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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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Creative and Expressive Writing Therapy – write yourself better, healthier and happier!

I have enjoyed writing short stories since I was very young. When I read some of them now, I wonder where my ideas

Me as a child

Me as a child

came from; a very young child writing about a scary place in the woods…

I now know that my stories probably came from fear and stress, and at the age of thirteen I began writing a diary. I kept my diaries under lock and key, save anyone EVER reading them, as they were secret, spilling my inner thoughts, feelings and behaviours at times. I could ‘talk’ to my diary about family life, where I’d been, what I’d done, what clothes I’d worn, and most of all if any adversities came my way – like my mum causing issues, boyfriends taking advantage, my brothers’ behaviours’, rape, self-harm, eating disorder and so on – they were all written down, which kind of ‘saved’ me at the time.

I found that by writing what was happening in my life, it was like talking to a friend – an unbiased friend who would never say a word against me. Like a good counsellor. Therefore, I felt less lonely in my family life, I got to express myself, and leave my troubles behind in writing on the paper. I felt relief from my troubles and the next day I could start afresh.

I have written ever since, via diary, journal, blogging, letters sent and unsent and more.

Grab a new notebook!

Grab a new notebook!

I then wrote a couple of memoirs, and in doing so, I had to write and re-write various events. Some were traumatic, and brought about very strong emotions. Some were forgotten about; one in particular because of the trauma it caused. That was dissociation. But, what I found was, the more I wrote and re-wrote and edited, the less the issues bothered me. I became almost numb to some of them and they couldn’t hurt me anymore.

So, I thought I would share with you some of the benefits I found from creative and expressive writing myself over the years:

  1. The way to talk to someone without worrying about what others’ think.
  2. The way to explore how I feel and think and, ultimately, behave – gaining insight and revelations on how I can change things.
  3. I can look at my writing the next day, week, month or years later, and see how far I have come – how much happier I am or how much I have achieved.
  4. It can help me to see things from other people’s points of view – a more rounded opinion.
  5. It built my self-esteem.
  6. Writing has been self-therapy for me – very cathartic
  7. I have been able to look back and remember things I would never have usually recalled, good and bad – a bit like taking photos and finding them again.
  8. I wrote unsent letters to people passed and alive, and told them everything I wanted to get off my chest, positive and negative, any apologies and anything I wanted to tell them or even ask them. The main point was that I wasn’t going to send them, so I disclosed totally.
  9. Writing unsent letters helped me to see who I was through my writing; to find myself and what is important to me.
  10. Writing letters was like having a chat with them, but disclosing much more than I would have had we really been having a chat.

This, and more, can be found in my self-help book ‘Living with Depression and Anxiety; 26 ways to get you out of the fog, into the sunshine’ Click the links below to find it on Amazon… 🙂

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