June 10, 2014
Many years ago, I worked with a depressed woman in her 30’s, who had a rare debilitating illness. Growing up, she was raised in an abusive household and kept to herself. She believed she was stupid, ugly, and without much hope for the future. She could barely express herself verbally.
I asked her to write a few thoughts in a journal in between our therapy sessions and bring them so I could read them. Her first entry was one sentence, illegibly scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper. I thanked her for having the courage to open her life and share her words.
Over time, she brought in a journal which I read at the beginning of each session. Her simple sentences soon turned into paragraphs. Her paragraphs expanded to pages. Her pages blossomed into completed journals.
As her writing expanded, so did her life. She grew in confidence and became more verbally expressive. She founded a support group for individuals with the rare disability, started a newsletter, and built a remarkable organization that connected families affected by the disability. In essence, she created a supportive, loving extended family. Not too long ago, I received an email from her, telling me that her story was published in a magazine.
The changes all began because of the power of words. I have witnessed countless examples of individuals whose lives have changed as a result of writing. The late Maya Angelou used words to liberate herself, so beautifully expressed in her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Words provide the keys to unlock doors. Find the missing pieces and see the whole picture. Write your way to success and health!