My therapeutic writing is on the cusp of a new period

via Daily Prompt: Cusp

hand writing in journal

I remember the very first things I ever learned to write. My name, of course, then the days of the week and the weather. Miss Matuza wrote the day and the weather on the chalk board each day, and we had to hand write it in our little paper booklet. I guess my mom taught me how to write the letters of the alphabet by then. That’s been so long ago. Forty years ago! But those first words were definitely not the beginning of my love for writing. Actually, I don’t think I developed a fondness for writing until I was much older. I think it started a little bit in college, but I wouldn’t say I wrote for the true love of writing, or even therapeutic purposes, even then. I think that unlike many bloggers here on WordPress, I was a late bloomer in this respect.

My first love of writing began with journaling, at the ripe “old” age of about 35 years old. When I started, it was mostly done as a record of my feelings, moods, and actions so that I could remember what to talk about with my psychiatrist and therapist. It was also a way to release the stress or excess energy that I felt. When I was depressed, it was often a way to motivate myself. I was sort of transferring the stress onto the paper, or on some occasions, vomiting it out, in a sense. I don’t remember if anyone suggested I journal. Actually, I don’t remember much at all from those years. I was in and out of the hospital and Intensive Outpatient Programs so often during that period of my life, for bipolar mania mostly. It’s kind of cool (and sometimes quite disturbing) to see what happened during these “blackout” times.

Better dragonfly journalI remember that when I first started to journal seriously, I used the blue silk covered book you see to the left decorated with dragon flies. I thought it was the most beautiful and soft feeling book I had ever owned. I remember that to comfort myself sometimes, I would even rub the cover against my cheeks. Back then, I chose to journal by hand. We had a computer, but I thought all journals were best done by hand, plus I wasn’t aware of blogs or journaling sites at the time. I have never had good penmanship, but boy did it get pretty bad at times! I think a combination of moods, emotions, and Lithium hand tremors showed an added dimension to my struggles. You can see below how my handwriting became almost illegible. I remember that it was also almost painful, in a way, to have to hand write. At my old job I never hand wrote anything. I was rather an extremely fast and enthusiastic typist.bad handwriting

I have continued to journal with few breaks since buying the blue silk dragonfly journal, but I did eventually switch over to journaling on the computer. I found a bipolar support website and kept an online diary there. I have no more handwriting struggles, but sadly not the exact same added dimension. Now I enjoy the “flight and dance of my fingers on the keyboard” that I’ve described in earlier posts. My typing speed has increased even more. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast! Sometimes when I’m hypomanic or manic I type thousands of words in a short time. Sometimes I type a hell of a lot even when stable. During this time I have found that a number of strange typos happen. I type “hear” when I mean “here”, and things like “section” when I mean “seclusion”. Hmm? What in the heck is happening up there in my brain? Strange words just fly from my brain to my fingers at 100 mph. Or sometimes it seems like my brain is IN my fingers.

Recently I have grown sick and tired of writing about my illness. It’s been over 10 years. Also, my mood is really stabilizing and my anxiety levels have become pretty low. I’ve incorporated more fun activities into my life (with my hubby and alone) and my mind has started to dwell elsewhere. I’m not just about a mental illness! I love the things around me (i.e. nature, people, new places, birds and animals) and am growing quite interested in hobbies from the past, and new ones too (i.e. cooking, thinking about social and political issues, linguistics, humor). All kinds of things! And do you know what? It’s a blast! I’ve added WordPress into my life. I’m also VERY MUCH enjoying reading other people’s writing.

Both types of writing I describe above have been therapeutic for me, but in different ways. Both types of writing have spurred my love for writing. Sitting home alone these years I’ve rarely felt that lonely because of it. Writing is like a friend. Reading other people’s writing makes me feel a type of connection with others. Plus, I’m learning new things again. I feel like I’m on the cusp of a new period in my life; a more productive period and rewarding period.

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22 thoughts on “My therapeutic writing is on the cusp of a new period

  1. juantetcts April 4, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Reblogged this on juantetcts and commented:
    I am always fascinated about the journey to writing! I found this journey exceptional!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lexiejungling April 4, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    I love writing in a journal, I’ve had a journal for 7 years maybe even more I can’t remember, I haven’t had the same one though I’ve had multiple over the years. I write because it’s a stress reliever for me and because when I get older I want to look back at all these journals and see what my kid self was up too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 6:48 pm

      Hi lexiejungling. I’m glad you enjoy journaling too. I feel in some ways that the journal will be as important (or maybe in some cases even more important) than some of the photos I’ve taken.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lexiejungling April 4, 2017 / 6:52 pm

