Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writing for my Spirit

Sharon at Bed, Body and Beyond is hosting Patients For A Moment carnival this round which will be up on her site on Wednesday, December 7th.  Sharon had many questions, but her main question was "Why do you write?"

I have always been verbal and got a minor in English at Purdue in addition to my minor in Spanish and Major in speech language pathology for no other reason than I loved to read and to write.  Throughout graduate school, I had files on my computer of non-fiction books-in-progress that I wrote for fun.

I have kept a journal consistently since I was in junior high in 1991. I believe there are almost twenty in my closet. And years before I had met my husband, I started a journal in which I wrote to him (and gave it to him on the eve of our wedding). Though I had to get it out and asked to read it to him months later as he had set it aside, not appreciating it as much as I had taken joy in writing it.

Oddly the times when I didn't write were the times when I became sick with Chronic Migraine and NPDH in 2005 and for a period thereafter. It was almost as though writing for myself had become too painful. I still wish I had a document of how I felt during those times. I am particularly sad that those initial years 2005-2006 of my chronic illness was when I stopped writing because that is when I was engaged and had gotten married. I wish I could read back on how  I felt at the time about being a sick newlywed. I remember it, but it is different when you go back and read your own voice. It is like a home-movie of the soul.

I do not know if I would be blogging if I were not chronically ill, but I know I would be writing--writing what I know as Louisa May Alcott's character, Jo, finally learned by the end of Little Women. Whether it be about speech language pathology or raising children or in a journal for myself, I would have continued to write.

I was introduced to the blogging world through the Migraine community. I quickly wanted to be a part of it.  I concluded my second blog post on June 13, 2008, entitled "Gift of Pain" named after a book I had written of the same title by saying
Dr. Brand and his coauthor, Phillip Yancey wrote in The Gift of Pain, "Gratitude is the single response most nourishing to health." The reality of how the pain has affected and changed my life is sometimes difficult to swallow. But, I feel challenged to continue to find how to be thankful through and despite my pain.
One of the many reasons I write this blog is because I want to challenge myself and others to think of life with chronic illness in a different way, as Dr. Brand challenged me to think of life, pain and gratitude in a different way. I write because I want others to know that they are not alone and they do not need to be afraid to speak out about what they are going through or how they feel about it. Silence breeds shame.

Writing is a therapeutic process where my feelings spill out. Using these keys, I work through my vents, my fears and my challenges. The resulting tune may sound like a symphony or an angry dissonance of notes. Either way, it feels better out than in.

The heart and soul of why I write is because it is something that illuminates my spirit and brings me great joy. If no one ever read what I have to say, I would still write.


  1. Thank you very much for contributing to the PFAM carnival and for pointing out the error in the post. I have fixed it now. Cognitive impairment + no sleep = woops!

    I also wanted to make a request. Would you consider removing the Captcha (word verification) feature of your blog for people who want to leave comments? People with a variety of disabilities cannot use Captcha and thus are unable to comment on blogs that require it. If you want more info, here is a post on the topic:

  2. I did not realize I had Captcha on. I'm searching my blog and after quick look, I can't find where to disable it. I'll keep looking and figure it out.

  3. I just found out from Kelly, "New Blogger" apparently makes it difficult (or impossible?) to disable. She had to switch back to old blogger, disable, then switch back, I think. Conversation in her comments. I'm trying to find out if there's a simpler solution. I didn't know this about "new Blogger." Ugh.

  4. Did you have to fill out a CAPTCHA to post the above post? Did my attempt to disable it work? You can email me if not.

  5. No, I didn't! So you were successful! Go, you! You rock!

  6. Great! Thank you *so* much for helping me out, Sharon!

  7. OMG, I just realized that I referred you to yourself! I told you I can't think today! So many new faces and names, soooo confused. Poor, poor brain. . . . LOL.

  8. Kelly, I didn't keep a journal as consistently as you did, but I wrote more during my college years. I wrapped up the journal (because I reached the end of the "book/journal") at the end of August 2008... ending that journal with Jeremy's proposal... that way I could start a new journal about the next phase I was entering. But, my accident happened in October 2008. I hadn't started a new journal yet, and then I went quite a while without writing. I, too, wish I had my own words to describe some of the things I was going through at that time. I have some short things I wrote, but it was too painful... physically, emotionally, spiritually. I'm so glad that I started blogging last year. I've met some great people, and it's gotten me back into writing. I write for my soul, too. :)