Exactly how cathartic is storytelling during isolation?!

The world is an infinitely complex place.

So much choice. So many distractions. Within this blur of activity and noise, how can we find the right path to self-care, when the route that leads us there is buried in the chaos of an online world?

For me, my one symbol of serenity and simplicity is the pen. When I feel it in my grip, my heart slows, and my lungs inhale and exhale gently. My body knows I’ve granted it a moment of respite—a chance to purge the rot and bring issues gently into the light.

Words drop onto the page, like anvils at first. Clamouring out my head with a careless disregard for order or form, concentrating mostly on imitating the sentiments of the heart. It’s not an easy thing to capture emotion and experience in mere words. Still, when we lay bare our innermost feelings, there is a vulnerability and rawness that is magnificently captivating. An authenticity that allows others to step into our world, and perhaps find common ground, synergy or a sense of catharsis from within this other person. It is a time when heart and mind speak as one.

We are every one of us, a living, breathing, storybook.

When we choose to share these stories, we can take the fear from them, and we can relive the joys. It all starts with allowing a space in your head and then allowing them to escape from within. Inside our brain, caged and alone, these stories can become twisted and warped. Without perspective and clarity, memories may distort breeding guilt, shame and worry. These, in turn, can infect other, more beautiful memories, and as the years roll by, it may be hard to remember what happened at all.

And that is why I believe wholeheartedly in the catharsis of storytelling—unravelling our thoughts and experiences through writing and sharing. Seeing ourselves in the works of others, as our human themes rotate and recur. Then, allowing others, through our writing, to feel connected with someone who has trod that same path, and felt the same sting. There is a power in that. And it is possible to harness it and create the life we want for us and those around us.

By nature, humankind is a social beast, at least in the main. Recently, our resolve has been tested to the maximum, as we do what is most unnatural, and stay apart. When we stop face to face interaction, we sometimes lose the ability to connect, so conditioned are we to receiving signals from all the senses, including the one no one really talks about. Intuition. Pure natural energy. It is the vibe we feel when we share sacred moments with a kindred soul. That buzz. That ‘lift’ that has the room firing.

It is something that at first seems impossible to replicate in an online environment. Yet, although it is different, it is possible to find the same togetherness of spirit on the web. It is a hurdle we must overcome to help us through this difficult patch, as we need each other more than ever. We need to share, learn and communicate. We need to tell our story.

During the lockdown, I felt that same isolation.

I wasn’t telling my story. And, despite spending every waking hour with loved ones, I wasn’t opening up and talking about that thing on everyone’s mind. We skirted around the issues hoping it would all go away, but the result of that was two very anxious children and guilt-ridden parents. I suddenly realised this was the perfect time to put my theories to the test. Using narratives and perspectives to unlock worry and fear in us all, opening up a dialogue with our youngest ones to explore the events that are unfolding in a palatable way. This honesty can never be as terrifying as the unknown.

And so, I released my ‘Split Perspectivz’ books. The idea is to explore difficult themes using dual narrative as a tool, looking from multiple points of view, or the perspective of the most unlikely character, in the case of ‘Ben and the Bug’, through the eyes of the Coronavirus. By giving a new face to that unseen fear, it allows us to protect our little ones, inside and out. It opens up a discussion the whole family can be part of. Then, we can begin to heal.

Sometimes, there are things outside our control, and when systems fail, we have openness and honesty to fall back on.

Not everyone finds it easy to talk with others, and if you are one of those, pick up a pen and see what happens. Write about the things you see, or whatever pops into your head. There’s no right or wrong, but what happens then is this. Clarity.

You become unlocked. You can clear out the rubble—the mundane. The ‘To-Do lists,’ and what lives behind there is truly amazing. It is you. It is your story. And it’s one hell of a read.

If you would like to connect with Natalie across her social media platforms, here are her handles.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/natalierbillingauthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/billingreeves

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Natalie Reeves-Billing