Blog Post · Recovery

Journaling

Journaling can be a great tool to really get all your thoughts, positive and negative, swirling around in your head out.

My journaling journey started when I was in treatment.  The therapists encouraged me to journal, but I was so resistant to do it. I kept saying that it just wasn’t for me.  I think I resisted so much because I believed it needed to be perfect.  There was no room for error and I believed that I could not write to save my life.  I had all these negative beliefs about writing, so it makes perfect sense that I would resist.  As a result of refusing to journal, I was encouraged to college.  I love art, so I was more inclined to do this assignment.  It was probably the best thing I did.  I was able to use pieces of other people’s words to express my thoughts and feelings.  This was just the beginning.  Every time I would college or make something, I always felt so good afterwards. 

Throughout treatment, I continued to journal through art.  I learned that journaling does not always mean writing in a notebook, but it can be creating something that expresses thoughts and feelings.  The point of journaling is to get out everything that is rolling around in your head.  To get it all out to then deal with it.  There is no right way to journal.  It’s a matter of finding a method that works for you and sticking with it.

Over the years, my art journaling transformed into writing in a journal pretty frequently.  It just sort of started one night.  I don’t remember the prompting event, but it was right before I moved to Israel.  Coincidence? Maybe?  This has helped me immensely in dealing with my thoughts and the emotions that accompany them.  I am really able to just get everything out, and then come back to it later.  It also helps me see things more clearly.  I am bale to break down my overwhelming thoughts and emotions and really analyzes them.

Talking for me is hard to do.  I really struggle with expressing myself through speaking, but I am more capable of expressing myself through writing.  When I sit down to journal, usually before I go to sleep at night, I just let everything out, no filter.  My writing is a conscience stream of whatever thought comes to mind.  This is the way that has helped me the most in expressing myself. 

My journal has even become a tool used in my therapy sessions.  My therapist asked me to bring my journal in to one of our sessions since I have such a hard time talking.  She wanted to know what was going on inside my head.  This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done.  My journal is so personal to me.  It is where I am the most vulnerable, which is not something I share with anyone.  Although it is a safe place, I still had a hard time with it.  Once I started, I was able to see why she wanted me to read full entries.  It really is a peak inside my head to my thoughts and feelings. 

When your head starts spinning, journal.  It doesn’t need to be writing in a notebook, but it can be creating some piece of art.  Journaling can be a very helpful tool to have in your toolbox.  Just let it all out. Don’t hold back.       

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