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I don’t want to journal

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ewok2, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    I don’t like journaling. I read about others getting so much out if it but I feel a strong urge not to do it.

    Do you think this means it’s just not the method for me or is that my sneaky brain trying to put me off a method of getting in touch with emotions?
  2. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Listen to the curable podcast- story of Aaron and you'll see why you should journal.
    lauraseago and Ewok2 like this.
  3. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    Thanks, I listened to his story the other day. I remember he didn’t like journaling? But not sure he found it beneficial (or am I forgetting part of it?).
  4. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I’m exactly the same. I’m happy to sit there watching crap TV or playing mindless video games but when it comes to committing even just 10 minutes a day to journaling or expressive writing...forget it.

    I have been able to give up time for meditation which I committed to so it makes me think there is a far more telling underlying reason why I just can’t do the writing. Literally every single mind-body based recovery route from chronic pain places expressive writing at the forefront. I’ve been in the loop for 7 years and still avoid it. As you also allude to there must be something going on there.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    There are people who recover from TMS without journaling. If I remember correctly, the site adminstrator and founder of the tmswiki, Forest, didn't journal; nor did Steve Ozanich.

    But I believe that even if people who recovered didn't write about their emotions, they were willing to look at what might be underlying the cause for developing TMS.
    plum and Ewok2 like this.
  6. Lynn S

    Lynn S Peer Supporter

    It's so funny we can look at our questions to find the real answers.
    JanAtheCPA, plum and Ewok2 like this.
  7. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the answers everyone.

    I suppose what I’m getting at is - for those who did journal, and found it beneficial, did you have resistance to journaling or did you feel it was the right path for you?
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I found it painful and dreaded doing it, but I was committed to the process. I feared all those emotions and didn't want to have to confront them, which of course is why I was repressing them. But over time it became easier, and I felt empowered by my ability to withstand it. It made me stronger and wiser.
    mm718, plum and Ewok2 like this.
  9. Kwiens18

    Kwiens18 Newcomer

    im Kind of intrigued to try journaling at one point I broke down and started screaming/crying/blubbering asking what’s wrong with me and just in general airing out all the fearful feelings I had been holding in and it was definitely freeing to atleast admit out loud in some form some of the internal feelings I’ve been hiding from family that wouldn’t understand. Fortunately for me (unfortunate for her) my girlfriend struggles with her own anxiety feelings so I have atleast one person in my life I can vent to and they understand what I’m feeling even if she doesn’t understand the health anxiety aspect of it.
    JanAtheCPA, plum and Ewok2 like this.
  10. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Ellen, that tell me what I needed to know.
    Ellen and plum like this.
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just realized that journaling about painful stuff was the first time I consciously moved toward my fears. Doing that gave me the self-confidence to move toward other fears, which has been incredibly empowering. The next thing I did was start doing Bikram Hot Yoga (I've written about this on the Forum), which required that I move toward my fear of pain and exhaustion. Still challenging, but after every class I feel empowered. I got through it. Nothing horrible happened. I've started moving toward other fears now. I may start wearing a Wonder Woman constume :D
    gailnyc, mm718, JanAtheCPA and 2 others like this.
  12. Kerrj74

    Kerrj74 Well known member

    I have tried journaling but I never know what to write. I feel like I just write the same thing over and over every time. I wish I could see some good examples of journaling so I know what I should be trying to achieve.
    Ewok2 likes this.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's this one, Ewok2!
    When I was making my SEP lists, (preliminary to journaling) particularly ones related to my past, I found my brain literally telling me "Oh no, don't write THAT down, THAT's not important". It was really hard to force myself to write those things down anyway. When I reviewed them later, I realized that they were not at all earth-shattering in any way - but they typically were embarrassing or shameful or carried some old past guilt with them - and examining them with different (older) eyes was revealing and freeing.

    I highly recommend it.
    Ewok2 likes this.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Did you do the SEP, Kerrj? Different ways to journal are prefaced by making lists, on different topics, and choosing a few things to examine more closely by using various writing techniques. My lists had lots of choices, but the key is to choose the things your brain wants you to avoid. This does require really listening to the messages from your brain.
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  15. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Jan! That’s what I was suspicious about :)
  16. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    I started to journal last year . (After two years thinking about it..) Did not like it from the start It was a ‘thing’ on my to do list every day. Some days really felt : ojh Djee forgot to journal today.. i will do it Quickly now ! Then i was worried because i did not know what to write. Than i was worried because i did not feel that much while writing, was more an observer. Etc etc.
    I did not write every day and then felt quilty. I have felt that me disliking it should mean something : maybe that i am just lazy ? Maybe there is something to discover and my mind just does not want me to find out? Then realized i was TMSing about journaling.
    Now i do it 2-4 of times in the week. Do not pressure myself to feel something , or worry if its silky stuff.
    Just doing it and will give it a couple of months ..
    Kerrj74 likes this.
  17. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    he did it and found it good
  18. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    I decided yesterday to journal & talk to myself about the most emotional thing in my life. The subject was the death of my mom. I cried my eyes out...really did. She was always there for me and I love her so much. She died a painful death and I wasn't with her. My sister was so that gave me some peace so mom wasn't alone.. I felt something lift inside me and I feel better. Pick something that rips at your heart and see where it leads ? I found out I never grieved totally and still have much sadness inside me. I think most of us never get over this.
    gailnyc, karinabrown and Kerrj74 like this.
  19. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Ho click,
    I can relate to that pain. My father also had a painfull death. I Personally think its not a reality to ‘get over’ it. You learn to live with it at best , in a way that gets a bit milder after years. But missing your mother or father (or anyelse) from time to time seems just natural and also pain from that.
  20. lauraseago

    lauraseago Peer Supporter

    @Ewok2 I have definitely seen people recover with minimal or no journaling. It is possible.

    However, the research on expressive writing shows that 2-3 sessions of 20 minutes can have an impact on your physical and mental health that lasts for years. I think a lot of people worry that they will have to journal every day for the rest of their lives, which is just not true for most people.

    I have also seen people get very overwhelmed by the journaling exercises in a way that's counterproductive (particularly those with severe trauma, past sexual abuse, or PTSD). In these cases, the journaling CAN still be helpful, you just need to create a safe environment to do it in. I always recommend these people bring the exercises to a professional therapist and do it DURING a therapy session so that someone is there to help you process what came up.

    I had the chance to interview John Evans, who is the co-author of "Expressive Writing: Words That Heal." His other co-author is Jamie Pennebaker, who has done the bulk of the research that's out there on expressive writing. Perhaps listening to the interview will help you figure out what to do next. You can find it here.

    One thing he said that stands out to me is "reluctant writers often have the most to gain by writing."
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Ellen, Lynn S, Kerrj74 and 3 others like this.

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