Journaling is a fantastic healing exercise.
In my first YouTube video, I showed 4 of my journals and explained what I use them for.
In my last blog, I complained about how I only brought one of the journals on vacation (obviously to conserve space—traveling with a baby necessitates SO MUCH GEAR—right, who’s with me?).
My Feelings Journal. A place I hope to fill with positivity and good feelings. Well, as I mentioned in my last blog, I had a bit of a rough go on my Rocky Mountain National Park vacay due to the triggering of my PTSD injury and, needless to say, my feelings journal took a dark turn.
And that is GREAT.
Because it’s just a journal. Better the journal take a dark turn than me, right? Listen, I struggled with journaling for a LONG time. Meaning: I did not want to take the recommendation repeated to me over and over that journaling my feelings will help me manage my PTSD symptoms (like RAGE, terror, loneliness, grief, etc).
I did not want to have a record of thoughts I feel are not me. Who says these things? Who feels this way? Are you sure you want to leave a paper trail of…this…???
I feel very strongly about journaling now because, as I mention in my YouTube video, PTSD RECOVERY, it has actually improved my overall physical health after 10 months of making it a daily practice.
I feel so strongly about encouraging others to do the same thing for their own health that I am willing right here and now to share a journal entry with you. An ugly journal entry to boot. Makes me look terrible.
Here it comes…
WARNING—this journal entry contains ADULT LANGUAGE—I would give it an R rating if it were a movie, but it’s just a journal entry in a blog, use your own judgment…
Fuck you. We’re not even friends. Every time I let go and go with you, you show me memories that grip me with the fear of imminent death. Over and over again. Like you’re trying to condition me, to strengthen some weird muscle. Well it doesn’t work like that. Cut it out. Fuck you, sleep. Stop showing me death. I will care every fucking time. You can’t break me, sleep, not after all I’ve been through, I’m too strong, I love myself. I do have a family, I made it myself. We are unbreakable. Show me that when I close my eyes. Truth. Reality. Right now in the present. Let it go. I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s over now. Love.
*Right after I wrote this, I went back to staring out the window. Full moon. So bright. Wishing I could see another moose walk by the house like last night. Saw a shadow behind me in the house. Told myself to be brave, it’s my husband or my son. Went toward the shadow in the darkness. It’s my son trying to get back into his own bed where his Dada is now asleep after a power struggle from earlier. “No blankets,” my son tells me sleepily as I help him get his butt back into bed and he curls up next to his Dada. I cover him up anyway, rub his back and he’s asleep immediately. I smile and walk back to the window and BAM—just like I wanted, a huge moose walks right by the house from the bright full moon-lit road into the woods. I’m smiling so huge, feeling all sorts of gratitude when suddenly a baby moose pops out and jogs the same path, following it’s huge mama. Whoa. Wish my husband could’ve seen it. Now I’m at 8 and he is at 7 total sightings so far and it is only day 4 of our week-long trip. Fuck you, sleep—you gotta stay up late to see the best life has to offer.”
So, that was one journal entry…
Ok, here is what I wrote the next day:
“We stopped by the petting zoo at the Ranch on our way back to our cabin and I found myself feeling better. I don’t have my self worth all the way back to realization yet, but it’s better. I deserve to live. A baby cow, a calf if you will, was kinda stuck in a corner with a rope in it’s face; I showed Jackson and another very interested little boy how to help the calf back out of the tight spot he seemed to think he was stuck in. Just like a cowgirl. I was proud of myself. The little boy became my friend and showed me how to feed the donkey and miniature horse because I said I was scared to. I did it. I was proud of myself again. I always make friends like that with children at parks because I pay attention to them and make them feel important, smart, interesting, and like they have a lot to offer. I do that because it didn’t happen for me. It wasn’t like that. I was so worried, so scared, so traumatized and nobody demonstrated care. Nobody asked. Nobody was kind to me. That’s why I ALWAYS made a joke out of my plight—so that someone would listen and respond. That’s it. If I could make them laugh, then I knew they kinda got it. If I told the truth without humor, people would just stare at me and then walk away. Awkwardly. Then I knew for sure I was weird. Not right. Not going to get any help. Ever. If I could make people laugh and show them I could make lemonade out of my lemony circumstances, then at least they would pay attention and know what was happening to me. Then at least I wasn’t all alone. I know now that I am all alone. We all are. But we can have MOMENTS of community, of understanding if we choose the right people to share with on a regular basis. Choose friends and family wisely.”
Journaling helps. I promise.