Engage: Why writing is my form of therapy

Author, Will Green (35) is a former alcoholic and mental health sufferer who is passionate about raising awareness of mental illness. He talks to us about how he uses writing as a form of therapy.

Writing had been suggested to me various times by therapists as an avenue to explore in my search for “happiness”, but it wasn’t until quite a few years later that I actually took their advice. There was no big revelation or flash of inspiration but one day I just gave it a go. It wasn’t a quick fix, I had to push myself to do it at times but I found I enjoyed it and began to do it more and more.

Here are my top 3 reasons why writing can be used as a form of therapy:

1) It puts things into perspective: Putting pen to paper enabled me to step back from what I was feeling and going through, gain some breathing space and see how self-destructive I’d become. It helped me to focus on what was really important in my life and one of the factors that helped me turn it around.

2) It gives you a sense of value: It got to the point where it became important to me that my writing was of a good standard and I was even starting to feel proud of it.That was a first for me and a massive step forward in my recovery.  A couple of years ago, I never would have thought that I’d be working with great organisations like Rethink and inspiring other writers by giving talks at events like the London Book Fair.

3) It replaces bad habits: When I started writing I was going through a period of my life when I was fighting depression and trying to get sober, and it became a substitute for my vices in many ways. It was a healthy coping strategy to replace all the unhealthy ones I had picked up along the way and all I needed to do it was a pen, paper and my imagination.

About the Author

Will Green’s debut novel Default Setting: A Nervous Breakdown is an insightful, unflinching, and, in places, darkly humorous look at heartbreak, addiction and falling apart. It’s available as a £2.69 download on i-tunesAmazon and Google Play and has an average customer rating of 5/5. Want to know more about Will? See here for his recent article for Rethink on growing up with mental health issues, or tweet him on @WillGreenAuthor.

Will was writing on the Rethink blog which you can follow here: https://www.rethink.org/news-views