Saturday, January 17, 2015

The 79cent therapist, #347

A long time ago I read in a book about journaling that a journal (namely, any one subject notebook that probably costs 79 cents) can be your therapist. I've been a believer in the concept ever since. There's nothing in my life I haven't been able to gain insight from by writing it out. I may not solve an issue, but any stack of papers with room to scribble upon has the capacity to begin a psychological healing journey.

We all have some forgotten half-filled notebook somewhere in our desk drawers, right? And surely everyone has a cup with pens and pencils in it. Of course one can just as easily use a typewriter or a word document on their computers if typing is your preferred mode of writing.

The hardest part is getting started. Deciding to sit and write is the biggest hurdle to using your 79cent therapist, but you CAN jump it. You don't have to have a goal. Just write. See what comes out. For me, I adopt a superhero mentality when journaling. By that I mean I pretend I'm Buffy or some other super, often mythological, version of myself. This allows me to not blame myself in my writings to myself. It allows me to explore the idea that things aren't my fault and then work problems from the angle of that assumption.

For you maybe your writings can be directed as letters to yourself or to another person in your life, even if you'll never give them the letters. Or maybe you want to write fictionalized versions of what happened in your day, or maybe you just want to document how your day went in one sentence per day. Maybe you burn your journals after you write them, choosing never to actually read them back to yourself. Maybe you create a blog that no one knows the username to and post your darkest thoughts to the internet publicly.

It's your inanimate therapist. Use it however you like.