1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

What style of journaling has taught you the most about yourself?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Beach-Girl, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    I have been thinking a lot on how many ways I've been taught to journal throughout the two programs I've worked on since learning about TMS/PPD. I really love to free write, and do this every morning. I sit down with pen and notebook and start writing as I'm having my first cup of coffee. I sort out what's going on with me emotionally and also physically. I think it's important (at least for me) to notice and celebrate the mornings when I have no pain. I've thought about trying to tag these pages in some way so that I can see how well I'm doing. There are many mornings now when I awake with NO pain. I think, for me, this is huge. So I enjoy free writing quite a bit. And this habit is a nice change from jumping on my computer and checking my email and other things first thing in the morning.

    Dr. Schubiner has a method in his program that is really interesting. It's a dialog. You can dialog with another person, an entity, a part of your personality, anything or anyone you want.

    When I first saw this, I thought "how the heck am I supposed to do THIS?" I can't write a dialog (quickly) with "something" or "someone". How do I know what they'd say? (there are of course now wrong answers since it's coming from your subconscious) But I tried it and it blew me away. I learned so much from this style of jounraling that I try and use it in my free writes some mornings.

    For example one morning I had a dialog between my "inner child" and my "inner parent". And when I had finished I said to myself "Boy are they angry!" I made huge discoveries about each. You are then instructed to reflect on the dialog.This was really helpful too.

    I think I may have learned more about myself using this method than any other style of jounraling I've tried. I have written on and off in a journal since I was a teenager. But using this method really brought out feelings I had no idea I was harboring. It was really amazing.

    So I thought it might be interesting to hear how others like to journal and what has taught them the most about themselves.

    (And if you haven't tried this dialog method - I highly recommend it. I learned more in15 minutes than I did using the other methods that have been suggested in both the programs I've worked on. But again - this is just me.)

    Once again: How do you like to journal and what style has taught you the most about yourself and your TMS/PPD?

    Lily Rose likes this.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi BeachGirl,
    That's awesome that you are waking up pain free :)

    I haven't tried dialog yet...I mostly do free writing or the exercises from the Structured Programs. I make lists a lot of what I think is bothering me about various issues.

    Do you ever reread your journals? I know there are different opinions on whether to do this. I just reread a journal from when I was 24...it was like getting to talk with myself from that age. And I could see the seeds of many of the issues I have now were present at that time. Overall it was really inspiring...I tend to remember the worst about that time in my life so it was good to remember that there were other, positive things going on as well.

    :) Veronica
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this post, I sometimes think emotionally- at other times ill write about the emotions. Sometimes ill focus on the issue for sure- love that.
    I have feel good journals, free write journals and so forth. I guess my question is what style of release do others use in journaling or acceptance.
    Ive often just pondered events that id other wise repress and doing this has helped. Anyone got a good idea to add ?
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I usually journal by thinking of someone or some event out of my childhood or later years.
    What made me angry, depressed, gave me low self-esteem, or feelings of being rejected or abused.
    When I began, I didn't think I had much repressed emotion, but more than a few came to mind.
    Then it became a matter of dealing with them, and most of that came with forgiving,
    myself as well as others.

    "No man is an island." We learn that through journaling.

    Talk to yourself. You'll listen.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. Dee

    Dee New Member

    Hi Beach Girl:

    This is an interesting question. I have done more than one type of journaling that has been effective in helping me deal with TMS. When I first started the program, I did a "stream of consciousness" type of journaling. I would just sit down for 5 or 10 minutes with a notebook and write the following:

    I'm mad about X.
    I'm sad about Y.
    I'm worried about Z.
    I'm anxious about B.
    I'm nervous about C.

    And so on....

    I didn't necessarily have to think about it. The words just flew onto the paper. I noticed that I could quickly fill up a sheet of paper with these lines. It showed me that I was worried, angry, and sad about a lot of stuff. Over a few weeks, I began to see patterns. When the same issues kept showing up, I was able to see where the real anxieties were hiding. It basically helped me put the puzzle pieces together as to what was contributing to my pain.

    In some cases, I would also add on. For example: "I am worried about the project that I have to get done at work. That is why my back hurts today. It is not physical. There is nothing physically wrong with me."

    This helped reinforce that I was physically fine. The more I could see that on paper and reiterate that to my brain, the better.

    In other cases, I would simply sit and write about the current goings-on in my life that day or that week. Now that I'm two years out from reading Sarno's books, I can typically feel when things are building up inside me and I know I need to get them on paper. I'll simply write about what it going on and what I'm worried about, etc.

