For the past four weeks, I’ve spent part of my Tuesdays at the Program for Adolescent Mothers, sharing my Writing to Heal Workshop series. I designed this series to help the teen moms in the program to explore and change the narrative about their lives and find healing and hope at the end of their pens.
In a small, religious, conservative country, teen pregnancy is frowned upon and teen moms struggle with the shame, pain, hurt, and rejection that comes with the label ‘teen mom’. To be able to be a part of the healing and growth process of a group that is looked down on is something I don’t take lightly. The last weeks have been a mixed bag of laughter, low feelings, and the sweet promise of hope and meaningful change. It’s been an honor to help these teens connect with themselves, write their own truth, develop a greater sense of self and create a vision that honors who they are at their core.
At every opportunity I get to share on the power of writing, I am blown away by how the practice can be life-changing for those who are willing to embrace it. It seems so simple, just putting pen on paper and writing out one’s feelings, hurts, shames, secrets. But once you start, you see how meaningful the practice can be. I watched the group go from being resistant to writing about the things they carried and how it affected them, to begin so caught up in the writing exercises that they complained of aching hands and running out of paper because the words kept coming, fast and furious.
Watching people acknowledge the importance of the stories, finding their voice, and speaking their truth is something truly beautiful to see.