        Yes I agree, you can really describe into more details in a journal and how you feel at that exact moment in time, and with a picture you might forget what you felt at that time or what the weather was outside and little information like that. It’d be cool to write a journal entry and then put a picture to go with it though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 7:03 pm

        That is a cool idea (putting a photo with the journal entry). Now with cell phones and digital cameras it’s a cinch. I guess you could even create a video, but I still prefer writing, personally.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lexiejungling April 4, 2017 / 7:04 pm

        Yeah I was gonna mention it’d be harder now though because all of our photos tend to be on our phone, but yeah I prefer writing too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Intentergy April 4, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    There are so many things that hit home for me in this piece. The idea of “vomiting” out the words on to paper is so relatable. Sometimes we just have to get them out! I also have a journal that was hand selected that I have filled with my first adult journaling. I still use it for inspiration sometimes. Whether they are hand written or typed, the words that we scribe serve as the voice of hearts and minds. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 6:51 pm

      Thank you so much, Intentergy, for your comment and sharing a bit of your experience with journaling too.

      I still sort of consider myself new here at WordPress. I like your suggestion to look back at journal entries for inspiration. Perhaps I’ll do that sometime too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Deeksha April 4, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    I love writing and I definitely find it therapeutic. I loved this post..! It shows how you can never be too old to start writing..! I completely fail at maintaining journals or diaries of any sort because I’m that lazy a person. Guess I should take a cue from you and keep a journal..!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      I hope you do give journaling a try, Deeksha. But it is wonderful that you have a great blog here at WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Central Scrutinizer April 4, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Wow, what a great, imaginatively narrated story! I think Ms. Matuza would be very much impressed. You’re on the cusp of turning the seed she planted into a fragrant rose garden. Moreover, your élan and determination not to be defeated nor defined by a serious illness is truly inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      It would be pretty cool to meet up with Miss Matuza again. She was fairly young when I was in Kindergarten.

      Thank you for your compliment on my post. Yes, I am excited about redefining myself now into a more well-rounded person. The Daily Post word is “cusp” and I do truly feel on the cusp of something new.

      Like

  6. Elena April 4, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    I like how wonderfully honest you are – one can really feel the person behind this story!

    And I certainly share your love for nice covers – my room is filled with journals of all shapes and sizes for dreams, thoughts, plans, everything 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Elena, your comment that you could feel the person behind my story makes me very happy. Thank you!

      That is a great idea that you have separate journals for different purposes.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. stoneronarollercoaster April 4, 2017 / 11:16 pm

    What a beautiful blue journal 🙂
    I started writing one some months back and man what a cathartic experience it is! You vented out and nobody judged you. Its such an amazing feeling.
    I have a big sturdy journal that i keep hidden. And trust me my handwriting is way worse than this. Sometimes even i can’t read it.
    Then a friend of mine suggested blogging so i m here. Now i write on my laptop so that its easier to convert in a blog post.

    You are a strong person. A tight hug for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 4, 2017 / 11:44 pm

      Thank you, stonronarollercoaster. I got so choked up after reading some of my blue silk journal entries that I actually did rub my cheek with it. Good memories.

      I bet a lot of people have lousy handwriting nowadays from lack of practice. Don’t even teenagers use laptops at school a lot nowadays? I know university students do.

      I’m glad to meet you on WordPress. Joining WordPress has been one of the best things I’ve done lately. I’m glad you like blogging here too.

      Thank you for the tight hug. Tight hugs for you, as well.

      Like

  8. sally April 20, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Thank you for such a wonderful post. It really resonated with me. I have written ‘diaries’ ever since I was about ten, maybe even younger. I have boxes and boxes full of them just waiting to be reread. I can understand about your love of beautiful covers because they influence me and what I write as well. I am an artist, and I went through a period of making my own collage papers and sticking pages of it on the covers of these books. With the same illness as you, a bright, dancing cover for a diary often cheers me up. Unfortunately, I have got rather lazy now and only write brief notes on my desktop diary. Also there is always the fear of someone reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight April 20, 2017 / 11:33 pm

      Hi Sally. I hope you will continue to create collages in the future. My hubby loves making collages. I’ve tried to do some electronic photo collages, but mine aren’t that impressive.

      I tend to journal online nowadays. As I wrote in my post it got to be almost painful having to hand write passages.

      Where I journal there is a possibility that I could lose what I write if the website goes under. I’m considering journaling in MS Word instead.

      Like

    • updownflight May 11, 2017 / 12:26 am

      archespace, I’m so glad you found some inspiration in this post. All the best in your explorations through writing.

      Liked by 1 person

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