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what if journaling isn't working; just pulling more rage to the stage?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by newlearner, Mar 10, 2022.

  1. newlearner

    newlearner New Member

    Guys I've been journaling a bit and it's not helping, it's just making me more angry.

    Am I doing it wrong?

    For example, I'll be feeling ok, then I'll do some journaling, and then I'll get frustrated about mistreatment and I'll be angry for the rest of the day, I can feel it traveling through me.
  2. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Forget journaling unless it’s taking your mind off your symptoms sufficiently to distract you. I’ve learned through bitter experience that tms is basically about doing ANYTHING OTHER THAN THINKING ABOUT/FEARING YOUR PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS. Also get what you need and get off this forum!
    TG957 likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Journaling is only effective if you're 100% honest with yourself about what you are really feeling, way deep down. Anger and frustration are shallow emotions, and merely symptomatic - and they are also great distractions against feeling the real pain.

    During the initial writing exercises in the SEP (the ones where you make lists) I experienced how sneaky and effective my brain was in convincing me that I didn't need to write about certain things. It was reeeeeally hard to fight back and list those things anyway, and then really delve into them with complete honesty.

    The real pain comes from much bigger issues, typically abandonment, isolation, mortality, loss of freedom, or lack of meaning. It almost invariably goes back to family.
    Ellen, TG957 and LaughingKat like this.
  4. Dakota

    Dakota New Member

    Hello! I hear you.
    At the beginning of the program, and honestly since I was a baby, I considered journaling total BS.
    Then, I focused on those things and hope they can help:
    1) I write in a such a quick way that nobody, me neither, is able to read what's on the paper. And it helps because you don't have any fear of other people reading it.
    2) then, even though it's impossible to read, I rip up everything.
    3) when you write, go fast, don't think about the logic or the grammar. What comes out is what a 4 years child wants to scream. So no politeness, no limits, no addomestication, no grammar. Write down whatever comes without any rule. Draw also, if you feel too. Lines, circles, what are socially unpolite symbols. Whatever! We are here also because all the rules they give us caused repressed emotions. So, just go with the flow.
    I sometimes write the worst things on people I love but it's ok.
    4) journal not only following the program, but when you need to: for example I have a fighing with someone? After a secodn I took a peace of papaer or also my phone and I start to write all the worst thing I didn't say.

    I can also suggest this https://mytmsjourney.com/resources/journalspeak-by-nicole-sachs-lcsw/ (JournalSpeak by Nicole Sachs LCSW), this helped me so much in journaling.
    TG957 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Agreeing with @Dakota on the method. I also follow Nicole Sachs' method: free-write, and dispose of it immediately. If you think you need to keep it, you'll edit it, for sure, which makes the exercise useless. Nicole says she uses an electronic document where she immediately deletes the journaling text after each session and saves as an essentially blank document so there's no saved backup that could be read.
    TG957 likes this.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Journaling never worked for me, and I still recovered just fine. I felt more stressed because I could never get any feelings or thoughts out in a coherent way. So, I decided to try other things. For example, meditation was my magic pill, but it took couple months to figure out how to do it so it worked for me. I am of the opinion that each person is unique and needs to find their own way out. Do not be afraid to try and throw away what does not work.
    Ellen likes this.
  7. newlearner

    newlearner New Member

    Writing about childhood trauma just pisses me the fuck off. Like I'm kind of calm during the day, then I start thinking about it and I get pissed. The I write it out and I'm fucking raging.

    Then I'm fucking raging for the rest of the day.

    Seems like it makes me a shitty person.
  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    My read into your situation: it appears that you are not ready to start digging into your trauma.

    I would suggest that you need to start with learning about acceptance and forgiveness. Whatever trauma you experienced, you cannot reverse the clock and erase the fact itself. But it is in your power to learn how to rebuild your life despite the trauma. Forgiveness is not as much about letting the perpetrator off the hook, but more about changing your personal attitude towards re-living your past. The book that helped me to overcome my sorrows and put them in a perspective is this one:


    However horrible your trauma is, it most likely pales in comparison to the trauma that Victor Frankl and others experienced in the Nazi death camps, yet he was able to rebuild his life. Once you learn how to accept the tragedies of your life as events of your past, not of your present, you will be able to journal, or think, or talk about them and move on. Best of luck!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @newlearner, this is an awesome response from @TG957. With her help getting this started, I also offer the following:

    None of what you are going through makes you a shitty person.

    When it comes to forgiveness, the first person you must be willing to forgive is yourself.

    I often say that you can't do this work unless you love yourself enough to know in your heart that you deserve to recover.​

    That's the first step. The next step in forgiveness is looking at your trauma and the individual(s) who inflicted it. One thing I've heard and found useful about forgiving others is that it is not necessary to forgive the behavior that led to your suffering, because that behavior is ultimately never forgivable. The goal is to be able to somehow forgive the individual(s) - perhaps for being mentally ill, or for suffering from their own childhood trauma, or for not knowing any better - there are probably a number of logical reasons why someone made the unforgiveable choice to inflict suffering upon you when you were a child. It's not necessary that you even communicate with the individual - forgiveness need only take place in your own heart.

    Once again - their choice and their behavior are not forgivable, but it's possible that you will eventually be able to forgive the person for being a damaged human being.

    And again - you can't even contemplate this step until you've forgiven yourself for whatever you're blaming yourself for - starting with thinking that you must be "shitty" for having rage over what happened to you.

    Good luck

    Benjiro and TG957 like this.
  10. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is the best advice!

    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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