Ok, so I am going back to school.....yeah, Yay me and higher education and all that. I promise this is the only time I will do this to you! My first assignment. Be harsh, let me know if I am going to fail miserable. I can take it. Trust me our government is much harder on me than any of you can ever be!
Reading, writing, one is for pleasure and the other is a necessity of life. At least that is what I always thought. Who would have guessed that these two basics of life would combine to become life saving techniques?
I learned to read at a young age. I fell in love with reading and with books. From the excitement of the second grade ‘special’ reading group to taking my son to the library, there is nothing about books or reading that I do not like. As an adolescent instead of losing myself in awkwardness I lost myself in books. It was books that helped me through the gracelessness of my preteen years and into my outgoing high school years. It was reading that assisted me through the rough patches of my early adulthood. Reading, something I thought I would only do for pleasure ended up being a safety net in my personal life.
My personal life is not the way I always imagined it would be. As my life has gone on I have lost myself in the safety that books provide, but stories end. When those stories end, there is an entire world out there and a life to live. My life overwhelms me at times. There was a day in the late ‘90s that I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know where to turn to, so I picked up a pen and I started to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote about things that I thought I had recovered from. I wrote about fears that if anyone knew about would be so embarrassing. I wrote about things no one is supposed to know about me. I wrote about the horror that my life had turned into. When I was done I was exhausted, but there was a feeling of relief. The feeling of wanting to end my life was no longer at the forefront of my mind. I continue to write almost every day. Writing ended up saving my life, and continues to be one of the techniques I use to save my life.
Writing is one of those things that I had always dreaded. Using the proper pronouns, coming up with adjectives, remembering the rules about prepositional phrases, or proper punctuation…none of these things were high on the list of best school memories. Proofing, reading, and writing are every day skills that have come to mean so much to me. “Learn as much by writing as by reading” is a quote that I once read by Lord Acton as I was browsing the internet. I have always thought that writing was just something that had to be done for school or for work and reading is how a person learns. I was so wrong in thinking that. I learned so much about myself, I continue to learn about myself through my writing. I still lose myself in my books. My most precious memories these days are the times spent cuddled up with my son reading to each other. But, I have learned to respect how powerful it is to use writing as a therapeutic technique. I may struggle with my technical writing abilities and there have been times when I cannot think of the right words. Writing may have been just something I had to do at one time, but I have come to enjoy it almost as much as I adore reading.