There will be times that I will suggest that you journal, as part of your therapy homework. Keeping a journal is recording your thoughts and feelings, just as they are. No sugar coating. No tidying it up…the raw thoughts and feelings. This is your private writing and you can stop in the middle of a sentence if you want; you can write very large, if you want; or very small; no grading on this!
You have probably been disconnected from yourself, and this is a way to record your thoughts and feelings. You have probably been avoiding them in order to cope with life. There may be short periods of time where this is helpful, but in order to have a good sense of self, we need to KNOW yourself. Journaling also helps you process the emotion that may be troubling.
Start by getting something to write in. It could be a fancy journal or as simple as a spiral notebook. It doesn’t matter: just choose something that you will use consistently. Restrain yourself from starting multiple notebooks. Some folks also find it easier to use the computer. If you do this, make sure that your file is locked with a password that only YOU know.
It is very critical that your journal be private. No one else should read your journal without your permission. In fact, it is usually best that your husband not read it as well. You need this to be a totally private place to write anything you want to say. It is fine to insist on this boundary with your journal.
There’s no certain formula to follow. Just start. You’ll probably be surprised at how easy it becomes and how helpful you find the process. Before long, it will become your place of refuge. If you need some questions to start the process here are some samples: (use these only if you need help in starting to write, they are not essential)
- What were the victories today?
- What were the struggles today?
- What did I do specifically today to enhance my recovery?
- What did I learn about myself today?
- What did I feel today?
Or, if you prefer to journal in the morning, you can word the questions to fit appropriately.
Try it….I think you will find it a real source of healing.