I wanted to get better. And conventional wisdom told me that writing in my diary every day would help, but it was actually making me worse.
I had been journaling for over thirty years. (That’s a lot of paper and ink.)
I had periods where I wrote more often
And periods where I wrote less.
I was writing several times a week, on average. During the years I spent in LaGrange, though, I was writing almost every day. (That’s even more paper and ink.) I would get up every morning, and just grab the pen and go.
On and on.
Pages and pages.
Ranting and raving.
Raving and ranting.
Then I just quit.
I realized I was having a problem. I had gotten into a rut of writing about my depression and how I was feeling. While that was supposed to be a good thing, it was slowly killing me.
I would start off every day
thinking about how miserable I was.
And then I would write about it.
Writing about it made me even more miserable,
which, in turn, got me to thinking about miserable things
and how miserable I was.
Which I then, dutifully, wrote about. Every. Single. Day.
So I just quit. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. I had these…”feelings.” What was I supposed to do with them? I couldn’t call someone and just vent. Not at 5:30 in the morning. It took about a month. I’m not saying I got all better, but I think it was very helpful for me to just step away from it and think about something else.
I had to get away from
the rut of always focusing on the negative…
what was dreadful about my life…
why I hated everything.
Daily journaling was definitely useful for a while, and it’s a tool I recommend.
But it had gotten to be the only tool in the toolbox.
When you’re faced with a screw, a hammer isn’t the tool you need.