Participant Reflects on How Writing Heals

When I was going through a crisis, at about four years sober, my friend, quazi sponsor, told me to write a journal. I don’t remember if it was her idea or mine but I decided to write to God. So, every night I would get into bed and start, “Dear God.” At first it was a kind of laundry list of the day but then I think I started to write more about “stuff”. I always signed them, “love Linda.” I think around the same time I started calling God, Max. I wanted to personalize the vastness, the awesomeness. Now, back to why writing heals. It’s like purging. Getting out the poison, getting out the lies. Seeing your stuff in black and white. Concrete. It’s a relief. I remember before I got sober, over 20 years ago, writing a letter to my father. I had a big resentment that had festered. It was time to let it out. With a borrowed typewriter and my glass of wine (my drug of choice) I sat and typed. I typed over a four day period. Somehow I managed to slip in some good stuff. It was 8 pages long. Phew! I did it. I had tried to figure out how to get it to him as he can’t really read. But, the miracle was, at the end, when all was said and done, there was no need. The magic of pen to paper had worked. Freedom. It never got sent. It never got read. There was no need. Healing had happened.