Down the Rabbit Hole

Have you ever felt like Alice in Wonderland when you approach sensitive topics for your journal or memoir? Or wonder if answering painful questions when interviewed is worth the effort? When I lose sleep over canstockphoto18533206painful issues in my life, I see Alice’s rabbit hole and fear falling down into the labyrinth of memories. Will I risk getting stuck in the quagmire of thoughts unspooling from the dark recesses of my soul? As memories stir I can feel the rough edges and instinctively rear back, startled, backpedaling to safer places in my psyche. The minute of revelation is poised on a pinprick of time, holding some strange power over me as I resist being submerged in a snarled tangle of unresolved issues.

So what good could possibly come from entertaining memories of pain, what good from assigning words to the mess?  You can’t change the past!

Studies have shown there are actually health benefits from writing or talking, such as lowered blood pressure, and increased immune and cardio-vascular function. Some people have even experienced relief of symptoms like asthma or arthritis pain. Emotional health benefits are touted too, like relief from depression or enhanced happiness as memories are put into words. Stress reduction, both emotional and physical is another benefit. 51HV+ckXYdL._AA160_A good book that reiterates these truths is Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives by Louise Desalvo if you’re interested in reading more about why and how you should write a journal or memoir!

Writing down your feelings can actually be your ladder out of that rabbit hole. The dangers of being stuck in the quagmire all but vanish as you find words for your story. Tangled cobwebs of thought are freed, thoughts that had been spiraling into themselves wreaking havoc on your soul clarify until they can enjoy the light of day. Seeing your thoughts and feelings on paper can make your experience more real and can lead to a final resolution of issues. May peace reign!

Take charge by writing about an emotional upheaval in your life. Your thoughts will become coherent and you’ll have a story that will enrich your memoir. Or tear those pages up, burn them, and you’ll reap the benefits of calm and peace.

Learning curve

Full confessions… I admit that I have been stumbling around FB and WordPress trying to figure out how to get them to jive together. Are they friends yet? I dunno. I wrote an “About” page so folks can know what this blog is all about. I am posting my “About” as a “Post” too. Just because I can.

I started a blog to convey my passion for storytelling. I will share stories I have heard from my clients and friends and hopefully jog the memories of readers. There will be opportunities for readers to post their own stories in the comments section. As stories are shared I hope to tease out the filigree of imagination both in my mind and the minds of readers. Often there is no intent to embellish a story, or stretch the truth, but a storyline can take a different direction as we strive to convey the unique way we experience life.

The telling of one shared event passing through the filters of two distinct people, filters of feelings, personality, maturity, or whether or not they had their morning coffee, can sound like two very different events. We’ve all had the experience of listening to someone else’s version and thinking,

“Were they really there with me? That’s not what I think happened!”

The story is truly in the eye of the beholder. If I share stories from my childhood I hope to engage my family to share their own versions which will often differ subtly or even dramatically from mine. As a story becomes part of a memoir it is important to validate that your memories, and my memories advance the storyline of our own unique lives. My life. Or your life. Human history is made up of stories, perspectives, visions of hope or cynicism, the deflation or exaltation of human egos. If you don’t tell your story, your version of your part in the human drama of history will be lost.