Writing: Therapeutic or Not?

the word blog written through a typewriter
Image courtesy of http://www.thinkbelle.com

I was in a tumultuous place before I started this blog. It’s like nothing ever seems to click. Everything I do doesn’t add up to anything I want to accomplish. The worse thing was, the same old fears that I battled against a decade ago came crashing back and I felt miserable and none too happy with what I foresee of my future. It was a bad place to be in.

I lost interest on activities that usually makes me feel better. I used to have a full social calendar and I never lack for company. I always had a person to talk to and had the financial security to back up my social life.

Then the recession happened.

Even if I live in a different continent, the world market’s decline had a big impact on the industry I worked in. There were major cuts and unfortunately, I was one of them. After having an awkward meeting with the CEO and HR Manager, I completely shut down. I closeted myself in my apartment for three whole days without talking to anyone and my phone turned off.  I lost my zest for living.

Even with a generous separation pay to keep me afloat for at least 3 months while looking for another job, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back to the rhythm of things if I land another job within the same field of expertise. I was clearly burned-out.  There might be many options for me, but all of them looked unappealing. I began to view those job opportunities as health hazards.

A couple of months after getting laid-off, I found out that I was sick. The revelation was after the tests came out during my physical exam. I asked my doctor if there’s a chance my health can be fully restored to its former glory. He said that with the right medication, diet and lifestyle, it “might”. Now, there’s a wealth of meaning behind that word “might” that my depression really settled in.

After that health scare, another tempest happened that ultimately brought my depression to a higher level. Not even a full month had passed after I had my physical check-up results that my apartment building got burned. Yes . . . flaming burned.

Talk about a series of unfortunate events.

It was the middle of the night and I was highly medicated because of a series of migraine attacks when I heard people shouting outside my open window. I thought it was just some of my neighbors having a grand ‘ol time being asses. But, when the word they’re shouting finally registered, it broke through my medicated haze and I grabbed whatever I can and immediately rushed out of my apartment.

What greeted me outside my door was utter chaos. Everyone was screaming and running around, trying to grab onto whatever they can carry with them to safety. I see some of my hatefully noisy neighbors bawling their eyes out. I know it’s terrible of me, but when I saw them huddled in a corner and crying there, I didn’t feel the least bit sorry for them. I felt more sorry for my landlady. She had 8 kids and was frantically wondering where 2 of them were because she cannot see them. 

The blaze was so high and the smoke was suffocating. I was scared shit as we evacuated to a nearby hotel and waited for the verdict. When the firemen put the flames out, I was relieved to find that my unit was saved. There might be some water damage but it wasn’t as grave as the other units.

Those events happened in 2011 —  which was the most terrible year for me.

2012 wasn’t too great either.

With almost depleted resources, I went back to doing odd freelancing jobs online as opposed to going back to the corporate arena. It pays the bills (more than what I’ll be getting if I went back working in the BPO industry) but it’s apparently not enough to save for the future because of it’s instability.

Then, by the last quarter of 2012, my father died.

This is when I just broke down. I kept asking myself what I did wrong to solicit such an unkind life. I can’t even catch a break! If God is testing me, wasn’t it too much for a single person to carry?

So, I went to my father’s hometown (Zamboanga City – where there’s a current crisis happening as I write this post) to bury him. I experienced the most intense nervous breakdown I had in my entire life — twice. Seeing my dad’s lifeless face in a coffin — a face that I haven’t seen in 9 years — was too much to bear. I was unable to sleep well for months and I can’t even work well. To top it off, I had a falling out with my mom for reasons I cannot share now because of its sensitivity and which started way back when I was young.

Anyway, having this blog to air out what I feel helped recover some semblance of sanity. If not for this, I might be crying and wallowing in depression on my own and might end up in a padded room somewhere. 

Therapeutic Writing

writing with pen and paper
Image courtesy of http://www.raylovett.com

For some people, they blog for a living. However, there are some — like me — who just wanted to write because it makes our heads clearer.

Being initiated into the blogsphere happened a few months before my father died. It was a sort of testing ground for what I was working on back then.

Starting The Good/Bad Me was an impulse that eventually made me feel less lonely in dealing with my innermost feelings. Apart from my creative writing, blogging comes second in relieving me of stress.

I’ve always had a problem in expressing emotions in front of others. So, to cope, I tried blogging. Since I’m fond of writing anyway, creating blog posts was easier than I thought. Of course, there were times when I don’t even know what I’m going to write. Unlike other blogs, I don’t have a set structure or niche. I only go with what I’m experiencing and feeling at the moment and express those feelings and thoughts through written words.  It was a nice kind of therapy, an outlet that doesn’t take a single cent out of my tight purse — an added plus if I might say. It helped with health matters as well because stress attacks both mental and physical constitutions.

When I started incorporating the music and book stuff, I am actually widening my comfort zone to encompass what makes me feel good. Sharing something that I love to a small audience feels rather nice. As a radio DJ, posting something about music takes nothing at all. It goes the same with being a book lover. Therefore (unlike some other activities), maintaining this blog is no pressure at all. It is the best therapy a person like me can have. I regret nothing whatsoever in starting a blog that not only mirrors my personality, but also connects with people in some way.

I just wonder if I’m helping others even in a small way by posting something here. I hope so. 


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