Poetry can provide comfort and boost mood during grief, trauma and stress. The use of metaphors, words and rhymes help make sense of the world and ourselves in it. Various research studies found that writing or reading poetry can be therapeutic for the writer and the reader. A systematic review in 2019 found that poetry can help healthcare workers with burnout and increased empathy for patients, which gave them a tool to turn to during the pandemic and beyond.
What’s nice about the benefits of poetry, is that they can be extended to anyone. Another study found that guided poetry writing sessions alleviated symptoms of depression and trauma in youth who have been abused.
In this spoke word poem, Vala shares her experience with PTSD.
When asked why she chose poetry as a way of coping with her PTSD, Vala answers:
“I chose poetry as a healing mechanism for PTSD for a few reasons. The first is because there is something about saying your trauma out loud, recognizing it and repeating it that can lessen the hold that trauma has over you. There is that saying “youre only as sick as your secrets”. Poetry is a way to say the trauma out loud, in whichever form you want it to be. You don’t have to say in literal detail what you have experienced.This is a way to say how you feel, without having to really say how you feel. Second, there is a lot to be said about the power of a simile or metaphor. For instance, I say, “Even though I want to succeed my hope is erratic, I’m so sensitive that everyone around me seems sociopathic.” If I want to build off of this line, writing it could help me to figure out why my hope is erratic, why I feel so attacked by everybody, and once I understand that, how to continue to heal from it. I view this as the first step in a process to healing and understanding yourself. Finally, if I can connect to people with any of my lyrics, it could be a healing process for everybody”
Feature Image: Nicolas Messifet, on Unsplash, Creative Commons