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Journalling – recommended by almost everyone and their mothers, and their mother’s therapist, and my therapist to me.
Up until the beginning of August, I had kept a diary on my phone. I didn’t write in it everyday, but it was an extremely useful place for me to write about my anxious feelings if I was in public and needed to calm myself down. By the way, if you feel anxious in public too I highly recommend doing just that, then read through your anxious thoughts when you’re calmer and try to challenge them. So for me this was, ‘people are looking at me’. A way to challenge that could be, ‘people are just noticing that I’m in the same space as them, and there’s nothing wrong with that, they are actually not interested in me’. Keep doing it and soon you’ll notice a change in your thought patterns 😊.
But, writing on paper is different. There’s no distractions, no notifcations snatching you away from your thoughts. It’s just you, your pen and your notebook, a holy trinity of solitutde.
So, what was the purpose of my journal session aside from my therapist’s recommendation? An extremely uneven sleep schedule, which had lead to a huge imbalance in my emotional wellbeing. If my brain was a garden, then exhaustion was a weed infestation, stubbornly anchored between the roots of any poetry ideas that could have blossomed there.
I realised what I needed was clarity and space to fight those weeds, to remind myself of their temporary nature. And so, remembering the lessons from the day before, I came out into my real garden. Though still, I was lacking the energy to stand and be present with nature.
Instead, I sat. And I brought a little friend with me – my notebook.
Honestly, much of my time journalling was spent not trying to fall asleep. Once I had settled into my chair, the breeze was so relaxing I felt myself drooping forward, leaning on my hand, my notebook slipping off my lap.
I persevered, and stayed awake. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and saw those weeds come alive on my page. But, once they were out of my head, they had nowhere to anchor their roots. It was much easier to see them for what they were – short-term sentiments.
And, once I realised that, my garden felt much clearer.