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Writing as Therapy

I've spent the past nearly twenty years working in mental health, not as a practitioner, but in various administrative roles. I say this as a disclaimer. What I am about to write is what I have found for myself, not gleaned from a text book or lecture.

Writing is therapy.

I wouldn't be human if there hadn't been some point in my life where I've struggled, had trials I almost didn't have the strength to bear, experienced disappointments, had bad things happen to me, and even done bad things myself.

I've had my share of successes, too, of course, and although I can now see all those positives, for most of my life, it was the negatives that seemed to have the stronger pull.

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to form sentences, pretty much. Yet, my mother tells me I was telling stories long before then.

A love of stories and story-telling is embedded in my DNA, I think. My mother writes. My grandmother wrote. Even a Great grandfather has at least one published work to his name. There could be more that I'm not aware of. And all my children are creatives and love the written word.

It makes sense to me that, if I want to understand the world around me and my place in it, the best thing to do is to write about it. However, it took me quite some time to realise that I could write about events that happened to me or around me, tragic events, even traumatic events, and CHOOSE HOW THE STORY WILL END.

By writing fiction, I've dealt with my father's death, my experience with domestic violence both as a child and as an adult, and sexual assault, among other issues..

For example, I am currently working on a fictionalised account of my family's trip around Australia. I have already written and published this as a memoir, but chickened-out when it came to discussing the more unsavoury events.

However, as I write this new version of the story, I have worked through these events, making sense of them, finding peace and understanding, and even closure in some instances.

Writing it down, fictionalising it, making it better - or worse - for me, it's therapy. So when you read my stories, remember that you're really getting a sneaky peak into my past, present, and maybe even future, as I work through my own issues in my own unique way!

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