Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writing helps healing

I could have written this. A woman writes about how writing helps you heal.

A few points here:
- Serious upheaval in one's life associated with lowered immune function, an increased risk of heart attacks
- People who can write about life traumas seem to have fewer health problems, recover better
- Being able to see trauma from different points of view indicates a better mental state

The author is a freelance writer so she obviously has better writing skills than me (I was told by a high school English teacher that I had terrible writing skills) and she also had breast cancer. So she wrote an article about writing your way through medical issues.

Writing is something that allows us to express our thoughts and get them out there and out of our minds. Where I work, Center for Cancer Support & Education (www.centerforcancer.org) we have offered a writing program for those with cancer for several years. This year we are adding a second writing program focused on family members and care givers of those with cancer. This idea was brought to us by a journalism professor who said that she sees it in the kids that she teaches - their emotions come out in their writings and often they are about someone close to them who has or had cancer.

These are more formal opportunities for coping with the emotional aspects of cancer. But then there are blogs (like mine), or CarePages (www.carepages.com), many other services, and even written journals where people write their thoughts out. Many of them are started at their diagnosis and continue only through treatment. Others are continued for years (will I ever stop????). Others end badly, with a post by a family member of the unhappy ending.

But the written expression helps thousands each year in coping. It is not right for everyone and that is their personal choice. But emotional venting in writing seems to help us heal so I'm going to keep going.

3 comments:

Bobby Blackwell said...

When you start to write you bring out an outlet of everything you feel inside. I know, I also write to heal my emotional baggage. Keep on writing and continue healing.

Renn said...

I couldn't agree more! For me, writing is the valve and words are the steam. If I didn't have a forum to get it all out, I would blow! Writing about your journey helps others relate not just to your experience but to their own as well. Write on! ;-)

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