Sweet Relief!

by Nancy Casey

Being alert for bad things that could happen is an important part of staying alive. We do this by instinct and habit in traffic, for instance, or when we draw away from the edge of a cliff.

Sometimes a bad thing is so likely to happen that we have to plan for it. In those cases, the bad thing sits like such a cloud in our consciousness, it can be hard to tell the difference between planning and worrying. We can become rattled. And then, if the bad thing doesn’t happen, we feel sweet relief!

Today, write about a bad thing that didn’t happen, even though it was a real possibility. Begin with the moment when you realized it wasn’t going to happen. Write about the sweet feeling of relief. Did it come upon you with something that was said? Something you saw? What made the bad thing evaporate in your imagination? What brought relief?

After you write about the moment of relief, you can go on to tell as much or as little of the rest of the story as you like.

Your life probably has many stories of relief. Think about them and decide which one to start writing about as you set up your page. Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Mark off a space where you can doodle or draw if you like. Or you can draw and decorate a frame around the whole page.

Drawing and doodling get your pen started, even if you don’t know what to write. The motion slows your thoughts and helps you notice them better.

After you have written one relief story, if there’s still room on the page, write another one.

When the page is full, go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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