Tuesday, December 20, 2011

And So I Will Write

As I write this story, it can take days, weeks, months for me to verbally construct the most important scenes of my story, the moments before and after the hingepoint of my life.  A draft of a complete chapter is the product of dozens of hours of writing and - what's more - a thousand vivid revisits to my bedroom on the morning of December 23.

Let me tell you, this process can lay patterns and pictures in a girl's mind that can begin to shape her days.

And so, I've been counseled, advised, and requested to please put such writing on hold.  At least until I live this season.  Live it, then write about it.

Except in living it, I'm remembering, recalling it, putting words to it.  Every single day.

And if I'm remembering it, I can't let it go.  It's how artists work: the idea simmers and stirs until it twists and starts, bursting to breathe.

I can't very easily put a lid on this pot.

After and throughout such a tragic crisis, many people have said, "I just needed to get back to work.  I needed to do my job, engage the routines of my mind, and do the familiar."

Writing is my work.  I am writing this story.  

In the early days of this year, people, kindly and wisely, said to me, "You should wait 3-6 months before you see a counselor, before you begin therapy."  I guess there is a theory that one's mind should recover from the trauma before healing can truly take place.

And yet I thought, and said to them, "But what do I do until then?"  Do I just sit in this until somebody sets me free to start putting the pieces together?

No.  I began therapy right away.  This has been one of my best decisions this year.

And here I am, faced with the questions: to write or not to write?  To revisit the trauma with words or only in my mind?  To get through this month or to write through it?

But how do I get through it if I don't write through it?

The final verdict, from the therapist who holds my deepest respect and all of my story: 

"Tricia, get writing.  Trust that need like you trust your appetites.  Just like you eat when you're hungry, please write when you're stirring.  When you feel like you've written enough, or if you feel like you're writing too much and pushing too hard, then give yourself a break.  If it's helping you, lean into it.  Get writing, girl."

And so I will write.  

Through sunshine and rain, 
Christmas lights and Christmas carols, 
silver bells and jingle bells, 
holding on and letting go,

I will write.  And this is how I will live.


Jaimie said...

I think the key to recovery is giving yourself permission to do what you want to do. So many people see writing as a chore and so of course they counsel you to postpone it.

Andrea said...

Amen- so well said. Go with your gut- writing, like singing or playing an instrument- allows us to express the things that cannot come out of our mouth. Instead, they come from deep within the gut. God bless you this season- and while you're remembering the pain and heartache and trauma and even the healing that has taken place this last year, I pray that He would fill you with all good things.

Kay Day said...

Writing is so therapeutic. Absolutely write. I don't know how a writer deals with anything in life without writing about it.

Donna said...

I totally get it. I process through writing as well. (Though I don't do it nearly as well as you do!)

Paula said...

The familiarity of your blog pushed tears from my eyes. I, unexpectedly, lost my son in Oct 2010. He was my first born and the other half of my heart. I too have blogged about the experience and find it so cleansing. Thank you for sharing your story, write sistah, write! Blessings to you!

Britt said...

Tricia - I know I am only one of many, many readers you will never meet.

Readers who learn through your writing, your insights.

Please know that I think of you often, pray for your regularly, and am holding you & your boys before God's throne of grace in a special way over this anniversary season.

Britt said...

Tricia - I am only one of many, many readers who you will likely never meet.

Readers who learn and are touched through your writing, your insights...

Know that I think of you often, pray for your regularly, and am holding you & the boys up to God's throne of grace (key word: grace) in this anniversary season.