On Friday, Susan
posted about narrative medicine
to a large extent, that's what Nickie's Nook has become for me. It is a way to promote healing, deal with pain, fatigue and frustration, understand my thoughts and feelings and seek support. Hopefully, it's also a way to educate others about blindness, pain and other things in my life.
In my class on disability/illness in lit and science (I need a shorter way to refer to this), we've discussed the idea of stories, or narratives, being how we understand and give meaning to things we deal with. The way in which I talk about blindness tells a story. That story can either be happy or sad or anything else. But that story represents how I think about blindness. Telling the story of getting RSD also shows how I give meaning to that disorder.
This blog, for the most part is a series of interlocking stories or narratives. They tell others about how I view life, and the meaning things have for me. They are shaped by language and words. The choice of words I use will shape your understanding of the situation. If we talk, my inflection will shape your understanding as well.
What we often forget is that the stories can shape the way the teller understands the situation too. If I tell the story with hope, that hopeful story is going to stick in my mind. If I change a sentence from "What if x happens?" to "If x happens, I can..." or "I don't know what will happen, but I'll deal with it when I come to it", my story is more hopeful than a cliff-hanger. That story is now about brainstorming, instead of freaking out.
Isabella Mori posted today about using journaling as a
I find this idea to be interesting, though right now, blogging is the dialogue I need. If I do write privately, I actually do find that a dialogue happens naturally. Dialogue can be a powerful example of story telling too, I think.
All of these thingslead me to believe that blogging could be a powerful form of medicine. Blogging is a form of distraction from pain, a good outlet for the pain that can be constructive (if done carefully), a good way to get to know others and a good source of support. Feeling alone is one of the worst things when you're in pain. It's easy to construct a more cynister meaning to the story if you're the only one you think is listening. I don't think we'll ever get to the point of prescribing blogging instead of medication or exercise, but it's one more tool, and a great way to engage in narrative medicine.