Lately, I’ve been reading Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo. (Worth picking up even if you only scribble in journals when you’re feeling particularly emo.) I’m only a couple chapters in, but already I realized this healing thing is a huge part of why I love writing. As a teen, short stories and vignettes and really bad poetry helped me discover and navigate all my emotions. I knew by age 16 writing would always be in my life, even if only in unreadable journal entries.
I also realized I’ve barely tapped into writing as an intentional way to process having chronic migraine.
Then I remembered, I used to go to counseling regularly to help process living with my disorder (which I totally recommend going to everybody). After a while I began to stagnate in my processing. While I can jabber with the best of them, talking wasn’t helping. In the past month, (and reading these chapters only confirmed it) I’ve realized why—as a creative person, I needed another way to process besides blabbering.
Writing and art.
*Enter exploding lightbulbs above my head.*
So, this past week, I tried processing about migraines/pain with haikus and another painting. I’m not saying they’re any good. Let’s be real. I haven’t looked at the haiku form since seventh grade English. But I tried. And that’s the point.
This haiku is about the actual migraine:
My flesh and skull has
ground away to reveal a
swollen, throbbing heart.
These two touch on more of the emotional experience of the pain:
I swim upstream though
there’s no water to speak of.
And I drown in sand.
Pain is like being
stranded on the still ocean
with no hope of wind.
Have you ever considered using art and writing as a way to process something?