Writing as Therapy

Writing became a coping mechanism for disappointment, leading to an unexpected personal renaissance for me.

Tracy Gerhardt Cooper
Bulletproof Writers


Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash

In late 2015, I ran my first half marathon. This accomplishment was a miracle in itself. I’d never been athletic and had only taken up running a couple of years prior after years of overweight laziness. In my mind, I’d arrived at a place of wellness.

Not long after the race, I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. This was the ending to a story that had begun with increasing pain and discomfort in the last month of training. I’d ignored it, a foolish choice on my part.

Upon learning of my injury and that I was unable to run anymore, I became increasingly depressed and started having spells of anxiety. These were new feelings for me. The sudden absence of dopamine from running and the emotional and physical pain I was feeling pushed me into moods that were unsettling.

For months, I lived in a chronic state of sadness. This was peppered with unpredictable episodes of anxiety. It was awful. My spare time, spare as it was, had been consumed with running and all the benefits it provided. Something else had to take its place if I was to begin a journey of healing.