How Writing Helps Me With My Fears

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As a widow, I know the power of the written word.  I know that when I feel sad and alone, if I go to my computer, I can write my way through the pain.  Maybe it is just knowing that writing it down, makes the fears, anxiety, and loneliness dissipate marginally.  Writing is therapeutic and sorts the neuroses I have about the pandemic into an order I can analyze and describe, thereby helping me through my angst.  When my husband Peter died five years ago, I found my way back to sanity through writing. 

The pandemic has increased my anxiety to the nth degree.  Not only am I alone, but I am alone in the scariest of times.  I have fears about getting the virus.  I have fears that I might not survive it.  I have claustrophobic fears about a ventilator.  I have fears about being constantly cooped up. These fears surface and I go to write them down so I can process my emotions in a more rational way.  I know that these feelings are mine and mine alone with nobody judging them.  I know I have a safe zone when I write and can say the scariest and most outrageous things without consequence. 

In addition to writing about feelings, I find that making lists of my favorite binge-worthy shows and sharing them with friends is comforting.  I find that writing down the dishes that I have cooked and rating them from 1 to 10 works wonders. Miso glazed salmon scored a 10 plus.  Overcooked, dried-out pork chops barely merited a minus 2!  I like making a list of my favorite books so that I can share them on social media or challenge others to do the same.  If you have artistic ability, share pictures and drawings with friends.  Unfortunately, the only thing I can draw is Charlie Brown or Snoopy!

If you want to be funny in your writing, go for it.  Humor is the best help for depression.  Cracking myself up by watching the funny movie The Heat is a good thing.  Laughing with my neighbors and friends about how we can’t understand each other through the masks.  The other day, my friend said “did you hear the president’s latest tweet?”   I said “you have a problem with your feet?”  Who knew we all lip read?  I laugh about the way we get ourselves dolled up for Zoom meetings where you can barely see each other in the small squares.  And don’t get me started with chuckling over our hair roots!

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