I wish that I would have documented more of my story while I was going through it. I journaled growing up. It was something that I always did but after my sexual assault, something changed. I wanted to get away from the former me. What do I mean by that?
If you aren’t a survivor yourself, this may seem like a foreign concept. Once something traumatic happens to you, you are no longer the person you were before the incident. I always call this version of me, The Original Samantha. It was who I was for 18 years. Confident, outgoing, motivated, smart. And all of that just disappeared in mere minutes.
Writing was something that the original Samantha always did. So I needed to get rid of that part of myself. I couldn’t be all of her so I couldn’t allow pieces of me to be her. It was too hard and it hurt too much. And so I gave it up. I struggled through many years, not giving in to writing it down.
As I look back now, I wish I had. Not because I want to remember the pain and the tortured existence that I lived but to remind myself that I can get through hard times. When my world was black, I kept going, kept breathing; no matter how much it hurt.
I wish I would have documented how I felt in those moments. Been completely open and honest in the moments when life was crushing me. It would have given me insight into the words that I was thinking about myself. It would have given me insight into the moments when I just wanted to end things.
JOURNALING IS A SELF-CARE ACT
I think when most people think of journaling, we think of pre-teens writing in their journals that lock. I know you had one. I did and I wish they made some adult versions of this. (Maybe they do and I just have never seen one.)
I remember the relief I would feel when I would journal my thoughts and feelings as a kid. I got it out of me and then most of the time, I went on with my life. The crushes, the fights with my friends, the fights with my parents. It was all documented. I wish I knew where my childhood diaries went. Oh, could you imagine rereading that?
Journaling allows us to get all the thoughts and feelings out of our heads. As women, we tend to hold everything inside and replay those thoughts and feelings until that is all we can think about. They consume us and take over our life. It is a big reason we get stuck in certain moments of our life. We relive and replay them over and over again as if that is all that matters. Journaling gives us the escape that we are looking for.
It is about just getting those thoughts and feeling out of our heads though. Journaling is a diagnostic tool. It gives me insight into what I am feeling, doing and how I am being. It allows me to take a look at all of those thoughts that I wrote down objectively. It may even give me an answer that I have been searching for and just couldn’t find.
Getting out of my head means that I have a chance to see what the real issue is. Most of the time, it isn’t what was said at that moment. It goes back much deeper than that and by writing it down, we can bring that to the surface and work through it.
Journaling also means that we have documented parts of our life that we can someday look back on. In this review of our life, we can look back and see what worked in our healing process and what didn’t work in our healing process.
We can also see the lesson that we were going through. Most of the time as we are living through something, the lesson doesn’t appear to us. We are too focused on surviving this current situation that the lesson just doesn’t matter. Journaling gives us the benefit of looking back and noticing what that lesson was when we aren’t so emotional about it.
WAYS TO DOCUMENT YOUR STORY WHILE LIVING THROUGH IT
Free journaling. This is the type of journaling where you are just going to write. Write whatever pops into your head and heart. Don’t worry if it makes sense or not. You just write and keep writing until it stops. I normally do this type of journaling when I wake up in the morning. If you struggle with free journaling, here are some journal prompts that you can use as blog posts.
Gratitude journaling. You can get a lot of insight into your life when you see what you were grateful for at certain points. This is where you write what you are grateful for in your life. I normally do this in the evening before I go to bed.
Manifestation journaling. This is where you are going to write about what you want to manifest in your life. Again, another great insight into your life and what you were hoping to achieve.
Visualization journaling. This may just be another way that you can do your manifestation journaling. For my visualization journaling, I write down everything that I want to get and the goals I want to achieve. I write these in the present tense using I am and I have.
There are so many different ways to journal but these are my favourite ways to bring in documentation in my life without feeling like I am documenting everything.
THE BENEFITS OF DOCUMENTING YOUR STORY
Overcoming trauma in your life.
Helping other people who are reading your story.
Know yourself on a deeper level.
Strengthening yourself and your relationships.
Pass along your wisdom to those reading your story.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH DOCUMENTING YOUR STORY
Buy yourself a pretty journal that you will write in daily. You can buy a couple of different journals. If you do, you can keep one next to your bed and keep one in your purse.
Create a note on your phone where you can document thoughts when they come to you. This helps to keep your thoughts a bit more organized.
Set aside 10-15 minutes to begin with to just sit with your journal. This will help take the pressure off of sitting there for a long time.
Just start writing. Like I said above, it doesn’t need to make sense. Just get in the habit of writing everything down.
If you are ready to get started sharing your story, please email me. I would love to show you how I can help you.