Therapeutic Writing
Some comedians claim their standup comedy is mental therapy. In their routines, they joke about childhood pain and present issues. This open discussion helps them to confront and overcome their problems in their lives.
Does writing qualify as therapy? A writer often uses life events as source material, and they can create an imaginary world to inflict pain or love upon a character. This blank slate lets a writer experiment, lie, and confess. We can even change the outcome of an actual event to lessen or heighten its impact.
Some books are genuinely therapy. For example, a writer might describe a bad childhood event or critical opinion. Writing is creative, intellectual, educational, and relaxing, which certainly qualifies as therapy.
What about serious mental issues? Schizophrenia, for example. Hmm, that answer probably should get addressed on a case-by-case basis by somebody with more knowledge.
Until last year, I did not consider writing to be therapy. I knew writing allowed my mind to wander, and I explored some genuine issues. The activity also challenged me and required focus. After a good writing secession, I felt better, and I noticed improvements in my life. However, I still did not think of the activity as mentally beneficial (except for my improved English and writing skills.)
Last year, it occurred to me that writing was indeed a therapeutic activity. The stories I created came from me and reflected my inner thoughts. A chunk of my personality lives in each paragraph. To create these gems, I tugged at my deep emotions and thought a lot about life. I should note that this leap into my personal life was difficult and involved some pain.
My emotional exploration did yield solutions to some issues. Along the way, I made personal discoveries and learned a lot about people by creating characters. Another discovery is that the primary source of my mental exploration occurs within these blogs. I get to tackle any topic and say what is on my mind. An open therapeutic discussion. Hmm. Something to think about.
Am I a better person because of writing? One must first define what makes up a better person. Gahhh. It isn't easy to look into the mirror. How about this? Let’s turn the clock back five years and split Bill into two people. One will be an author while the other will not.
But there lies the problem. I know what present Bill is up to, but what would non-writer Bill be doing? I indeed would have done something productive, and it could qualify as therapy. How about yoga? Or perhaps I would have done something difficult that took a mental toll. My best guess would start a large project like a business. I suspect that effort would have been stressful, expensive, and there would be life lessons. Would alternate Bill end up in a better mental place? Tough to call. I would guess that present Bill would be more at peace.
Would I recommend writing as therapy? This question must be answered case-by-case. I never intended writing to be therapy, but I suspect writing could help others, especially those who need to confront large issues. I am going to keep writing and reaping its meager benefits. Or am I being too hard on myself? Something to discuss with my therapist. I mean my four blog readers.

You’re the best -Bill
February 24, 2021

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