Therapeutic Writing

The Pain Associated with Writing

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A writing session on the next chapter of my book draft resulted in three weeks of lower back pain.  After days of avoiding the writing topic at hand, I finally dove into addressing church life for the unmarried minister over forty.  Knowing it would be a painful topic I prayerfully began writing nonstop. By days end I could hardly move. My back tightened from the emotions I finally had the courage to express in writing.  

For the next day and a half, I alternated between my bed and the sofa. Taking ibuprofen to help alleviate the pain was to no avail. Three weeks later I am moving around freely once again.  However, I can’t blame it all on suppressed emotions. My doctor prescribed shoe inserts had been unutilized for a few months. I found them stifling and limiting my shoe options. Since I feeling great once again I stopped using them.  That pain returned with a vengeance.

During that writing session last month I made an effort to describe the unexpressed emotions I felt as a born-again unmarried believer. The pain of not being a wife and mother yet called to minister the gospel along with the stigma attached.  It’s an issue I have only addressed in the privacy of my journals until now. Insinuations regarding my sexuality were made known. My commitment to living a holy life for Christ (for which I have) not once brought to the forefront. Making this private pain made known publicly through my own writing has been a painful yet necessary journey.

On the flipside of this story. My unwillingness to wear shoes along with the inserts prescribed by my podiatrist resulted in unnecessary pain to my lower back. Vanity! What else can be said?  “All is vanity…” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). My former logic was that I simply had too many shoes to go down without a fight, but sadly the pain won. On the upside, however, at least I have a new reason to go shoe shopping.

The glamorous life of a single person is simply a myth. Especially when you’re ill. The act of having to fend for yourself while enduring pain of any kind is simply too overwhelming to think of. That is unless you have a relationship with God. This relationship has sustained me for the last thirty years. It’s been exactly thirty years this month and I am forever grateful.

As I write this I am listening to classical music from a YouTube channel. I cannot help but to be thankful for the lessons I’ve learned during this time.  The first of which is to wear the custom orthotics and find a way to make them fashionable. I’m up for the Challenge. Second, know that suppressed anger will find a way to manifest itself. Learn how to handle it by journal writing on an even deeper level. Too much has happened in life not to.

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