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Writing a Journal

October 2017

By Barbara Stahura, CJF and Marilyn Lash, MSW

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“I’m not a writer.”

Writing can be a path to healing

“My spelling and grammar are terrible.”

“I’ve never done it.”

“I don’t have time.”

These are just some of the reasons folks give about why they can’t or don’t want to try journaling.  But perhaps the most important question is “Why? How can it help me?”

While journaling may not increase the range of motion in your shoulder or steady your gait, a brain injury can have far greater impact on your life than the physical changes. The invisible injuries – the cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral changes – can alter not only your life but your relationships.

Journaling is a tool to express your feelings, deal with your inner conflicts, mourn the past, and consider the future.  No matter how many challenges your brain injury has created, one thing is certain – you have a new story to tell.  Journaling is a way to tell your story.

Telling your story can be your medicine. By creating a new story after your injury, you can use your own words and insights to guide you through an unfamiliar world.

Writing a Journal

Journaling is a simple writing technique. It lets you express your innermost thoughts, free of judgment from anyone else. You don’t have to correct and revise your writing – just get it down!

You have many choices. You can keep your writing private or you can share it with others. You can write alone or with a group. If writing or typing is too hard, you can use a recorder. You can journal for just minutes a day, several times a week or month. It’s up to you to decide when, how and where to journal.

Writing is for Anyone

Anyone can journal. You may have an injury, disability, or disease. You may be a family member or a caregiver. Writing down your thoughts and feelings about what is happening in your life can help you find ways to cope with change and stress and help rebuild your life and relationships.

How So I Start Writing?

A journal can be anything you choose – a computer file, a notebook, pad of paper, or a bound book of empty pages to fill. Whatever format you choose, your journal is a dated record written over time. What you choose to write about is up to you. It may be events, feelings, thoughts, dreams, fantasies, future plans, memories, sketches, letters, photographs – anything you want.

Writing a Journal is a Way of: