During my darkest time with post traumatic stress disorder I tried various forms of therapy to try and sort myself out. I tried cognitive behavioural therapy, neurolinguistic programming, hypnotherapy, healing and general cancer counselling. I tried it all.
The one thing a lot of these therapies had in common was that I was given ‘homework’ to do at home to help train my mind to change its thought pattern. This homework was often written work. Mostly writing my feelings and thoughts down. The thing was I never did it as at the time I couldn’t understand how writing all these things down would help me figure what was going on in my head.
I never planned to write a blog when i started 101 Things. I was just going to post pictures and the odd video here and there.
I think the first time I ever actually wrote down my actual feelings on Facebook was when I was in Colombia. I was feeling pretty down at the time and a little girl came over to me in a cafe, told me she liked my blue eyes and painted me a picture and then drew me another picture which she said i could colour in myself later on. It was the sweetest thing and made my day so I decided to write it down. I found that also writing down why I was feeling sad helped me a lot as well. I later posted it on Facebook.
I then started writing down things that affected me during my travels and then I found myself wanting to write when I was feeling sad or worried. It really seemed to help me when I put things down on paper (screen:).
In person I am not a good story teller and I find it hard to convey my true feelings. I could never sit at a table and tell a group of people stories of my adventures. My motivational talks work quite well but they are structured and because of the fact that I’ve been invited to speak I usually figure that people want to hear what I’ve been up to. I therefore find it easy to chat about my trip and experiences with cancer.
When at home a few months ago, people who don’t read my blog would ask me how my trip was and I’d reply with “really good thanks” and that would be it. After all how I could I possibly convey the things I’ve seen and learnt in just a couple of sentences.
I’ve said things in this blog that I have never told anyone before in my life. I’m not sure I would know how to say it verbally. Writing has not only given me a voice but it also helps me reflect on my experiences. Writing down my thoughts helps give me clarity and make sense of the way I’m feeling and of what I’m thinking.
I often write when I’m feeling sad or worried as it seems to distance my negative thoughts from me when I write them down. When I read them back it’s almost as if I’m reading someone’s else’s feelings and I then know exactly what to say to them. I’m sure you’d agree it’s always easier giving advice to others rather than yourself.
If you are going through a tough time at the moment no matter what it is, try writing your thoughts down. I promise you it helps. I usually just note things down in the notes section of my phone. I wish I could go back to my therapy sessions and have actually tried the writing exercises they gave me. I’m pretty sure it would have helped me sort myself out a bit sooner.
Happy writing gang