Writing as Therapy

In case you haven’t already noticed, I pretty much love writing.

My relationship with writing has been an interesting one. When I was a kid, I hated writing. I did everything I could to avoid school writing, and I harbored a bias against it through most of my teenage life. It wasn’t until I took writing 121 that I realized how valuable the writing my mom had required of me had given me a foundation to succeed at literary pursuits, and once I got the nudge from writing class, that was it.

I’ve been hooked ever since.

Recently I’ve been mulling over the therapeutic powers of writing. Last Friday night, when I was writing about my dance journey, I discovered some conclusions that I didn’t know needed to be reached.

And last night when I was trying to draft a blog about some of the conclusions I discovered, it turned into page after page of me just letting some thoughts out into the open (most of which I’ll never publish, that’s for sure.)

I’ve decided that writing is such effective therapy for me because I have difficulty opening up and talking to people about difficult times. The issues I was journaling through last night were leftover from about two years ago, and at the time I wouldn’t talk to anyone about them– I only talked to my brother, once, and that reluctantly. He and my sister encouraged me to find someone to talk to, but was so self-conscious about burdening other people with my issues, and I was prideful enough to think I could deal with this hard time by myself.

I thought I had long ago made peace with these ghosts, but while I was mulling over the message from church last night I realized there were some pretty dire sins I had committed during that phase that I had to release from my mind. The redemption is already received, but the sins had never been confessed or even acknowledged.

Surprisingly, I feel an intellectual freedom about these issues and neuroses from that time of my life that I’ve never felt before. Suddenly, if someone asked I could talk about them– and this just from writing about them. I wrote my story, remembered some painful memories, acknowledged wrongdoing and stupidity, and suddenly they don’t matter.

All of these were things I vaguely mentioned last week when I was talking about time travel, and now even more than then I would not go back to change a thing.

I’m mostly just glad that I’ve finally and concretely figured out why writing is such a release for me.

Is writing, art, or music a form of therapy for you? Do they at all measure up to actual counseling? I want your opinions– let me know in the comments.

  1. Writing is 1000% therapy for me! I’d be lost without it.

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