Journal Entry 1:
By Stephanie Korpal
It’s day 1 and I am regretting this choice. I’ve tried already a few times today (it’s 2pm) to jot down some notes, words, thoughts and really couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t make me roll my eyes at myself, let alone make me feel okay about posting publicly.
I am pushing through, though, because of two reasons:
I have been saying something over and over in session recently that I am going to apply to my own life
I have been told by two professionals that writing is one of the most powerful tools at our disposable.
I don’t know why I need writing to be a powerful tool for in my own life right now, but I definitely am humble enough to know there’s SOMETHING it can help me through. Maybe we’ll find it in this 30 day journey…..
Anyway, that thing I have been telling clients!
It doesn’t really always matter being motivated to do something. You just gotta do it. It’s not MY philosophy. You’ll hear that from almost anyone. But it is true and is a reminder I give a lot of people.
Lots of choices and behaviors aren’t about “wanting” to do it. This is different than wanting what’s on the other side. But if we always wait to be motivated to do the thing, there’s little we’d get done. It’s much more about the discipline to do it. The willingness to “just” follow-through. Sometimes that means the thing you’re doing doesn’t look that pretty (eg, you don’t have the greatest strength-training workout or run….or, in my case, journal entry). Sometimes it means you’re fighting yourself the whole way through. But it always ends in the thing being DONE. Finito. Accomplished.
As we all know, as those victories over “just doing it” pile it up, it becomes easier and easier to “just do it.” Please dear Lord may that be my experience here.
So. There we go on that.
Already feeling better.
I used to love writing. Adore it actually.
A 7th grade teacher actually once designed a whole writing workshop or writing week for the class and I ate it up. (Mom, do I still have that?) In high school, there was some platform on the world wide web that wasn’t quite MySpace but was a public journal thing---I think the word I am looking for is “blog” (oh my!)—and I wrote on there often. I HOPE TO THE BOTTOM OF MY FEET that is not living on in the internet-sphere somewhere. Oh gosh, the angst probably captured in those entries would be mortifying. It’s also making me laugh.
I loved writing up until a few years ago. And I don’t think it’s that I no longer like writing, it’s actually that I resolved a lot of emotional angst/dysregulation that used to plague me, and without that layer in my life, the “need” to write, or the purpose it served, also diminished, if it didn’t completely evaporate.
But I’ve been feeling the itch again recently. That itch isn’t about dysregulation coming back. I think it’s about that Number 2 above, though. Working something out. Finding some clarity. Getting to the “aha” moment.
A therapist a few years told me that writing-or even speaking out loud to yourself or into your phone-s is helpful because we think we have fully formed sentences when we’re thinking, but when we are forced to write or use our voice, we use words differently and actually put together a meaningful sentence. Which means we can work our way through a lot more by writing or talking. That’s also why we often feel so much better talking through an issue with a friend (or…a therapist!) compared to when we move around inside our own heads for an hour.
Are you someone who journals?
Maybe, if you’re not, you should try for a little while.
A journal can be done on a computer; on a random napkin or piece of scrap paper; or obviously in a formal journal.
It can be bullet points; sketches; or full sentences.
It can be a response to a prompt; musings of the day; random words. Or a combination of all of the above.
It also: wait for it…………doesn’t have to be every day! It can be done at any interval or frequency you want. Though, if you are trying it on for size, I’d maybe recommend giving it a whirl for a set number of back-to-back days first. Then, you can adjust as it serves you.
Readers-are you going to come back tomorrow?
This was a wonky, poor performance start.
But you know what? It’s done!
Which is what I started out to do.
And I also challenged some of the perfectionism ‘cause we know this isn’t it!
Hope to catch you tomorrow!
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Our Chicago team of therapists offer a wide range of mental health services to help our clients through the different challenges and hurdles in their life. In addition to anxiety, depression, grief, therapy for men, and maternal overwhelm, we are specialized in professional burnout, therapy for breakups, and love partnering with working moms.