Written by CRPS Warrior Samantha Barrett
To write about CRPS is to expose a part of yourself that is vulnerable, but so important when it is shared. Members of our community have voiced an interest in writing about CRPS, but didn’t know where to start. Here we go!
Writer’s Block. Anxiety. Fear. Overwhelming thoughts. All of this contributes to an issue that I hear about all to often. Members of the CRPS community want to write about their experiences, both good and bad, but it can be incredibly difficult to find a starting place. How can you get past the barriers to write about your own experience, whether it’s for public viewing or for your eyes only?
Finding a starting point for you writing can be the most difficult part. Brainstorming can help you find the topics that you would really like to write about. Take about one to five minutes and write down every topic that you can think of that pertains to your CRPS. From the day of your diagnosis to meeting your first CRPS friend, write down anything you can think of. Think about your passions in life. Do you like to cook and have had to make adjustments to accommodate your CRPS? Were you a dancer that now choreographs from a chair? Did you find a new hobby because of CRPS? Anything is up for grabs! When time is up, review your list. Circle the topics that you think you could write a detailed piece about. Is there one that sticks out the most? Great! Let’s go from there.
I have always been one that likes to map out my thoughts. I still utilize a tool I was taught in 2nd grade. Take a blank piece of paper. Write your topic in the middle and circle it. Think of at least 3 main points you can write about for this topic and have them web off of the main topic. Then, add your details about each point around it. Then, all you have to do is put it into sentences. I put a sample of my mind map below (yellow is the main topic, blue are the supporting ideas, green are the details for the supporting ideas). Try doing this for a few ideas until you find one that you can’t stop mind mapping. This topic would be something great for you to write about!
With writing about CRPS, more obstacles than Writer’s Block come up. It can be scary to put yourself out there. So many of us living with CRPS have been judged at one point or another, or have been told that our diagnosis isn’t real or to get over the pain. That’s the beauty about writing though. Your thoughts and opinions are your thoughts and opinions. Your experiences with CRPS are your experiences! They may differ from mine, Jane Doe, and John Smith’s experiences, but that’s the amazing thing about sharing your writing. We can all learn from each other. Within every story is something to learn and something to relate to. You never know who you could help by sharing a story about the time you went to Reiki or acupuncture, or to aqua therapy. Whether your experience was positive or negative, people can take that away from your piece. Here at RSDSA, we try to keep a supportive environment. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we ask that people comment respectfully. Remember, no one can discredit your experience as a human being.
Once you get past your obstacles and start writing, reference your mind map to help you through the process. If you start to get stuck or frustrated, take a step back from it for a little while. Stressing yourself out about writing will not help your CRPS. But, as soon as something sparks in your brain, go back to your writing and get it all out. It may take you an hour, a day, a week, a month, or even longer. Writing is a process, and each process is different.
When you do finish your piece, consider submitting it to RSDSA for TheTuesdayBurn. We are always looking for writers to submit their experiences, opinions, and overall thoughts. You can submit your piece of writing to [email protected]. We like to try to have our blogs be over 400 words and to include a picture related to the topic. We want to hear from you!