My Therapy : Journal Writing
(Me writing in journal #42)
Raising a special needs child has its unique challenges and stressors. I am constantly making sure that I have various outlets for myself in the moments I need some extra help.
At age 13, I started a journal because I wanted to keep track of the goings on in my life. Initially, I talked about cute boys and pretty clothes. Eventually though, as teen angst set in, I began to use it as a way to express deeper feelings I didn’t feel comfortable communicating outwardly.
I’m not sure why I kept up with it; I just know that it was and continues to be a great therapeutic outlet for me. I experience immediate calm once I start writing. My journal travels with me everywhere. I have often found myself rushing back to my car in tears about something, finding relief and solace in knowing my journal is waiting for me there. I’m not sure what I would do without it. It’s my confidante, therapist and bestie wrapped in one.
Here are some ways journal writing helps me throughout my special needs journey :
- To Reflect. Often times, by re-visiting events that happened and how I felt, I am actually able to receive more emotional clarity about the situation.
- To Express Difficult Material. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the exact causes for a current state of anxiety or worry. By beginning to write about it, certain feelings that were previously inaccessible are able to get through.
- To Avoid Emotional Outbursts. At the height of frustration, I want to explode outwardly. Because things are rarely made better by this type of behavior, I find that writing in my journal first (furiously sometimes!), helps diffuse my heightened emotions so that I can communicate more effectively and from a neutral state of mind.
Want to get started but don’t know how?
1. Buy a fun new journal (I love Peter Pauper Press peterpauper.com).
2. Create the habit to write in your journal a few times a week, for example every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening before bed.
3. Keep your journal with you and start writing down any difficult / uncomfortable feelings that come up for you during the day