Why did this happen? What did this teach me? How has it changed me? These are the questions that your writing should bring up for you. Yes, it is important to tell the story of what happened or how it made you feel, but it also important to use it for perspective. To consider how it has changed you and helped you to find meaning.
  5. Re-write your story and find ways to reconnect with your well being. Keep writing. Keep processing those emotions and feelings. The more you write and re-write your own story, the more you will find ways, powerful ways that will help you to heal.

It will not be easy. There will be times when you don’t feel up to it. And like me, you will continue to just keep trying. Trying to write to heal and to move through those challenges that life will throw your way with grace, understanding and self-compassion. The rest will fall in place.

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