    And I continue to do stream of consciousness writing, too. I felt particularly overwhelmed a few weeks ago, thanks to the holidays. I thought I had a better handle on the holidays this year, so I was surprised when I woke up one morning feeling very heavy with emotion. I felt like I could just burst out crying at any second, which is very uncharacteristic of me. I decided it was time to do a stream of consciousness and get to the bottom of all of the stuff that had been building up. Once again, I was able to quickly see just how much stuff had been piling up in my head that needed to get out.

    It just helps to get it on paper, no matter what format. I think that's the most important thing.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Beach Girl,
    Thanks for raising this issue. I started out journaling using the Schubiner 3-part method of clustering, followed by writing feelings, then processing those feelings. I benefited a great deal from this and had so much symptom-release that I stopped the formal program at that point. Then when I felt a flare-up, I would write out my current stressors/triggers and then explore the underlying emotional/psychological issues behind them. This worked pretty well. But recently I've been feeling a little "stuck", so I tried the dialogue method you suggested in your post, and that is contained in Schubiner's book. I found it interesting, and will keep this up for awhile to see what unfolds. Thanks for recommending it. It's always great to hear what is helping others.

    Happy New Year!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is great Dee, I love it -- I often use this process for sure. I have too, it helps me process better too.
    And I seem to always feel relief if im getting anxious, thanks for being so specific.
    Bless You
  8. Waterbear

    Waterbear Peer Supporter

    I always hated journaling. In school, I loathed teachers who made it a class assignment. The journaling portion was actually very, very difficulty for me. I put off looking into TMS for about a month when I read that that was part of the treatment.

    However, during that month, my pain got so intense, I decided to try it. At first, I hated it and it didn't help me at all. Then one day, I was home by myself, and I started to write about a close friend who had said something that hurt me greatly a few months back.

    I think since no one was home, I must have felt safer, but while I was journaling, I sort of "shut off" my censor. I never swear or cuss. I'm always polite. I never want to hurt another's feelings. However, I started to write the most vicious and hateful things down in my journal. I suddenly became afraid because it was like a monster was writing in my notebook and not me. I then got a moment of clarity and said to myself, "stop thinking about it, just let it happen."

    I started writing again, so fast I was barely making sentences. I didn't care, I just kept going. My friend's comment had stuck deeply and had festered for months. I poured it all out. I filled 3 pages of hate, the purest and most terrible hate that I never knew I could feel.

    When it was over, my throat was dry. I had tears in my eyes. I had adrenaline surging through my body. I felt like I'd just finished a sparring match in karate. I felt amazing, my pain was barely there.

    Spent the rest of the night painting with the arms that should have been crippled with tendinitis. Since then, I really haven't had any arm pain, just a few hiccups, nothing major. I still have knee pain, but it's getting better too, but a lot slower.

    So what I took away from that experience, is to just "let go". Sure, mommy told me to be a lady but I was hurt and I needed to just get it out and truly get it out, in it's rawest form. Don't be scared to be mean. Don't be scared to write that you hate someone or something. I journal best when I don't really think about it.

    It's your journal and only yours. You don't need to explain it's contents to anyone.

    Btw: I feel zero anger towards that friend now too :)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  9. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Journaling taught me a hell of a lot about myself. I couldn't stand journaling, and so I never did it. That taught me a ton about how fast my life was moving, and how little patience I had at that time. I wanted things quicker. That, of course, is one of the main reasons people have TMS. Push...push....push...push...gimmee, gimmee, gimmee.

    I also see it quite a bit from people, "Steve, I don't understand, I've been trying TMS healing for a month now, and no results!" It takes us a lifetime to get into TMS, one month or even six months may not scratch the surface.

    Journaling works and I always recommend it, but I was in full bore mode and couldn't sit down to even finish it. I would begin it, and then stop because I could see where it was trying to take me. They wanted me to cry and reflect, and let go. I saw the end and wanted to go straight there. This is the problem, we live in a fast paced world that demands answers in short time. All our TV shows solve their problems in a half hour to an hour.

    I'm always reminded of this by the scene in Bruce Almighty (no relation to our BruceMC, who is mighty, but not all). When Jim Carey finally decides he will listen to what God has to say, Morgan Freeman pushes that mop bucket across the floor to him with his foot. They began to mop the floor two-gether; the simplistic act of starting from the ground up, with the dirtiest of work. It's the humbling of the self that tears away ego to reveal the true self beneath.

    It all begins from the beginning. If you want to heal there is no easy way out. You have to start with the basics and do the grinding work, that's where the transformation occurs--within the hard work the spirit is forced to expand. Or as the good doctor once told me, "it's time for them (TMSers) to get to work."


Share This Page