For 2019 I want to start sharing about my healing journey. Many of my readers and clients know what I do as far as self-naturalistic and herbal healing but most have no idea why. So a thought occurred to me over the new year that perhaps it's time I share my journey, which in so many ways is still in its infancy. Perhaps we can learn and grow together.
So this year instead of only posts of my products, homesteading and living naturally I will be sharing my story of mental health and overcoming extreme grief and trauma.
Journaling - an aid in validation.
I started journaling a few years ago after a suggestion from my therapist. I would get so caught up with feelings and memories it was paralyzing and I couldn't speak. Then when I was able to talk it out I would no longer remember. For many weeks I sat with the empty journal on my lap or my desk and stare blankly into space. Empty.
One day I decided perhaps I should start at the beginning. I wrote down my birth date, my parents, where I was born, the color of my eyes, what I did for a living, when I was married, etc. This was a simply filling-in-the blanks sort of exercise and something my brain loved to complete anyway. Something broke and I wrote nearly twenty pages. I can't tell you what started it nor what drove my fingers to handwrite what my heart was desperately trying to get out but I can tell you how light the release felt. I had been struggling to simply breath for several years under the weight of my grief so it was profoundly amazing to be able to take 2-3 breaths without consciously thinking, "breath in, now breath out". The release was minuscule in the grand scheme but nonetheless, life saving. After this first successful session it was clear I still have years, perhaps decades, of healing work to do but for the first time in a very long time it seemed possible.
After this changing moment I would start each session with writing down a favorite new quote I read or something of beauty I witnessed. It could be a bible proverb, a sentence or two from a book I was reading, or a bird I saw drinking out of a pond that day. Perhaps it was the process of putting pen to paper that started the process of release or perhaps it was thinking of something other than my desperate sorrow and grief that opened up the portal to my memories and feelings that my waking brain worked 24/7 to burn and bury.
Writing these memories and feelings down on paper is painful but also empowering. I've found that by transferring this trauma from my brain to the book acknowledges those moments in time, validates them in a sense, and then I can close the book. The memories and feelings are in no way forgotten, quite the contrary. They're out, exposed, no longer stuffed into the deepest corners and shadows but brought to the light.
Talking to actual humans is difficult and simply can't always be done. Speaking verbally has it's own barriers, too many thought processes to follow in order to flow. Writing however flows without restraint and without judgement of sound or thought. It just flows and with that healing then has a way to enter in. The light.
I would love to hear if any of you have tried this technique and how it worked, or didn't work for you.