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Haikus as a Way of Healing

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.

here’s the book, if you’re interested

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?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I really like the idea of this actually. It seems so obvious. I loved your migraine haiku by the way, I wonder if you’ll show us your painting when it’s done?

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