“I have been given this course as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although this course was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”
“31 Days of Expressive Writing for Chronic Illness and Pain” is an online course from Esther at Life In Slow Motion. The course gives you 10 – 15-minute journaling assignments to help you work through your feelings, grief, and other personal responses to life with chronic illness and/or pain.
I have to say that this was an experience far beyond what I expected, in a very positive way. It taught me that I wasn’t as “okay” with my health situation as I thought I was. And it also showed me that as a writer, I wasn’t using my skills to help me. I use my blog to share my stories and experiences to help others; however, I wasn’t going deep enough to get to what was really going on with me.
Right from the start, the Expressive Writing course gets to the point, asking you to journal your thoughts, emotions, feelings regarding grief, support systems, and everything to do with handling your own chronic pain or illness. The first chapter deals with your story and has you putting your life on a timeline. I at first thought that was a daunting task but it was actually very enlightening. From there you dig deeper and narrow things down to writing about a day in your life.
Each chapter is divided into daily assignments for a total of 31 days. Now I must confess that this was my downfall. While I try to be very disciplined, since my chronic pain has ramped up in the last few months and I have been having other symptoms, I didn’t get to it every day. However, when I did, I would do several assignments and loved it. For me, doing 2 or 3 at a time kept my interest and writing energy up.
There is a spiritual aspect to this that I personally loved. Esther quotes some verses and then asks you to use them for inspiration. It is not overly done but does bring God to the forefront. Faith can play a huge roll in accepting chronic diagnoses.
I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t mind writing and is dealing with chronic illness and/or pain. You get to write what is deep inside your heart and no one but you ever sees it. The task of writing a letter to someone who hurt me because of my illness was particularly healing for me.
When I started this course I really didn’t know what to expect. Oh, it’s a writing course and I love to write. But I was so wrong. It is an expressive writing course and that is so much more.
I am going to keep my answers to all the questions as a reminder any time a feeling or emotion that was discussed comes up. I am sure I can always find more ways to express them.