Say What You Need to Say

Via Linda Buzogany
on Oct 22, 2011
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Say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say ay ay ay ay ay.  ~John Mayer


I write letters. To celebrities.  Musicians.  Yoga teachers.  I’ve had one-sided conversations with Dave Matthews and Stephen Cope. It is foolish, yes. I feel like our friend, Jon, who writes to Mt. Dew with his opinions.

But I can’t be held responsible for words I write after a bad blood sugar night – the circumstance under which many of these letters have been written-all sleep deprived and open.  Just the other day I wrote Ellen a letter,telling her how her humor helped me wait out scary high blood sugar as I read her book, deep in the night.

I haven’t always written letters to strangers, expressing a response to something I read, or a song, or a movie (like the email to Sean Penn after being moved by the beauty of “Into the Wild”).   The open-book letter writing started soon after my son’s diagnosis with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes when he was two – almost twelve years ago.

The first letter I remember writing of this nature was to Carolyn Myss, author of “Anatomy of the Spirit”, whose words I inhaled on a plane ride to St. Louis on the way to a friend’s wedding not long after diagnosis.  It was the first time I’d been alone to really absorb the past month.  Her words pierced my fear and provided a symbolic view of what was going on which has gotten me through to this day, that disease is full of spirit and is a yoga practice in its own right.  She gave me a way to look
beyond the pancreas to something bigger and more true.

So I had to tell her.


one of over 50,000 finger pokes my
son’s endured in the past 11 years;
about 10-12 checks/day and throughout the night.


Most letters I fire off quick, raw, and in the moment before I have time to become rational.  I don’t expect them to be read by the intended or anyone in their camp (especially the ones to Obama – man, was I honest in those); in fact, given the emoting, I sometimes count on and hope for them not to be read.    I know as I’m writing them it’s really for myself.  When I have something to say, now I just say it because something about being so true feels amazing.

No word back from Ellen. Dave or Sean either.  It’s OK. The yoga of disease broke open a truthfulness in me, a “visceral need for self expression,” as Stephen Cope teaches us crises have a way of doing.  A way to penetrate the illusion.



About Linda Buzogany

Linda Buzogany is the author of The Superman Years about self care during crisis and illness. She is a licensed therapist and psychology professor in Colorado.


10 Responses to “Say What You Need to Say”

  1. Hey Linda,
    Such a heavy load! I feel your burden and unburdening in every word of this expression and my heart is with you. What an interesting way you have of releasing your emotions into mail. And why not? Love to you and yours.

  2. Reader says:

    Thank you. I can relate to this… I love to write when I am feeling intensely, and I have found that if I wait to write until a more convenient moment I either do not get back to it or the writing is less intense because the feelings are less intense. I like sharing the writings sometimes so people can catch a glimpse of the impact they have on others. I wrote an artist after seeing his photographs in a museum. I wrote on a paper tablecloth at a restaurant while grooving on some live music and enjoying a solo meal and then tore the writing off and gave it to the manager. He sent me over a drink…. I like what you say about yoga of illness… I am going through that now and marveling how illness and recovery from surgery is helping tether me to the present moment.

  3. Aprylisa says:

    I wrote a letter to Beatrice Wood, a famous artist in California, about how much I appreciated her autobiography. She invited me to visit her. I did soon after. It was marvelous. We had a great time discussing chocolate and younger men! It is one my favorite memories and I am grateful I took the time to express myself and that she resonated with it. People are a lot more accessible than we think.

  4. amj says:

    caroline myss's book anatomy of the spirit made me want to write to her too.

  5. linda buzogany says:

    Love to you too Hilary…great to hear your 'voice' again.

  6. linda buzogany says:

    Hi REader, thanks for your words…I love that you express yourself in the moment also…people should know their impact, right? I wish you well with what you're dealing with right now, and that you're utilizing surgery in this way. Best, ~Linda

  7. linda buzogany says:

    LOVE your story, Aprylisa! Who wouldn't want to hear they impressed upon somebody positiviely?..isn't that the whole point of sharing writing, art, etc.? Thanks for writing. ~Linda

  8. linda buzogany says:

    Really? You should have! ~Linda

  9. Lynn W. says:

    Very moving and very liberating. I am coming out of my shell, finding my voice (and words), and moving past my self-doubt and self-criticism (who would want to listen to me??). So this piece inspires me to just go for it, express myself, let others know that they've touch my life…for good or bad. Thanks for sharing! P.S. <3 Into the Wild.

  10. linda buzogany says:

    This is so good to hear, Lynn. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Best to you,