My response, written in class last Wednesday.
Though I cringe when it's said and I've fought it for years, it's actually true that writing is therapy. When we write without crossing out every word we say, we are healing our wounded writers and by proxy our wounded selves. We are not therapists- at least most of us aren't- but we are each our own patients capable of writing our way through and towards some kind of healing. As we write and create our stories, aspects of ourselves come together in a new way like connective tissue over a wound. I have hated God and known for a fact that God hated me. My body has been cut open and stitched back together. I've lost babies and boyfriends and dear friends. I've been the heartbreaker and the heartbroken, second best, invisible and right up front, very out loud. Each story I write about the lives I've experienced and the lives I've witnessed has been a bandage, gauze, brace, staples and stitches until I could walk on my own again. We come with big and little sorrow, great and simple joy. We drag ourselves through the mud and recite prayer on mountaintops. We answer our own questions. We ask questions we didn't even know we wanted answers to. This isn't an hour on the couch, it's flight straight through to the interior. There's no one to tell us what to do next in our marriages or with our children or our careers or our homes or our next meals. But we can look at what we have and where we've come from and decide to claim it as our own. We can say "this is my voice speaking my truth at least for this moment and it may be universal or freakishly unique, it may be unacceptable or rude, it may not be polite dinner conversation but it is what I've pulled up from inside of myself that can sustain me even when I'm alone." I guess it is cheaper than therapy: a notebook, a pen and a truckload of guts.