If you know me, you know that being able to write about my journey into my new life with MS is helping me hugely. It’s the reason why I keep this blog going. Because even when I haven’t written anything for a while, as soon as I pick up my laptop, I realise how much I have missed it.
What you may not know is that I have a written a lot more than is published on this blog. And that’s because there is stuff that is for my eyes only, subjects that are very personal and I only write about them as a way to help me deal with those things.
Expressive Writing for people with Chronic Illness
As part of a challenge to myself, I recently enrolled in a 31-day Expressive Writing course, specifically designed for people with Chronic Illness and Pain. The course was developed by professional counsellor Esther Smith and concentrates on coming to terms with how life has changed since becoming ill, the challenges of daily life with chronic illness, how relationships are affected and more.
Although I already know how cathartic writing can be, this course opened up many more dimensions for me. There is a big variety of prompts to journal about. Without giving too much away, to start off with, I was encouraged to draw a timeline of my entire life with all the important events I remembered. I found that once I got started, more and more things crept up that I had almost forgotten about.
The course encourages participants to not worry about spelling or grammar or even which medium they use to write, but simply to just do it. And I think this is really key to it being of any benefit. I’m very much someone who could just keep on going once I started. There were a few prompts that enabled me to just write about anything that came to mind at that moment.
I must say though, not every prompt was easy. Some of the subjects are difficult, some of them I have yet to do because I’m not quite ready to face them. I know that this is the point and very much the process of using writing to heal, so I will tackle them when I have mustered up the courage.
I should mention that the course does have a whole section on my relationship with God. Personally, this isn’t relevant to me but is obviously relevant to many others and therefore should be a crucial part of any such program. Faith plays an important role for many dealing with what life throws at them in general.
I think that the course is comprehensive and really good value for money. It can help you deal with the emotional stress that comes with living with Chronic Illness. Often, I found myself writing for much longer than the prompt asked for and getting some important stuff off my chest which really helped me lift my mood. Do yourself a favour, and make this course part of your self-care regime!
Find the course here: https://lifeinslowmotion.thinkific.com/courses/expressive-writing
*For the purpose of this review, I was given the course contents for free. My opinion and findings are of course my own and completely honest.