Here Until I’m Gone
Here Until I’m Gone: 40 Poems About Trauma, Illness, And The Inevitability Of Death is a booklet of poetry by Mio Angelo of Mentally Ill in America.
The poems capture the challenges of living with chronic mental illness, including dealing with the ignorance of others. He writes about finding healing from past traumas and ongoing struggles dealing with difficult relationships. The poems cover personal territory, but also touch on broader social social issues. While it’s a book that’s largely about struggle, it also has positives, and ends on a hopeful note
Readers familiar with his blog will recognize Mio’s distinctive, defiant voice as well as his determination to keep going no matter what chronic mental illness throws at him.
Some thoughts on therapeutic writing
I’m not poetry-minded, so I tend to be fairly short on things to say when reviewing poetry books, but I wanted to talk a bit about the different ways that have potential for therapeutic writing. I see lots of people in the blogosphere writing poetry, and I can see how that would be a great therapeutic outlet if one were so inclined. Poetry has never been my thing, though; it just doesn’t seem to fit with how my mind works.
Journalling or journal-style blogging is another obvious therapeutic writing outlet. I used to journal more, but now I have a bullet journal that I primarily use for tracking various health factors. I occasionally do some free-form writing in my journal, but that doesn’t happen much. Since I started my blog, I’ve mostly stayed away from journal-style blog posts. Partly that’s a matter of preference, but it’s also because there just isn’t a lot to talk about in my day to day life. I also find that writing about things around the time that they’re happening has less value for me than reflecting back afterwards.
Memoir-writing and semi-autobiographical novels are some other therapeutic writing options. I can see both as being powerful ways to tell one’s story. I’ve written before about being a bit hesitant on writing a memoir, and I seem to have drifted further away from the idea over the past year. I’m not sure that I would get a lot out of writing it at this stage of the game. It’s not totally off the table, but it’s not going to happen any time soon.
At this point, the kind of writing that’s most therapeutic for me is the kind of stuff I’m doing on the blog. I’m a geek who loves to learn. Depression slows my brain way down, and looking stuff up for blog posts is a great form of mental exercise. Even if I’m not working through my own thoughts and feelings in my writing (and to be honest, I don’t have much of the former, and not a lot of variability in the latter), the brain exercise is still very therapeutic.
So, those are some of my thoughts when it comes to writing. What forms of writing are most therapeutic for you?