I write essays, poems and stories detailing the events that bring basic emotions into my life. Anguish, joy, pain and hope visit me through the years, some of these feelings more intense than others. My words spill onto the paper or the computer screen, paragraph upon paragraph, a coping mechanism. At times, I become driven to put emotional experiences into words, whether for myself alone or for others to read. My writing releases a sort of power that can deliver healing or achieve satisfaction.
The paragraph above was my opening to a personal essay on why I write. The rest of the essay details four specific times in my life when writing helped me address an overwhelming emotion, both negative and postive ones. Writing about the situations that brought these emotions to the surface took me to a place where I couldbegin to understand and deal with whatever had happened. It allowed me to step back a bit and look at what occurred and my reaction, also to how it affected my life.
As writers, we are privileged to be able to do this. It helps us through many of the ups and downs that we experience as we move through our life. We meet both the positives and negatives on our life's journey. There are times when it seems the unhappy moments will never end. Writing about those events may not change what happened but I find that it helps the healing begin. It's not the end-all solution but it's a step in getting through whatever difficult time it might have been.
Writing about an emotional time in our life is merely a tool for dealing with whatever occurred. As stated above, it can be a coping mechanism. Writing allows me a release. Reading about it later lets me stand back and view whatever happened in a little more objective light. It gives me insight in how I should have or still can deal with it.
There are things I've written that will never be seen by others. They are for me alone. Conversely, many of the difficult times in my life have driven me to write for others who may be experiencing something similar. It's one small way I might be able to help someone else cope with a mind-numbing event comparable to mine.
Even writing about the joyful times can be of help to others. Some simple wonderful memory from our childhood can be revealing to someone reading about it. They might never have realized that events of the same type in their own lives were of importance in their own happiness quotient. It's one reason memoirs are so popular. People enjoy reading about the lives of others. As they do, they are consciously, or maybe subconsciously, comparing their own lives to that of the person writing the memoir.
Use your writing skills to cope with all the events of your life. Be they good or bad, write about it. Do it for yourself. Do it for others, too.