Tag Archives: child

How Writing Has Helped Me

Written by Neshni Naidoo

Writing has always been a part of my life, from as early as 9 or 10 writing creative stories for school. As a child, I listened fascinated, as my grandmother – a gifted storyteller – narrated stories of her life. I believe that this, together with a voracious appetite for reading, was my inspiration for writing.

In my teens, creative writing shifted to journaling and my diary became my best friend. I poured out tales of my first crush, the mean girls at school, the loss of my dad, and my dreams and hopes for the future. At the time, I didn’t realise how important this was for my mental wellbeing. Journaling that helped me process my emotions in a positive way. There was no-one to judge me. I was able to ‘talk’ about issues that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else.

After graduating from university and getting married, I didn’t feel the need to journal as much. My focus was outward driven – material pursuits and career development.

1999, was however, a turning point in my life. I had been a member of a Spiritual Organisation for a few years, but that year felt the call for transformation – from outward to inner focused. I started a journey of reflection, healing and growth. Immediately there was an exponential shift in my creativity. I felt as if I was tuned into a Divine Radio Station, receiving words of wisdom and ideas for value-based rhymes and songs. All of this I recorded in my little notebook but was afraid to share – afraid that it was not good enough.

This creative streak continued even after my children were born. I made up stories and songs with a moral or educational value that I would act out and sing to them.

However, I felt adrift and unsure of my place. Motherhood was beautiful but tough. In my research, I came across non-dominant writing therapy. I would write out my question with my right hand (dominant hand), switch over to my left hand (non-dominant hand) and write my response. I was blown away by the insight that I gained during these writing sessions. I understood myself, my motivation and my behaviour much better.

Non-dominant writing therapy is said to help alleviate stress, anxiety, access the voice of your inner child, gain insight into relationships and alleviate pain. (https://www.psychologies.co.uk/non-dominant-hand-writing-therapy/)

A close friend recommended writing letters about my challenges and burning them. This was another powerful tool that helped release stuck emotions and create space for healing.

I was called to write and share my experiences but still allowed ego to get in the way. All of that changed in 2011. I gave birth to my 3rd child via C-section. The night before being discharged my gynaecologist realised that something was not right. When I had a scan done the next morning, it revealed that my colon had ruptured. I had surgery and spent three and a half weeks in hospital, hovering in an out of consciousness.

The months that followed were one of the lowest points in my life. I was not able to do much which left time for reflection. Writing once again came to my rescue. I wrote poetry to express that which I could not verbalise. It has been a process, overcoming the fear and feelings of not being ‘good enough’. It took me another 10 years before I felt ready to publish my poetry in book form. As my confidence grows, I share more. The more I share, the more inspiration I receive. I know now that I am living my purpose, which was revealed to me during a meditation,

“Write, write, write
Speak also the world needs to hear your voice
Heal the world
That is your purpose
This is why I saved you”


Poem by Ada Den Hollander

At the light of the bright full moon

the little girl is reading her book

on her lap in her bedroom upstairs.

She sits on her chair, she has covered her ears

blocking out her father’s drunken shouts

her mother’s screams

the breaking of glass

in the living room downstairs.

The words in her book are simple, the sentences short,

the pictures from another world, her world.

She nods off, the book falls from her lap

which wakes her up and with

her hands no longer covering her ears

she listens to the eery silence from

the room downstairs.

Shivering now, with tears in her eyes and fearful

she climbs into her bed and before she falls asleep

she looks up at the light of the bright full moon

hoping it was just a bad dream.