Ukraine War Therapy

John Gordon Sennett
7 min readMay 30

Writing Therapy to Art Therapy: A Personal Experience of the Ukraine War

Sketch by Author: Kyiv: May 2023

There are no longer words waiting to be written. The mundane minutiae of everyday life in a war simply takes over. Who cares what I have to say when I don’t really care what they say? Tit-for-tat, this for that. Online life seems a waste of time when it takes away from those you can break bread with. It’s nice that people care out there, but I can’t see your face, give you a hug or drink wine and laugh with you at the table. No more energy for this glowing machine with its promises of connections. Words simply do not wish to come nor do I wish to share them. There is only life now. Real life. War life.

Yes, the writing for the first 15 months was helpful and most importantly, therapeutic. Engagement with people around the world also brought comfort but now we are facing the long haul. Truth is that reality of this war could be our way of life for years to come. We know they will not stop, their desire to destroy is relentless, their resources barely even tapped. No utter destruction of their military industrial complex will happen. Even if power in the Kremlin changes hands, the hate that exists for Ukraine will not just miraculously go away. Their hate is a cancer that is growing among them. They hate Ukraine now because it has stood up to them, has not fallen and is steadfast in its resolve never to surrender. Some of their own lands and people no longer safe only makes them angrier and more hateful.

Hate at this level exudes its own energy. You can feel it, smell it, see it. You can only hope that it doesn’t infect your own body and soul, but it does. No matter how full of love you may be, rage and anger rise when you see dead children, elderly people and other innocents. You can’t just turn away from that and forgive. You have to learn to exist without hate. That means (for me) that I must turn away from this digital non-existence and turn back to those I can touch, feel and see. The people we draw strength from and those we must give strength to. No one else really exists for us in war.

Maybe those who grew up with the digital life cope better than those of us who knew life before all this fake mode. In fact, I admire those who can do it. Their coping mechanisms may be stronger than those of us raised on true human connections. So, I…

John Gordon Sennett

Living in a War Zone. An unexpected twist in life.