I’ve once been asked to write a blog post about learning German (or any other language) and how it can help with chronic illness. I’ve shied away from it as it goes too much into medical advice and I’m not qualified for that.
But I do know of students who told me how much concentrating during a lesson helped them to forget other problems. But it was never enough for a post.
And then I received an email from a student with permission to share:
I’m writing this as a personal observation, but I dare say anyone reading it may be able to relate to it in some way.
We don’t always know what’s around the corner in life and when the unexpected bumps in the road come along, we’re almost invariably ill prepared for such turmoil.
Now I’ve been trying to learn German for what seems an inordinate length of time when I consider just how much more I have and want to learn and given recent personal issues my progress has taken a back seat due to the aforementioned issues.
But like most people eventually we dust ourselves off, take a retrospective deep breath and as the slogan says “carry on”.
Now I’ve come to the realisation that focussing on something else doesn’t just avert our feelings of self-pity it allows us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in something else which at times is all consuming, in my case learning German.
I’m sure lots of other people have far worse problems in life and I’m not naive enough to believe that learning another language is an emotional silver bullet so to speak, but I do know one thing and it’s this … every new word or grammatical nuance I learn feels like there’s a new compartment in the brain.
As John Le Carré said: “a second soul”.
Sometimes it’s the second soul which has an almost cathartic, soothing effect on the one that’s feeling let down or hurt.
My only hope is that anyone reading this relates to it in some way shape or form because picking up the reins and continuing to study my chosen second language is proving a most welcome distraction.
Thank you to anyone who’s read this, my only hope is that one day I’ll write similarly in German.
How do you feel about this? Have you noticed that learning German has helped you, or is helping you, with other issues?