I stumbled upon creative/expressive writing back in 2004 when trying to write up my PhD research/thesis. I was getting nowhere and a close colleague suggested I explore the work of local poet, Julia Darling. Julia was writing poetry about her experiences of health care and taking poetry to health care practitioners with messages about a gap in communication. She was also running writing classes for tired academics, which was how I was feeling at the time.The findings of my research into people's expereinces of diabetes care was that the people I interviewed with diabetes found that attendance at clinics an intrusion into their life. They lived in a state of liminality waiting for appointments, test results and instructions. A minority of health care practitioners noticed this paradox/conundrum in care but did not know how to address it within the structures of existing care delivery. Meeting Julia and discussing our shared interest changed my life and poetry has become more and more important to me.
Poems I wrote in response to the participants in my research can be found at the QNI websire -see below.
Unfortunately I never got to write up my PhD thesis as I was “stopped” by the Institution. I thought I had got over it and that I had moved on but returning to work after the festive break has just further underlined the unhealed wound that is still there.
There are those who have Dr before their name (and make sure all know about it) and then there are the rest of us without; there are those working towards a doctorate and then there are a few of us still reeling from the loss of not doing it and not completing.
I am not sure what to do about it at the moment but I am sure going to write about it and maybe explore my learning and try to bring some closure to a long standing issue.