Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Writing

There has been so many changes in my life since I wrote the book "Shaking the Rattle  Healing the Trauma of Colonization. When I wrote that book, and it was published in 1996, I was moving from a career of counselling and being a Treatment Director, to becoming a writer and an artist. I detoured to SUNY Buffalo in Buffalo, NY where I achieved an MA in American Studies and had the privilege of being a guest lecturer in a few classes and becoming friends with a few of the professors and faculty members. After graduating with my MA I went home to lay on my mom's couch and be ill for about 6 months. I didn't realize how fried your brain could get doing academic work until I got out of it. I also didn't appreciate becoming ill during graduate school but that happened as well. One man saw me during that period and suggested I go on to get the Ph.D and I said very plainly "are you nuts?" and we both laughed.

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can create more than the usual symptoms. I became depressed and with that the symptoms exacerbated. I read when I felt like it but didn't get to the information about depression until another year had passed. That information says that depression comes when there is a death, a job loss, a chronic illness, relationship ending etc. Anything traumatic can cause depression and depression can cause illness as well.

So the writing started. It wasn't writing a novel or even poetry. It wasn't even an academic paper or essay (which I swore I'd never write - but now do) I had faithfully done morning pages from The Artist Way before going back to University for a year and a half. I knew deep down inside that I wanted to be a writer and an artist - I just didn't know how to get there. Then while recovering or recuperating or depressing and trying to figure out how to get out of it, I went for a drive to Massachusetts with my friend Martha to visit my friend Donna. Donna introduced me to a journaling technique that she does.  It was called PWriting or Proprioceptive Writing. This writing helped me so much that I was able to get back to seeing colours again- you know how everything looks gray when you are depressed? So this Pwriting was a miracle for me. I thought of trying to become a teacher of Pwriting but financially I was blocked. I taught a course for Mohawk College part time in late 2004-2005 and used that Pwriting on the students. It helped, even though they grumbled.

Now I want to go back to writing again - my art has taken up most of my time - but the writing is calling me. I'm going to be using the Pwriting and the Artists Way to help me focus again and I'm going to try to blog -writing. As my one favourite teacher used to say "time she marches on, and more will be revealed."

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