There we were at the first of eight sessions of Writing for the Health of It. Since it was the program’s debut at Wellspring Chinguacousy, none of the seven of us knew exactly what to expect, but we were game.
Our facilitator‘s gentle manner created a safe environment in which we could share our deepest feelings and experiences, if we so desired. She made it clear that this wasn’t about our writing ability or technique. Instead, the purpose was to get memories onto paper, to consider things we wanted to change in our lives, and to write about our hopes and fears for the future. Rather than solving problems, through writing we would work through them, along with any challenges that lay ahead.
This was my first experience attending a Wellspring program. What I found to be most fascinating was each person’s response to the writing assignment. With absolute freedom to write what surfaced within us, some responded to the exact question or statement, while others elected to either tell a story aloud or they wrote on a different aspect altogether. We learned that none was incorrect. For what was important was reflecting on the topic, being introspective and seeking our respective responses and then getting out what emerged from inside each one of us in a presentable format.
It was through the interest from other women writers in the group that our confidence grew both in writing and in sharing. We evolved into more confident women, who weren’t embarrassed about participating in a “show and tell” exercise or to laugh at ourselves or shed a few tears as we dug deep and cheered each other on. By the last session, we had a better understanding of ourselves and a deepened respect for the road each of us is travelling through our respective cancer journeys.