Writing is something most westerner take as a given. However, when you decide that writing is more than just a handy tool to fill out forms or send the occasional email, things change.
What a strange feeling it was for me to relive my life and document it on computer screen. I wrote thirty thousand words, my life captured and edited. What stared as a great book idea turned into far more. I was nearly forty seven and had been through some major life changing experiences. Literally every aspect of my life had taken a hit. I was in an unusual spot, full of conundrums and metaphorical brick walls.
- Mentally unwell
- Going through divorce
- Kids rejected me
- Family not able to understanding or hold me.
- PTSD recovering but undiagnosed
- Bipolar 1, manic mostly due to wrong medications
- Mostly agitated
I am fifty now and every aspect has changed for the better, a key was writing, there is healing in writing. Yes, it’s horrendous at the time, I remember regurgitating my father’s fatal trench cave in when I was eight. I got hold of the Tasmanian police and they posted the full report, even photographs of him buried up to his neck deceased. I felt sick in my stomach for two days after reading it and seeing him. I thought after my experiences in a specialised oncology hospital in spiritual care I had seen the coalface of human suffering and would be fine, wrong I suffered, however, I still kept writing.
My tale is long and painful in so many ways, but also so many fond memories of country life in Tasmania, fishing, camping, etc. my bipolar was Undiagnosed till I was forty, you can imagine the mess I created and yet I regurgitated it all onto the screen. One manic morning I awoke at four am and did not stop writing for six hours. Forgetting to eat, drink and even stretch or make a motion. It become my obsession, but also my best therapists. I documented everything I could from memory, as young as I could think of. My annoyance and anxiety started to subside. I also realised the book was for me and decided to let all my past rest. I deleted it. Yes, let it all go, all the hard times, failed business, failed marriage, victim mentality all, everything deleted. The book served its role well, and my life is completely different these days. I won’t expound on all my new life and experiences here because this post is for any of you going through hell at any age and writing, don’t quit. It’s not easy, and can be lonely, yet, without writing, I am sure I would not be in the beautiful place I am today.
Noteworthy, Buddhism has been a focus also for me in the last couple of years and certainly has played a significant role in improving my quality of life on so many levels.
On meditation not just enlightenment motivation
As we gain in experience and self-understanding, and as we acquire full appreciation for the nature and quality of our own feelings, we find that the positive feelings (love, compassion, etc.) are satisfying, meaningful, and wholesome experiences in and of themselves. That is, they have their own inherent worth and intrinsic value independent of any world view or religious dogma. Conversely, greed, hatred, lust, etc., are agitating, discomforting experiences (i.e., dukkha) which when present preclude a full realization of the happiness born of love and equanimity. Thus the realization of positive feelings and relinquishment of negative feelings are the major goals and motivations of meditation.Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology by Douglas M. Burns