Writing to Heal
As you already know, a divorce takes a toll on your emotions. Many feel abandoned, hopeless, guilty, stressed and a wealth of negative emotions. One way some, including me have started their healing process is through the act of writing.
I can’t tell you what will work best for you. I suggest you try several options and see what helps you the most.
The first is the getting it out of your head and onto the paper method. This is where you save up your negative emotions and spill them onto the paper. The purpose is to not dwell on them all day, but to give yourself permission to let them fly onto the paper when the mood strikes. You can even use Siri’s voice to text and talk your feelings onto “virtual paper” The idea is to get it out! This also helps you avoid taking out the emotions on innocent bystanders such as your co-workers or even worse, your children.
The next method is almost the opposite of the first. It’s called a gratitude journal. Every evening (or morning if that works better for you) you write down at least three things you are grateful for. The purpose of this journal is it keeps helps you focus on the positive and not the negative. This had the most surprising impact on my life. When you focus on what’s “right” in your life, it’s amazing how positive you feel!
The third option is simply a mix of the two. Write down whatever you’re feeling. Good, bad, apathetic, sick, tired, frustrated, happy, thrilled, or stressed.
One of the benefits of journaling is being able to go back and see how far you’ve progressed. I have mine from the past 5 years, and I look at where I once was and see and feel where I am today, and I’m surprised to see that I’m the same person.
Shortly before or after your divorce you may find yourself with a host of dark days and only a few positive entries. God knows, mine is filled with sadness, and anger, but as time goes on you may be surprised to see how that turns around. You’ll have more positive days and fewer bad ones. This can be encouraging to see how you’re moving forward. Or it can be a reality check if you find yourself wallowing instead of pushing on.
What type of journal should you buy?
I admit I love journals. When I pick up a leather covered journal filled with textured paper my heart goes pitter patter. However, as much as I love them; they can feel intimidating to write in. I worry that my words aren’t equal to the awesome vessel I’m holding.
Because of this affliction, I stock up on cheap spirals during back to school sales. I feel no intimidation writing my random thoughts in such notebooks. I can’t begin to count how many of this type of notebook I’ve filled with my musings. But there is another alternative, and that’s the virtual kind. I’ve been “speaking” my writing lately, as a matter of fact, I’m doing that right now, as I write this entry. I’m using the voice recognition software (not always the most accurate, but it gets me close!)
How often should you write in your journal?
I found that setting a certain time once a day helped me stay on track with my journaling. It was easier for me to write at the end of the day but others find that first thing in the morning works better. The secret is to find out what works best for you. Give journaling a try for at least one full month and see if it helps you. You may enjoy the act of writing so much that you decide to start an online blog about your journey, and I would love to publish your story, right here on TheCafeD!