Today's assignment for the Structured Educational Program was to do a 15-20 minute free write of a past event or experience. I wrote about traveling to South Africa many years ago with my then boyfriend, whose family lived in South Africa. It was a traumatic experience, as I was in a foreign land, one where I had always wanted to travel, but I was accompanied by a boyfriend who I loved very much but who didn't love me. My then boyfriend's family lived in South Africa, so we traveled with his U.S. clan to visit his South African clan. None of them liked me all that much, and I felt very alone and isolated. During my free write, I wrote about details that I thought I had long since forgotten, the color of the bedspreads, the type of shrubbery around our hotel room, the color of the sea during our visit to Tanzania. On the plane ride home, I developed a tingling sensation on one side of my body. When I arrived home, I went to the doctor and discovered that I (then 26 years old) had developed shingles. I caught it in time for anti-virals to work and all was well. But my nervous system was exhausted from the experience. I dumped the boyfriend shortly thereafter but the traumatic experience lingers. As I was writing, I started to panic about whether the tingling sensation that I've had in my thighs was actually shingles. I decided that it wasn't, calmed down, and went on with my day. I was grateful that the experience of writing brought up memories about details that I thought I had long since forgotten. I felt as if I recovered part of myself. But it wasn't easy to do that free write, and I didn't feel all warm and cozy after. Thanks for listening.