Writing Has and is Helping Me Through Life.
My life is full of ups and downs. This is normal for everyone, but I want to give you a small idea of my life. And tell you how writing has and is helping me through life.
Life can be rough and tough. For me, especially with my health, it is tough at times. Let me try to explain what is going on in my life.
I was born with a small heart defect. A leaky heart valve. For the first 20–25 years, nothing was done about it, because I was still growing and the technology was not that far as now. Later on, I had two major heart operations. One was planned and the other was an emergency. There were bacteria in my blood. After this last operation, they had also placed a pacemaker. This was needed because my heartbeat was too slow. I had spent 3 months in the hospital at that time. This was at the beginning of 2013.
During these three months, I also suffered two times a brain hemorrhage, which left me with what they called hemianopsia. (Half sight blindness in both eyes on the right side of my field of vision). This resulted in me having problems with reading. I was reading a lot before this all happened. I think it was maybe around 2018, that I started reading more again. It is still difficult and it still costs me a lot of energy and time, but I think it is worth the time and effort.
In 2018 during a routine heart checkup, they discovered that I had heart failure. My heart is not pumping strong enough. With the aid of an upgraded pacemaker, they were hoping that this would be improved, but the improvement is very small so far. This heart failure also limits my daily activities.
Starting in 2015 it was also discovered that I had a reduced kidney function and maybe one or two years later they also discovered a kidney stone. In 2019 the stone was too big and it was decided that it was needed to crush the kidney stone. After several attempts, in December 2020, the stone was finally gone.
Writing As Therapy.
All the events had and still have a very big impact on yourself and your mental state. When I spent the 3 months in the hospital in 2012/2013, I came in contact with a psychologist. She advised me to try to write down my story, thoughts and maybe share them with a virtual me. And see how things go. I did this now and then for a while. It was maybe 2018/2019 that I started to write on my own website.
At first, I just kept it for myself. But after talking about it to other people, some of them told me to make it public. Share it with the world. There are more people out there that maybe go through the same things as me. And maybe my writing can help them or comfort them. It took me some time before I finally took the step and made my site public.
Slowly on I had set a small goal for myself. I decided to try to write at least 1 or 2 posts per month. So there would be no pressure on me. The more I started writing/blogging, the more I discovered that for me it was a way to get things out of my system. Instead of keeping it inside, it comes out. To be honest, it feels good. Things don’t keep on spinning in my mind anymore.
Not Only About My Health.
At this moment, I am not only writing about my health but now and then I also share my thoughts on some bible verses or about some church sermons I hear or watch on YouTube. I think it was midway 2015 that my wife and I got more involved in a Christian church. We also started to join small groups and started also a small local care group. We share a lot and also learn a lot. Writing about it also makes me think more about what we had learned. Again, to get it out of my system, I write about it.
It can be a scary thing, writing. Or maybe sharing your thoughts. But at one point, it is good to take the first step. Just something small. Maybe start with writing a letter to yourself. For me, as I mentioned before, the more I started writing, the more I got peace in my mind. The more I started to read about it. The more I got into it.
As I mentioned a few times, I write to get things out of my system. Maybe it sounds strange, but I noticed, that when I had written about a thing, my mind got in peace. It is like your mind had found peace in getting out and I was not thinking about it anymore.
My Writing Process.
Everyone has his own way of writing. For me, if I found something interesting to write about or share, normally I have a title. After that, my mind starts to think about it and already trying to think about what to write. Normally I mark down the title and the thoughts I had at that moment. And sometimes some short sentences or single words, so I have some idea what the idea for this post would be. And then I will leave it.
Once I sit down and start writing about it, it goes automatically. You get into a flow or zone. I also forget everything about the world around me. Sometimes when I look at the time, I find out that I am already busy for maybe one or two hours and did not even know it. Time literary flies then.
When I have this first draft, I will leave it again for a night. The next day I will go over it again and check for corrections that I need or want to make. And sometimes I will change a complete paragraph. Sometimes I read it several times. Only when things feel good, I will share the post with the world.
Sometimes it will maybe take two days. Other times it can take several days before I am finish and happy with it. But I am not in a hurry.
Last time I read a very good and nice remark from another blogger. Someone I am following on Medium and Facebook. His name is Tom Kuegler. He made several remarks in one of his last blog posts;
- I don’t like writing unless I’m having fun.
- Sure, it might not get a ton of views, and it might not be a good “strategic” decision, but at least I was having f****** fun.
- Enjoying writing should be the main goal, not views or money or email subscribers.
This is so true for me. I write because I like it and because I want to. I am having fun while doing it. I am not in a hurry. I just want to share and have peace of mind when I got it out of my system.
Everyone has different reasons why they write. Maybe they want to write a book, or just blog, or share their thoughts and opinion, or to find peace of mind.
For me, it started as therapy. That turned into blogging. And in the process, I started to like it and I am having fun while writing. It is something that needs to connect with you.
At first, it felt strange, uncomfortable. But after time, I started to like it. First a bit afraid if I would be good enough.
But writing is something personal. Everyone has his own style. You can read so many books or comments or tutorials on how to write, but everyone is different. Everyone will develop his or her own style. And that is good. The more you read, to more you learn.
Writing should be fun and not forced. When you write under pressure or when you are not having fun with it, you can see it in the writing. So just enjoy it.
Want to try it yourself?
Maybe you can start with a journal. When you search on the internet, you can find several online journals that are free. Just give it a go. Try to write to yourself or just share your thoughts in your journal. See what effect it can have on you and if you enjoy writing. Or just write in a text editor on your computer or whatever device you are using.
But don’t hurry things. Sometimes it needs time to grow on you.
So, how did writing help me through life?
Writing down my thoughts, and experiences will clear my mind. It gave me peace of mind. It helped me to process things. Things did not stay inside of me. As soon as I had written about it, it was gone for me. Or it had made some things clear. Some people talk about it, I write about it. For me, it is therapy.
I have no idea where this will lead me to in the future. I will wait and see and just have fun while writing.
As always, take care and stay safe.
This post also can be found on Medium.