“Writing long has been considered a therapeutic outlet for people facing problems. A 2003 British Psychological Society study of 36 people suggested that writing about emotions could even speed the healing of physical wounds: Researchers found that small wounds healed more quickly in those who wrote about traumatic personal events than in those who wrote about mundane activities.”
That’s what the research says.
The explosion of blogging in our country is a bit crazy. There are some blogs I love and follow – admitted largely through their Instagram feeds. (I do sometimes wonder what their children will say to them when they are teenagers and their friends start to discover all the “cute” things their moms blogged about them. )
And my blog, well it was created as a homework assignment back in undergrad, and I recently dug it up and started writing.
But it is consoling. There is something about expressing with words… the process of searching and finding the right words… expressing it in a way that others can relate to… It helps to identify the emotion, the thought, and the feeling – order them, accept them, and feel them. And that process is what I learned to do through therapy.
Just the feeling of writing… The release… The relief… Is very real.
Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off. Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits. – Scientific American
And then there is the magic – that people actually read what I write!
People don’t want to read about all this on Facebook. Recently a sophomore girl put up a picture I thought was really neat and I told her. She replied, “yeah well I put it up at the wrong time I only have like 80 likes.”
Sorry to hear that, babe. #thirdworldproblems
I write in the hopes of writing in the future. I write to practice. I write to express. I write because I like to write. I write because it feels good. I write because it is therapeutic.
And I do that in a really public space where someone might stumble upon it, read it, like it, or take something away from it.
I’ve read a lot of blogs about eating disorder recovery. I don’t want this to be an eating disorder recovery blog. Why? Because I am so much more than an eating disorder survivor. I am a runner. I LOVE to cook. (Yes, very oxymoron-ic for someone with anorexia… but it happens.) I love books. I love studying. Children light up my life. My job fascinates me. And my faith is an integral part of my daily life. And sometimes I write about these things to remind myself that I am so much more than my daily battle for recovery.
The battle is daily. Sometimes it is more difficult than others. But daily I choose to be a healthier version of myself. But there are a lot of other things that happen in my life too – and writing about them helps me to give them the space they deserve as well.
So I write all this on a public space, where anybody can find it or read it. I’m shocked whenever someone does. Each like, each follow, and each comment leave me in awe.
One of my friends found it. (Apparently she has mad Google skills. – It may have helped that I told her a title of one of my posts) Thankfully she is the only one I was actually going to tell about it. I’ve told one other friend and my brother about it but didn’t give them anything to go on as to where to find it. Here I can be me with a world of total strangers. There is something odd about letting a whole group of people whom I’ve never met in on things so personal and intimate that many of the people I relate to on a daily basis know nothing about.
“Perhaps the most important reason for self-disclosure is that without it we cannot truly love.” – Sidney Jourard
But in this space there are no pretenses. I am never pretending to be someone I am not. I don’t cover anything up. And any space where we can truly be ourselves is a gift.
P.S. And if you know me in real life – I expect you to let me know!