Step Ten: Friend Pen
Keep a Journal
This will probably be your simplest of steps – easier to do than some of you might think and you cannot possibly do this wrong. Even attempting it is a win for you.
Write your thoughts down in a journal.
- All of them.
- Any of them.
- No rules. Don’t hold back.
What you write doesn’t have to make sense, be in order, or be legible. Just write!
This comes in handiest when you’re depressed or pissed off. But it applies at any time when you are bothered.
The act of writing is a purge in itself that is even purer than speaking to another.
Your words come to life before your eyes.
Writing is a healing act separate from any other
It’s an outlet for your pain. It’s a doorway that lets the bad out and lets the good in. It lets your eyes see what has only been abstract thought up to this point.
Once you see what you’ve been thinking, another part of your mind, entirely, goes to work helping you fix the problems.
The part of your brain that controls the writing process needs to be exercised and exorcised.
This is a workout that awakens the warrior within you who’s always been there, waiting to help. He/she needs to be trained, in order to do his/her part well.
And the warrior’s living quarters are pack ratted ceiling high with all your shit. That material needs to be cleaned out, in order for your warrior to have room to work.
The ACT of writing is all that’s necessary for the HEALING to take place
Write absolutely anything that pops into your head while the pen’s in your hand.
Do not worry that what you write is too personal, too shaming, or damning to your character or legal status in any way. Just get it out!
There is no need to hang on to any of this material.
You may destroy it immediately. Once it’s been written, the work has been done. The healing has begun.
If any of this stuff needs to stay secret, burn it. Flush it down the toilet. Shred it. No need to keep hard evidence lying around, of stuff you’d rather never have see the light of day.
But you may keep your journal to reflect upon, too.
Depending on what’s in it, that’s your call. I kept mine for a couple of years before burning all the volumes I’d written. I mean it. I burned it all in the woods. There were definitely things in it I never wanted anyone else seeing, ever.
And there you go. Be totally truthful. Admit in print what you may be afraid to even say out loud. We all have demons and skeletons in our closets. No one’s immune. Then destroy the evidence if you need to.
The job has been done and your relief will grow. Your stress will fall.
Action Plan for Step 10:
A small notebook carried with you at all times would be a wise move, as you could dump your thoughts the moment they ganged up on you.
Get lined pages if you prefer a sense of order or blank pages if you prefer a sense of freedom.
Find the smoothest writing pen you can.
When I was actively bipolar my rage could be set off by a pen that skipped or seemed to fight me in some way.
So I went with gel pens with big, fat grips. For some reason, the purchase of these types of pens felt like a solid victory to me in its own right. You buy whatever makes you comfortable.
Then pour your frustrations on to the page
- Do not edit what you write.
- Do not fix typos.
- Do not worry about grammar.
- Do not worry about proper sentence structure.
- Just write whatever comes to mind.
- Typing on a keyboard is not out of the question but actual handwriting is the best.
- If nothing comes to mind, write that. “I can’t think of what to write. This sucks and is stupid.” Something to that effect. The starting will kick off the flow and more will come to you.
- Destroy the pages as soon as they’re done if you need to. You already achieved what was necessary.