Writing down my ‘stuff’ – letting it flow on the page and then close the book on it – has long been my therapeutic secret. While it’s great to have a therapist with whom to share and pick over the darkest, most uncomfortable aspects of one’s character, there’s something about the easy availability and non-judgemental nature of pages in a notebook that are all-ears all times of the day.
Which is why it’s inspiring to hear how rapper Dizzee Rascal, in writing his autobiography with the aid of a ghostwriter, felt the process of telling his story was ‘like therapy’. He told the Evening Standard that he had lots of secrets to tell. And, in talking about some of his difficult childhood and troubled teenage years, it was like a ‘therapy session’.
I’m uplifted to hear that. I’ve found that exposing the inner world to the black and white external world helps give it shape and meaning; writing imbues the feelings with a life of their own; it stops it being a burden that only my conscience can bear. The writing takes on some of the culpability. And, in having it ‘out there’, it stops the negative feelings building up damaging effects inside.
For me, journaling is a form of writing therapy that can absorb stress, emotional upset, rage, envy. Just name the sin; the pen can scribe it.