Want to know a secret? Secrets can make you sick, and you can use your writing skills for better health.
It’s no secret that the body and mind are knotted together in a symbiotic dance. For instance, if you have a headache, chances are you’ll not be in a good mood. Conversely, feeling drained or stressed can give you a headache. Our moods influence our eating choices, disrupt our sleep, raise our blood pressure, and create digestive problems. When a deep secret haunts your life, your moods and health will both be affected. Therapists often uncover secrets because they easily see the signs, such as anorexia, drug addictions, or anxiety.
Most people have some secrets that are kept tucked away. Some secrets are generally benign, such as: “I tell my friends I’m happy being single, but I secretly wish I were married.” Some secrets are dark and deep and emotionally draining. Your secrets have helped shape who you have become.
Writing is a cathartic outlet. Writers often put a piece of themselves into their characters, and in the process, evolve through self-exploration. As you craft your stories, remember that it can be very helpful to drag those secrets out of the closet and write about the experience. To help remove your writer’s block, ask yourself the following questions:
• If the secret is a result of a traumatic event, how did you feel at the time?
• What beliefs have encouraged you to keep the secret?
• Do you feel judged? If so, by whom?
• What is it like to carry around a suitcase full of shame?
• Are you trying to numb your mind by forgetting about the secret, or by alcohol or drugs?
• If you have revealed your secret to a loved one, how did it feel? What did your loved one say to you?
Recently, I was driving in a run-down part of Chicago with Sandy, an old pal. As she and as I passed by an alley, a deep-seated memory flashed before my eyes. I had been raped in that alley when I was a teenager, and I had completely forgotten about the incident. I had a boyfriend at that time, and because the boyfriend beat the rapist to a bloody pulp, I felt vindicated. I told Sandy about this, and she was shocked. She encouraged me to write about the experience in my next book. I told her that I never thought about the incident, stating that it doesn’t bother me. She objected, telling me that this is a significant, life-altering event that deserves my attention. Having her support was a huge relief. I will be adding the incident to my next book.
I wish sound health to you all, and hope that you find strength and peace through writing.
Keep writing and keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz