Writing is the best kind of therapy there is.
If you can scratch out words with a borrowed pencil on the back of a napkin, or open a vein, you can write. If you can write, you can make sense of your dreams, order your sock drawer, and make nice with the demons that spellunk in your amygdala, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Talk therapy might be more efficient, and slightly less painful than writing. But it doesn’t get the job done as thoroughly as pen and paper.
I took a writing course in 2010 to work through the effects of a miscarriage and subsequent infertility. I hoped that by reducing those experiences to paper, I could excise them. It was once believed that taking a picture of someone stole their soul. I wanted to transfer my frustrations to paper: to let the ink flow and take my pain along with it.
Catharsis came, not as a result of what I wrote in the course, but as a consequence of the women I met: Nathalie, Beth-Anne, and Carol. The Other Mothers are a source of inspiration and friendship, and for me this blog has become the best darn therapy money can’t buy.
The women with whom I write challenge me regularly to consider situations and facts from other perspectives than my own, which requires this introvert to pick up her head and look around once in a while. Most importantly, the Other Mothers force me to actually write — for which I owe them the biggest debt of gratitude. I’ve composed whole novels in my head, but without a deadline, my regular output of pixels on screen is approximately equal to a shopping list. Being responsible to three other people every week to ensure that a post goes up under my name certainly helps grease the wheels: the more I write for the blog, the more I want to write, period.
Despite being a blogger, I consider myself rather private in nature. I don’t know that what I started writing in 2010 will ever be fit for public consumption, but no matter: the process of writing it helped get me out of a pretty serious funk. The women I met while I was writing, to my everlasting gratitude, have helped me to stay out.