It started with a journal. You wrote for hours all of your hopes for the future. I remember the after feeling. The weight began to lift. After four years of drifting through life seeing it, all pass you by there was real hope in your eyes.
Was this what it felt like to have hope in this mental illness life?
Excerpted from James Edgar Skye – The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog, Part I – “A Mental Helth Anniversary–11 Years Later.”
(Added to my Journaling Page)
Eighteen years ago, when I was psychology supervisor in a state prison, I led a journal writing group. The book we used was George F. Simons’ Keeping Your Personal Journal, Ballantine 1978. I lent it to a friend without my name written in the flyleaf, and haven’t seen it again and of course don’t recall who I lent it to.
But I do know I haven’t come across another book on journal keeping with so much hard-core encouraging information. First I got an “out of stock” response from Amazon but kept on persevering and it arrived today and I’m seriously starting anew. I know this will be my final journal, and all the imperfections and embarrassments will still be with me, but hopefully some good insights and attempts at self-forgiveness will materialize. Except for rare entries, mine will have to be “typewritten” and pasted, due to my deteriorated handwriting. A hardbound journal does better than I do at maintaining sequencing!
This blog’s page titled “Journal Yourself Into Being” contains posts about utilizing journaling to know yourself better. For readers and others who enjoy journaling, I’ve come across a Nanowrimo.org journal writing challenge:
- National Journal Writing Month: Write a journal entry every day for a month with optional extra challenges. Takes place in January, April, July, and October.
Looks like fun!
This is a drawing from my journal December 28, 1975, and reprinted in Fallout: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders, 2014 p 244. It is from a mental image of my “ISH,” or Inner Self Healer (or Helper), as recognized and discussed by Christine Crawford, 1991, in Dissociation 4 (3), and E. Sue Blume, in Secret Survivors, 1990. Babette Rothschild (2000) refers to it as developing dual awareness. Ganga Stone (1996) appears to be referring to the same concept, although from a slightly religious perspective. She says, The Witness of the Waking State is so constant a presence in our lives that it’s hard to stay aware of it…But it’s very important to learn to catch hold of and identify with it because that changeless Witness is the One who makes it through the transition we call death….NOTE: The detached spectator is the Witness of the Waking State. That Witness is who you actually are….She suggests substituting in our thought self referants as our own name or “he” or “she” instead of I, such as “Nan is having a bad day today.” (Start the Conversation–The Book About Death You were Hoping to Find, Warner Books.)
My journal has often utilized drawings from my imagination in order to express more than words alone can. The journal portion of Fallout contains 28 drawings.
The drawing’s name for instance is “Nan,” the ISH, or the Witness of the Waking State, not “I.” A tad esoteric, eh? But try it; you might like it. P.S. I may add more to this–or should I make it a separate post? I forgot to include Allison, who came up with the ISH name, and Beahrs, who talks of purposefully utilizing healthy dissocation.