Ever since I could remember, I have always been a writer. I loved writing stories in school (though they were a bit morbid for my teacher’s taste), I couldn’t get enough of writing multiple page notes to my middle school bf’s, and when MySpace became a “thing” I wrote little blogs like crazy. Even throughout all this time, I never thought that writing would save my life.
We have been through a lot together, myself and writing. People have come along and mocked us, laughed at us, even degraded us. One person even had the audacity to tell us to stop. He said it was “generic” that is was what I did “for everyone”. So sadly, there were a few years where writing and I took a little break.
And then the storm of all storms hit
I was certain I had never felt so down in my life. Which was really something to say, considering everything I had been through prior to this moment. This was when the thoughts really started coming, really really bad thoughts. Thoughts centered around not being welcome in my own life, and wishing I could simply “disappear”. I don’t even remember how it happened, but somewhere somehow, I purchased a journal.
I began to write everything I felt, thought and saw
As you can probably imagine, this journal was quite scary. I talked a lot about how awful I am. “Why would anyone love me? look at me I’m a horrible human being”. “There’s a reason you’re alone and its because no one gives two shits about you, Kara”.
But something was happening, something was happening and I didn’t even realize until years later.
By journaling my thoughts, I was getting a bit of release. Through journaling, I was releasing all of my frustration, my fears, my thoughts – without the need to disappear.
It actually did the opposite
I started to want to open up about the way I felt. There were a few friends that knew that I had some “issues”, but none truly knew the extent. Journaling all of these thoughts, letting them out into the universe was making me want them to be read by someone.
I really don’t know what my intentions were, probably a bit sadistic, like “looked how screwed up I am”. Regardless, I took my book of awful thoughts and let a few trusted people dive in.
A few pages in and they were terrified.
A few months later I was seeing a counselor.
I continued to journal throughout my journey through counseling, seeing the doc and going down the not so lovely anti-depressant road. It wasn’t until meeting my new doctor and tapering off my meds, did my journal become my safe haven. To be completely honest, I was so terrified. Excited, but terrified. And I wrote it ALL down. Every bad thought, every good one. How I felt, how I wished I felt. What had before been a terrifying display of depression was turning into a haven of self-reflection.
I was learning
I was learning things about myself that I never knew before. I was watching myself change, day by day, right in front of my eyes. I was researching, reading and finding bloggers and coaches online to give me tips and guidance. I would write down their words and see how I could apply them to my own practice.
In today’s world: I still write down everything. (In fact I’ve filled 3 journals cover to cover in about a years time – now on my fourth) My journal is my best friend. It’s where I go when I’m frustrated, it’s where I go when I’m sad, when I feel like I’m not enough, when I’m scared. It’s where I go when I’m bored, when I’m happy. I’m there at least 6 days out of the week, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
There are some skeptics
Some feel that writing out your negative thoughts will do nothing but spark your subconscious to further believe them. All people are different, and maybe this happens. But if I would have never picked up a pen, and started writing down how much I hated myself, I don’t know where I would be; if here at all.
It may not be for everyone, but I suggest that whether you are depressed, anxious or just plain unhappy – find a way to uncover the #truth.
It lies deep down somewhere, we just have to find a way to peel back the layers.
– Kara Beth