Writing is my music; it allows me to express myself. Through the use of figurative language, like metaphors, I can put into words what walking through this journey has felt like. Often times people don’t understand what experiencing a difficult situation like this has been like because they are not in my body or have not lived life every waking second the past several months with an illness. Therefore, writing gives me a voice to express to others what living my life is like.
The use of words and writing has helped me through a handful of different circumstances. For instance, I have seizures and have been taught distraction techniques that are suppose to help abort the seizure from happening. Those techniques never work for me, they just prolong the time before the seizure occurs. Words helped me explain to health care professionals how the ordeal of having a seizure is similar to that of vomiting. Just as a person feels funny before it happens and exhausted but better afterwards, it’s the same with my seizures. I am exhausted afterwards as they take a toll on my body, but I feel better after it’s all done and over with as the severe symptoms I get as leading up to the event are finally gone. I won’t have been able to express how my body felt in this particular situation if it wasn’t for the use of words.
Despite words helping me to communicate messages from what I’m experiencing, there was also a time where I lost the ability to do that exact thing. My condition took away my ability to physically write pen to paper and use keyboards on an electric devices. I know, sounds kind of bizarre, but it really did occur for a period of time. The pathway from my brain to my hands that tell them how to move to string letters into words had stopped working properly. My hands weren’t able to carry out the message that I had in my brain. It was like playing the game telephone that when the message finally reached my hands it was not the same message that was at the beginning in my brain. (see example of how this translated into real life via text messages in the picture) However, I was determined to correct this and I did. How did I manage to restore this function? By using the same thing that was broken. I would purposely journal everyday to help to continue to re-establish that neural pathway. I would journal about whatever came to my mind that day whether it was the raw emotions I was feeling or analyzing a situation that occurred. Over time this method proved to work and my writing got better and eventually returned to a semi normal state.
As I continued to write I realized how much I stilled loved it as a way to express ideas, thoughts, and emotions. I have been journaling constantly for two years, but when I went through a health crisis I realize how helpful writing was as a way to cope and process what was going on. Over the past few months in particular writing has helped me cope and analyze what events have taken place, but it has also helped me in the areas of occupational therapy and speech therapy. It has helped me in the speech realm because it has helped to improve my cognition and be able to articulate my thoughts more precisely. In OT it has helped me to gain better motor control and coordination of my hands. (see paragraph above about learning to write all over again, the act of writing in an example of an occupational therapy task.) Along with helping my brain, it has helped me to emotionally cope and understand things that I didn’t think about when going through the situation at first. When I write blog posts many revolve around things that have already happened. Going back and reliving the memories associated with a certain time helps me to heal from going through it and make things I didn’t think about at first come to light.
Writing has been a therapeutic task for me in a number of areas. Just as musicians say that music is their way of expression and use of voice; it’s the same for writing with me. Writing is my voice and has helped me realize my identity. In the beginning starting this blog was hard due to how my writing skills where decreased as an effect of my neurological condition. However, just like with gaining back the physical abilities, I am slowly regaining my ability to flush out my thoughts completely in a coherent way thanks to blogging.
I encourage you to find what allows you to have a voice. Maybe it’s music, maybe it’s writing, or maybe it’s something else like art. Finding your voice through a type of media in the world can help you to express yourself in ways you didn’t think were possible. Every one of us has a story to share and finding your voice is the best catalyst to getting that story out into the world. You never know, your story might just be the inspiration that someone needs to hear to find their voice.
– The Functionally Faulty Girl, Caroline
*** the information on this blog is meant for informational purposes only and is based off of the author’s personal experience and does not replace information given by a licensed physician***