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Saturday, 9 January 2016
MY DRUG OF CHOICE Linda Mitchelmore confesses all.
Now then, before you send for the narcotics' squad I'm not talking noxious substances as such, but alternatives. We all get times in our lives when we need a little help and I thank my lucky stars I've always loved writing, be it letters to friends and relatives or finding something witty and pithy to say on a holiday postcard. And I'm not the only one. I have a much-published novelist friend who has said to me more than a few times, 'Aren't we lucky we write? For a while we can escape the awfulness of real life and create something preferable.' That's not to say she - or I - have horrible lives, but sometimes there's just no escaping sadness in our private lives or what is going on in the world around us. Where would the world be without writers to write books and articles and short stories which allow for a little escape now and then? I had never consciously thought about writing as therapy until a much loved cousin wrote me about a childhood trauma he'd suffered that I'd had no idea about. It was hard to know how to help. To start with I simply read the pages and pages of his past history that he wrote me. I felt we had a psychiatrist/patient/couch scenario and one I was happy to help him with.
And then I had another think. I suggested he wrote it all out as fiction. Give the sufferer another name. He accepted the challenge but took it a step further and wrote a play. And then another and another and another and he began to win competitions and be performed. And little by little he is healing. And there has been much cause for celebration along the way.
More recently I've begun to suffer with arthritis...... I won't bore you with the details. While it can be painful and limits what I can do some of the time I have found that when I am at the keyboard and I'm thinking of a new short story plot (or a new blogpost!) then all the aches and pains seem to mysteriously vanish. Until I get up again, that is! It seems to be almost like meditation and I don't like to think how much more difficult life would be for me if I didn't have writing to escape into. It gives me hope that if I can be pain free for as long as it takes me to write 3000 words or so then I could be pain free most of the time. So, I shall be hitting the keys! Getting my fix!