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Writing Therapy

by Kaoutaea 4 months ago in advice
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The art of putting feelings into words [...]

When I was a child, I was the kind of kid that had a diary. My parents always bought me an extra book (or decorated agenda book) so that I can free my imagination and practice writing. I've always been good at writing (I make mistakes but overall people can understand my ideas easily - at least that's what they say). I took up the habit of writing about literally ANYTHING that crosses my mind. Believe it or not, I was writing poetry based fully on the way I saw things around me. I remember reading it in front of some of my classmates back then and they went like : " There's no way you could have written this by yourself. It's impossible. Who helped you? Where did you get that? ". In the beginning, I was trying hardly to explain that it was my poetry and no one helped. I just needed to be on that fantastic mood and move the pencil. However, I noticed that proving myself is pointless, I was just waisting my time. They wouldn't believe anyway so I stopped showing them and I kept my writings in my diary at home for me.

Time after time, I realized that I was slowly getting disconnected from reality. It started to be a problem because I was imagining happy endings, fairy tales, love and happiness always everywhere... When, actually, we don't always have these in real life. In those days, it was easy to come up with fancy things but once I hit the transition phase, I decided to hold my poetry and switch to talking about my daily life. Transition phase : graduating elementary school and heading to secondary school. Worst time I've ever been through. I was completely lost between stupid bullies, fake friends and new school subjects... I was stupid to think that people could replace my writing habit. I thought it would be better to talk to someone than to write. I remember, whenever I claimed that I could trust someone, something burst and made me deeply regret opening up in the first place. Turned out half people on the planet became aware of the sensitive things I told them not to tell. It was just so frustrating that I stopped telling people my stories and went back to writing them on papers and agendas. You would say : " It's okay, you guys were teenagers and didn't know much about loyalty blah blah blah ". I don't like to be dramatic or take things personally but I was the least of their problems. POV: They wouldn't do the same if it was that popular girl. They'd be afraid that everyone's going to turn their backs on them but since we're talking about me, no one will ever notice so what's the point of being careful about what I say anyway?

What did they say? : " Forgive the person. Remember the lesson. Let go of the grudges and move on ". That's exactly what I did.

I knew I'll never be the same after this "teenage age" or what I prefer to call "dark age". Only then I knew that my only best friend was my diary : it never told anything to anyone. It listened without objection and it was available 24h/7d.

Because I was a daily writer, I've never had problems with writings. Actually, writings were my favourite part of any assignment/exam. I usually wrote more than the given limit (with mistakes of course). However, speaking was an issue [It's still an issue] . I should've seen it coming... Here's the thing : once I'm comfortable with something, I'd never get out of the comfort zone. That's exactly what happened with writing VS speaking. I started to talk less, write more. Now here's the point: when we write, we have enough time to think about our words. Worst case scenario: if you put the wrong words, you can always erase and start again. It's not the same when you speak. Once the words are out of your mouth, game over. With this in mind, I could write pages in a philosophy assignment but couldn't share my ideas with the class. Wondering why? Well because I always needed time to put my words together in a 'perfect' shape (remember : one word wrong = laughs and mockery) before raising my hand. Just when I'm about to say something, someone jumps and talks about the point that I was about to explain and sometimes even better than I had pictured it in my brain. My mind usually went like : " And the victory goes to ... [name of the participant]! Cool it loser, it's best to lose without fighting. "

To be honest, I learned to live with that. It's not a lack of communication or because I don't know how to speak in a specific language (trust me, I find it hard to put my words together even in my native language) but it's me getting slowly out of the social life. I'm not entirely out though, I try to keep in touch with my folks and those 4 friends that I have (2 of them are just like me).

I remember a couple of years ago when I was sick of people around me and decided to encase into my own shell, I wouldn't take my lunch in the cafeteria with them. I'd rather go 6 subway stations far from the school just to find a spot away from the crowd (although sometimes I accidentally met them there but I was constantly changing places so that my chances to meet one of them become minimal). Even after finals, I used to go there to free my mind. Normally people would stay just next to the class door talking about the things they did right and how the program didn't work even after an hour of coding... For my part, I had a rule : whether to finish early and leave in a hurry, or to take my time and be the last one to submit my project.

To cover this speaking problem, I found a great tip. I thought that it could be a good start to talk to myself on a daily basis. You might think I'm crazy but believe me it's the new self-development method. Actually, I've got this idea from a book I read. It's called : " The miracle morning ". This book changed my life for real. It helped me develop a nice routine and stick to it no matter the circumstances. It's all in the head. I'm not about to expand a summary here (if you're interested you can give it a shot, you won't regret it), I just want to focus on the main concept of the book which is : 6 life S.A.V.E.R.S. It stands for : Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing). I was technically doing all of them except for "Affirmations". Here's the point : Affirmations = Speaking nicely, professionally and properly to yourself everyday after taking a moment of silence in the morning (the moment of silence can be a yoga exercise or meditation).

I started by dictating the affirmations scripts that the author offered. Gradually, I set up my own affirmations (adapted them to my life) and read them. Then, I learned them by heart and now I even play with the words sometimes. [ Thank you Hal Elrod ]

Why writing is a therapy? Because when you keep vomiting words till there's nothing more to throw. Later, you realize that: toxicity is gone, weight is lighter and point is made.

- K

advice

About the author

Kaoutaea

Translating my thoughts into words, lines, paragraphs and endless pages. 📜

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