The power of writing….

Today I had to complete something that I have been absolutely dreading and totally avoiding for the last 2 weeks.  I had my first counselling session 2 weeks ago, and my homework was to write a letter to my Mum, before my next session.  Being asked to do this filled me with anxiety, scared and upset me.  How could I possibly find the words?  How would I know what to say???  I have done everything but get started on it, but felt that I just had to face it today.  My second appointment is tomorrow morning.

So I grabbed a box of tissues, my favourite journal and pen, and tried to make a start.  Initially, just the mere act of writing ‘Dear Mom’ (we’re in Birmingham and say Mom not Mum here!) caused the tears to come.  I sat for around 10 minutes, just looking at those words and then just put pen to paper and made a start.  Once I got going, it flowed and came out so naturally.  I cried a lot, talked about feeling guilty about some of what happened, and feelings of loss and abandonment.  It came out fairly randomly and in no particular order, but I figured that was OK and that she wouldn’t mind.

I could have kept writing, I felt that there was so much that I wanted to say to her.  I haven’t felt that she’s been there for me to “talk” to as a lot of people seem to find so helpful.  I haven’t felt her around me at all.  Today, I got a sense of talking to her, and her encouraging me to move forward and keep writing.  That might sound totally irrational, but I almost felt her advising me to go a certain way.  The nights that I have journaled about her, and how I’ve been feeling, have resulted in the best nights sleep in years…..I need to learn from this and use it daily, as a coping mechanism.  It is a way of letting out all of the thoughts and feelings that I just can’t openly talk about.  I don’t yet understand why I can’t express them verbally in the same way, maybe that will come through the counselling, or maybe the written word is just my ‘way.’

I had a real sense of feeling lighter once I’d done it.  It’s not the end though, and is in no way finished, because I’ve realised I have a lot more to say and am looking forward to talking to her again.   I was scared, scared that I’d break down and just go to pieces and wouldn’t be able to handle how I felt.  On the contrary, it turned out to be a very cathartic process, and I actually enjoyed chatting to her and telling her whatever was in my head.  I felt no connection to her until today, but today I felt that she was there, listening to and reading what I was writing.  God I miss her so much.

It’s her birthday on Wednesday, so today I bought some tulips, which were her favourite flowers.  I have no idea how I’m going to be, but I now feel I have an outlet for my feelings in writing, and it feels positive.  The most positive I’ve felt in a long time.

Grief is so hard.  I had no clue how it would totally overwhelm me, making me feel like a jigsaw that, no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t put the pieces back together to complete.  I don’t feel complete yet, not by a long shot, but I hope that this can be the start of my recovery and journey back to health and happiness.

bloom blooming blossom blur
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on



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