When writing: “We are surprised by what we learn about ourselves. It runs counter to what we’ve thought about who we are. But it is closer to the truth.” Rob Bignell
I had a different blog post written for this week but then I went to a workshop last weekend and uncovered a lot about myself through the writing prompts we were given. This experience led me to reflect on how much I have utilised writing to better understand myself over the last few years and I wanted to share how transformative writing (to yourself) can be.
Writing has been the one thing that I have managed to stick with throughout my journey to get to know myself better. Writing daily has contributed to my increased self-awareness, a better relationship with myself and those around me and vastly improved wellbeing.
Last week I turned the page on my 4th journal in 18 months.
One day I might share some of what is written in those early months, but it is a mixture of dark and utterly simplistic and I’m not yet ready to deal with the vulnerability hangover I would have from publishing it.
There was a period at the end of 2015 when I stopped writing. This was my darkest point. My ‘rock bottom’ as some might say. A rock bottom that lasted 2 months.
It kickstarted with a night I don’t want to remember and was cannibalised as I proceeded to drink and eat my way through the festive period and into early January. I look back and I feel for the me who couldn’t bring herself to explore the crazy that was going round in my head at that time.
It took me two months to feel ready to put pen to paper again, I can feel your resistance to document what is going on in your life and I understand it more than you know.
When you can face putting pen to paper, and I wish I had written my way through those two months as I needed the support that comes from writing out your feelings, I am right here with you.
If you go to write on a piece of paper or in your journal or diary and have a ‘why me?’ moment, if you question why you are putting pen to paper, know that I am right here with you and at any given time am probably writing in a notebook, scribbling on a piece of paper or typing frantically on my phone (as I am writing this).
Often, allowing yourself to just write can be more helpful than you can imagine.
If you’re not sure where to start, or are looking for inspiration, here are 3 writing prompts and practices to turn too:
1. Make writing part of your morning routine, free write in a journal as soon as you wake up
2. Write a letter to you from your 80 year old self. What would she/he want you to know right now? How would she/he support and comfort you in your stuckness?
3. Write a letter to what you need to let go and release, to what you are struggling with: whatever that may be, alcohol, disordered eatings, negative self talk, toxic friendships.
Start with: Dear Alcohol/Toxic friendship etc and then free write all you need to sayI’ve done this with alcohol, when I was struggling with bulimia and just about every problem I’ve had since and it is more cathartic than you can imagine.
Do you have a writing practise? Or are you looking to start one? I’d love to know how you get on. Please don’t get caught up in thinking you have to be ‘good at writing’ to write. This is for you, not for anyone else.
Sending love always, L xx