Monday, January 30, 2012

Writing = Therapy

The New York Times published this article recently about a study that confirms that writing can be therapeutic - specifically, blogging.

The study was conducted with teenagers who, of course, were in a better state of mind if they blogged about their lives and insecurities and received positive comments on those blog posts than those who simply kept a diary or those who wrote nothing.

Our family lore includes me writing and  burying nasty notes about my siblings and parents in the brick sidewalk outside our farmhouse.  I was young.  Like first and second grade young.  My older sister once spied on me and witnessed me burying one of these notes, dug it up, and brought it to our mother - sure that I'd receive a proper punishment for the angry and condemning words I'd written about my family.  Instead, my older sister was admonished and told to return the note beneath its spot in the brick sidewalk.  My mom thought it was a good outlet for me and she wasn't going to discourage it.  Or let my sister.

So I guess my mom supported my writing from the beginning.

I do remember writing hateful notes about what I saw as my horrible family.  I once left a note on my bed saying something to the effect of, "I hate you all.  Goodbye."  and went to live in our tree house.  My dad came for me by sunset and promised me that no matter how bad things seemed, home was better than the alternative.  I remember thinking that I had nothing for supper up in that tree house, so I might as well go back home.

But what the writing did for me - in these bursts of fury - was make me feel better.  Exactly what this study found.  I like it when that happens.      

And that is why I love blogging today - although I try not to be a hater like my 6-year-old self clearly was.

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