(Originally published at Degrees of Maternity on January 31, 2023.)

Hey there, my writing buddies. Back at you with some writing inspiration. At least, I hope that’s what you experience when you come to Degrees of Maternity. Because, I truly want you to feel inspired to write — for YOU and no one else. Therapeutic writing for self should be a personal thing. You know? It’s not something that should be micromanaged by another individual.

And I’m not saying that professionals in the therapy realm shouldn’t use this method of expressive writing in their sessions with their clients. As a matter of fact, writing therapy IS administered quite extensively as an option for working through problematic situations in one’s life.

It’s quite effective, too!

So, therapy specialists can GUIDE the process with prompts and food for thought that assist their clients in organically and therapeutically writing, but there’s no way they can control the content that comes forth from the individual him- or herself. The writer dictates that part based on the unique problem that must be worked through.

And, I really had to ponder over the fact that I previously suggested three writing prompts for us to start journaling about, when I really have no idea what situational things in life are the most pressing in your unique experience. I just don’t know, and I don’t expect for you to share that information with me and especially not on this public platform.

So, I apologize for trying to DIRECT the writing process for self with no information to help the process work out for YOUR specific needs. I mean . . . I don’t know what hardships in life you’ve faced or are facing now. And, there’s no need for me to know, because that’s your personal business. Believe me, I have enough battle scars of my own that I’m treating with therapeutic ointment.

But I do want you to know this: I deeply care that you come to terms with your own personal business and properly address it. And address it in whatever healthy and meaningful way(s) that help you determine the root cause of your issues in life and how to manage them.

Yes, I said “MANAGE” them this time instead of “SOLVE” them.

Because let’s face it folks, the solution isn’t always black and white and completely solvable. I’m starting to really see this as I work through my own situational challenges in life. Sometimes, the problem is just worked on over time until it keeps lessening its stronghold. You know?

It’s like the problem gets some attention put on it to ease its negative effects, but it may never totally go away and be dropped off in the Land of Forgetfulness — for it’s made a lasting impression in your life that can never fully be extinguished (or reversed), where it’s never remembered again.

Simply stated, you’ve experienced things; and now, those experiences are a part of your human makeup. They’re a part of YOUR human experience. And, when things happen TO US in life, we’re going to internalize those things in some way, shape, or form. We just will.  We’re forever impacted by those life experiences.

We hurt when bad things happen and we don’t have appropriate outlets to address those hurts and get them out of our minds. And no matter what kind of memory you consider yourself having, those life-altering experiences you go through have a way of clinging on to the brain for dear life — whether the experiences are good or bad.

So, when the BAD stuff comes — again — we internalize it (because how can we not — we have those inescapable memories) and sometimes pocket the hurts somewhere instead of working on alleviating the pains they bring on. Again, you noticed I didn’t say “solving” the pains.

As stated, I’m not sure that EVERY problem has a surefire solution in an individual’s life. But I am certain that each individual can use therapeutic means (USE YOUR RESOURCES, FOLKS!) to help ease the discomfort that the problem brings about.

That’s where writing therapy can be that help — hidden in plain sight.

I want to help facilitate some positivity into matters in your life that need some attention.

And frankly, I’m just that — someone trying to facilitate changes for the better. I’m not the solver of your problem(s). And I’m not even sure that writing therapy is the support mechanism to move you toward a healthy way of processing the problematic situations (and even traumatic things) life’s brought your way.

But hey, it’s worth a try.

And because I’ve personally experienced how freeing and releasing and motivating writing has worked on my behalf to bring me to moments of:

  • much-needed self-reflection on areas of improvement in my life.
  • relaxation and peace of mind from condemnation for expressing my true feelings on a matter
  • goal-oriented plans of action to attack problematic situations
  • the releasing of mental overwhelm by mind dumping
  • and I could go on and on.

. . . then, it makes sense to try to forward what I know to others. Pay it forward, perhaps.

But just know that writing has been a blessing to me in so many different areas of life, including my mental health. So, I simply want to share because I care. If I know of something that can possibly help those I care about, then I’m going to share that information.

It’s up to the person on the other side of the information to decide whether or not what I’ve shared is of value to him or her.

And, that’s where I’ll leave things.

I’m marching steadily forward with the benefits of writing therapy, but I’m not going to be pushy with it. I’ve decided not to suggest the writing prompts (not at this time, anyway).

So, I won’t be asking you to comment on the writing prompts that I included in the poll question I previously posted, which went a little something like . . .

Which one of the topics (below) should we start with in writing to ourselves?

  1. Debilitating character traits we know we need to dismiss from our lives?
  2. Character traits we’d like to possess but don’t currently?
  3. Why we have problems with JUST STARTing when it comes to new processes?

Nope. I decided to back off of trying to micromanage the therapeutic writing prompts since I don’t know your story. And, a fellow writer friend of mine help solidify to me that not everyone has the same story. Your story isn’t mine and mine isn’t yours. So, I can’t presume to have any inkling of an idea of what writing prompts are going to get you closer to healthily managing the ills that might be weighing heavily on your shoulders.

So, let’s just keep it simple, Silly. (I’m the “Silly,” of course.)

Let’s just discuss in some detail about different ways to utilize writing therapy in your day-to-day. And, YOU decide where to GUIDE your own writing, based on YOUR unique set of situations to work through, circumstances to take into consideration, and level of participation in which you want to proceed.

I’ll be here, regardless.

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