A Personal Story of Journaling
Much appreciation to guest author, Wrae Sanders, who is a life coach and caters to people dealing with life’s transitions and parents of special needs children
I have loved to write since I was a child. It has been my way of letting out things I couldn’t say. I’m a bit of a loud person, but when it comes to my deep feelings, it is very hard to say those things. I tend to hold things in and just avoid the subject if I can.
One subject I couldn’t avoid was the death of my friend Jake. September 1, 2015 was one of the darkest days of my life.
Jake and I had been friends for 2 years and we had become very close during a very rough part of my life. He had helped me realize so much about myself that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. He helped me realize that I deserved more than what I was dealing with, and all I wanted was more than what we had. I was pretty sure that he wanted that too.
With one terrible decision, he was dead. I couldn’t bring him back. None of us could. I was completely lost and shattered.
I had already been drinking quite heavily for a couple of years at this point, but it got worse. I started drinking during the day while my kids were at school, and was barely functioning by the time they came home. I’d drink my way through the weekends.
I was so deep in my grief I just couldn’t process it. The pain was just too much.
The same thing was happening with Jake’s younger brother, Jordan. We had become close friends, and he had started dating someone I didn’t like very much. I wasn’t drunk on the night I finally went off on her, but my feelings for her had been sitting inside my mind too long.
I hurt her feelings terribly and Jordan has basically refused to speak to me since. I have tried to fix things between us, but the damage has been done and we are no longer friends, even as this post is being written more than a year later. I’m okay with it now, but it took multiple failed attempts to fix things to get there.
It was after this that I realized I needed help. I was angry, sad and someone I didn’t want to be. The drinking wasn’t helping at all. I knew that I wasn’t handling Jake’s death well. Grief will do many things to people but this couldn’t be good.
I started therapy in October 2015, and I am still there. Rachel is my rock star of a therapist and she helped me get my life back on track.
One of the things she suggested was journaling. At first, I just looked at her and raised an eyebrow. I didn’t feel like journaling again, because I knew it would just bring up all the feelings I didn’t want to feel again, but then, that’s why I was in therapy, right?
I bought a notebook that day and started writing.
I took 15 minutes a day to just write. I did find prompts for healing on Pinterest, and those have helped. I write the question down and answer it. I literally lose myself in my writing.
Once I start writing, I can’t stop! I am a deep thinker, so once I am on a topic, I write until I don’t have anything else to say.
Some of the topics I have written about in my journal have taken me back to some things that led me to Jake and that is such painful stuff.
Writing helped me process those things and connect to where I am now. It became my therapy between sessions. I’m only seeing Rachel every three weeks and if I’m having a rough day emotionally, writing out my feelings helps.
I still use it to get out the things that I don’t want to say to others, or that I don’t think that they will understand. I’m prone to anxiety so I have issues with thinking people will understand me.
Writing also helps me understand myself more, and I am still writing every day. I didn’t realize that would help me out so much, but it has.
Writing in a journal can help you grow and heal. I wrote my way to healing, and am still growing.
Author bio: Wrae is a life coach in Louisville, KY. Her business caters to those dealing with life’s transitions and parents of special needs children. When she is not coaching, she enjoys reading, true crime podcasts, and movies. She is married and has three children.
Feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what your thoughts are about journaling.