I need your secrets and techniques! The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) Jefferson City, MO chapter is graciously allowing me to speak on the topic of Writing to Heal on June 6th at their monthly meeting. The structure of their meetings is that they have a speaker that everyone sits in on for 45 minutes before dividing into groups of family members and consumers. So I will be speaking to both groups at the same time.
I feel that family members have almost as much to heal from as consumers do. Family members often take the brunt of an ill individual’s symptoms, as I know my husband does. He takes my anger, my sorrow, my fear, and my joy, sometimes all in the same day! I have emotionally abused him and manipulated him, especially in the earliest years of my illness while they were looking for the correct treatment. So when I advocate, I advocate for the whole family unit, not just the consumer.
I want to teach family members and consumers alike that they need to heal and can heal through writing. I used to communicate to my husband in writing because I couldn’t articulate my feelings verbally as he could. But there was a time when he needed a journal, too. Writing can be private or you can share it.
Here is your chance to speak up. What has helped you, family member or consumer, heal from particular episodes in your life? If it was writing related, share the nature of what prompted you to write. Did you use prompts? Did you free write? Did you do a bullet journal? Did you create art in your journal or doodle in the margins? Are you a family member or a consumer? Did you wish the other person(s) in your life journalled as well? Any information you can provide about your healing experiences, whether you are family or consumer, would be helpful. Do it in the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month! Please and thank you!!!!