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April 05, 2007

What Resistance to Writing Can Sound Like on the Telephone

A woman—a patient of mine—a breast cancer survivor—had been writing and keeping notebooks of her writing for several years, including a prolific bout of writing during the two years since she’d begun seeing me as a patient. She was and is a self-taught, energetic, and increasingly skillful writer. She’s creative, funny and gifted with language.

One morning I checked my messages at my office to find this:
[paraphrased to the best of my recollection]

You know what, I just realized that all this writing I’ve been doing—all this writing in notebooks—it’s just silly, it’s just dwelling on things that I don’t need to be dwelling on. And I just wanted to let you know that I packed it all up—all my notebooks and files—and I’ve put them in boxes and dragged them out to the curb to be picked up with the trash. Just thought you should know.

[to be continued]