My friendship with the written word began as soon as I could hold a pen. By the time I was 11 years old, and developing Anorexia Nervosa, I had started to keep a diary. Fifty years later, I continue to keep a diary. Taking 10 to 20 minutes each day to sit and write about thoughts, feelings or experiences is as important to me as eating three meals and three snacks a day.
I can ‘say’ whatever I like in my diary and it does not answer back. It absorbs and shares my load. It does not judge. I can share anything with my diary. And I do. It records moments in time, helps sort thoughts and gain fresh perspectives. Upon closing my diary at the end of each entry, I always feel at peace, I feel safe and secure.
I credit my passion for writing with saving my life. Decades of my diaries are filled with what seems another life. In many ways it was – a life dominated by an eating disorder. A misunderstood, confused, tormented life that at times barely clung to sanity. Writing helped me pull through, helped me regain my identity and find my wings of freedom.
Diaries are a major resource in my memoir, A Girl Called Tim. Writing this book has opened many
Today, my love of writing is taking me around the world.
Today, my love of writing is taking me around the world. In September, I will travel to the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada to interview families for a new book on multi-family-based therapy. I am excited about this new book, which I am co-authoring with Prof. Ivan Eisler. Academics are fast discovering that ‘evidence from experience’ is a compelling and effective way to get their evidence-based research message out to the masses.
Narratives or life writing contributes to our emotional health and fosters social connections – at every age, writing about our life helps us connect with our own self and be understood by others.
Today I share my love of writing with others in workshops designed to help improve feelings of wellness and empower people to feel acknowledged and comfortable in sharing their story, their memories and experiences. Everyone has a story to tell.
Personal stories help loved ones, carers, and others to appreciate the rich life experience and understand the thoughts and feelings and values of the story-teller.
Personal stories help raise awareness that even when we are young, or old, or sick and frail, we still have much to offer!
By writing about our life, besides providing caregivers insight into our needs, we are preserving our life experience in a story that will be cherished by our children and grandchildren and by communities at large, for generations to come.
If you have not started to write, start now:-)