How I Used Writing To Overcome My Mental Health Struggles

Like many other writers with mental health struggles, using writing to heal has been a huge part of my mental health journey. When my first symptoms of bipolar disorder and a dissociative disorder were emerging, I began journaling. To keep from drowning in my emotions, I wrote about my extreme feelings of joy, anger, and depression. I wrote about my abusive, untreated father with bipolar disorder and the abandonment I felt. These feelings were not allowed in my family.

Later, I would pour my heart and soul out on paper expressing my reactions to the nonstop flashbacks. Other alters would write about their pain and suffering. I would read their stories and cry. The feelings would bubble over until I felt as though I would drown. Writing was my only release. Writing became a way for me to connect with my alters, to feel the pain that my mind kept hidden from me, and to process that pain.

My secret dream had always been to be a writer. In college, I was an English major for a year and was about to transfer to a school for creative writing when I panicked. This actually happened quite a lot when I would reach for a dream.

Fear Stopped Me For Much Of My Life, But Not Anymore

My mother also contributed to my fear albeit indirectly. An artist herself, she sagely suggested I stay away from the arts. She encouraged me to get a stable career. Always the dutiful daughter, I pursued and earned a degree in nursing. I slogged through the highs and lows of my untreated bipolar disorder only to be diagnosed after having my son one semester before graduation.

I have an aversion to secrets because of the early trauma I suffered. Therefore, I spent much of my personal life and nursing career speaking openly (and facing the consequences) about my mental Illness. Ending stigma for those who couldn't speak out became my primary goal.

Despite speaking openly about mental illness, it wasn't until the past year that I got up the courage to write about my journey with mental illness and connect with other writers with mental health struggles. Ending stigma surrounding mental illness is too important for me to stay silent. Using my knowledge as a former mental health nurse and expertise living with mental illness, I birthed my blog - Live Mentally Well.

Since then, I have found a support system online for writers with mental health struggles that I never expected, and I am so blessed to be following my dream and helping others along the way. My mission is to empower, encourage, educate one person at a time to overcome stigma. I would love if you would join me.

About The Author:

Brandy Higgins, RN, BSN is the writer of Live Mentally Well-Better Living Thru Mental Wellness. Lifelong Mental Health Survivor. Live Mentally Well is impacting our community and the world by inspiring mental wellness one person at a time. She writes about mood disorders, Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, Christian Mental Health, Anxiety Disorders, Childhood Trauma, PTSD, and Dissociative Disorders. Join her on her recovery journey at Live Mentally Well. You can connect with Brandy through email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.


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