“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” –Graham Greene
Recently, while dealing with the fast approaching death of my cat, Thor, I was once again reminded of the benefits of writing as therapy. In the days before his death, I wrote him a letter, reflecting on his four short years, and what he had come to mean to me just by being present through so many trials and triumphs. In the end, when letting a dear friend read the very personal story, she pointed out that the letter wasn’t just to Thor, but also to myself.
Recently, The New York Times posted an article entitled, “Writing Your Way To Happiness.” In it, psychology professor James Pennebaker, speaking on his work and research on the benefits of expressive writing, is quoted saying, “The idea here is getting people to come to terms with who they are, where they want to go. I think of expressive writing as a life course correction.”
Have you ever written a personal story as therapy? Did it help you process what you were going through, or even change the course of your life in some way? I think I’m still processing. Perhaps there is still more of my own story to write.