Writing as therapy

Covid hit me hard in mid-November, sending me to the hospital for four and a half days and leaving me with the most intense brain fog and other weird symptoms, even now a month and a half later.

It was probably only two weeks that I was unable to write, either on my blog, or in my current work in progress, but it felt much longer. Even when I did start to write again, the words in my head were jumbled and I knew they made little to no sense. It was important for me to start to write again, though, not only for my mental well-being but also for my spiritual well-being. There is something about being able to put thoughts to paper that connects me with others and with God.

Covid left me with an insane internal trembling/quiver that is hard to explain and doctors don’t know how to help yet. Others who have had COVID are reporting this symptom as well. A couple nights after I came home from the hospital, I sat on my bed and asked my son to hand me my laptop. I wanted to write a blog post to update a few blogging friends but was afraid the trembling would be too distracting for me. As I began to form words, though, typing slowly along, the tremor seemed to subside, almost as if the mere act of writing was a type of therapy for me.

Something about forming words and making my mind focus on something other than my lingering symptoms seemed to help relax me, even as I continued to struggle cognitively.  

Yes, some words wouldn’t come and as I mentioned above, what I wrote probably didn’t make sense. Making sense wasn’t the point, though. Putting words on the computer screen, or paper in the case of my journal was not only a way for me to relax but a strong symbol of moving forward and past the illness that took a month and a half from me and has taken much more from others.

Writing has been therapy for me during or after other situations in my life, as well, such as when relatives passed away or friends rejected me.  There have been times that writing has been private in my journal and times I shared it publicly. When I share it publicly others can share their experiences and then we can work on healing together.   

I’d love to say that the trembling is totally gone, thanks to my focusing on my passions in life — writing and photography — but, sadly, it’s still hanging around, although doing better than it was. It is being helped by CBD oil, taking photos, being with family, natural supplements, and limiting time on the news and social media, as well as writing.

Through it all, though, besides Christ, it is writing that has been a lifeline for me, a way to organize chaotic thoughts and worries.

My mom tells me that writing is like breathing for me.

Maybe writing is like breathing for you, but even if it isn’t, writing down your thoughts and feelings can make what seems impossible, seem maybe a little bit possible.

Author: Lisa R. Howeler

Lisa R. Howeler is a wife and mom from Pennsylvania who also happens to write. She’s been writing for 25 years, fourteen of those for smalltown newspapers in rural Pennsylvania and upstate New York. When she isn’t writing about love, faith, and family life in a small town, she’s taking photographs and homeschooling her two children. She blogs a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings at www.lisahoweler.com.

5 thoughts on “Writing as therapy”

  1. So nice to read something positive in this world of what seems like negativity. On screens it does seem that way, but the majority of what is really happening is actually good. People out there coming together, loving and being kind to each other. Yes, there are a few bad seeds right now but not as many as “They” would like us to believe. You are doing a great job Lisa, keep it up. I love the words you write and I know that there are so many others out there that haven’t read them yet, but will, and they too will love them as well. Every one plays a part in making this world a better place. You’re part, as God always knew from the moment you were born, is in words. You were drawn to them since you were little, like reading all those books. Keep up the good work. We need more of this out there in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa, Thanks so much for sharing openly. Though I haven’t had COVID it took a long time for my brain to begin functioning again after surgery. Then I got Shingles and the brain went again. I, too, have used CBD oil, in addition to a topical for the residual nerve pain, and found it helpful. It is good to hear you are improving, slowly, but improving. God bless you and your writing.

    Like

    1. Well, yes, really anything that inflicts trauma on our body in some way can also affect the brain. My dad had a rough time mentally after his knee surgery. My aunt had shingles and it was insanely painful and pain, as you know, really does a job on the mind! I have had other issues that have given me brain fog too, but Covid is what made it 100 times worse for a while there.

      I hope you are recovering from your surgery and illness too!

      Like

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