Nov212005

The Power of Journalling

Memory is a funny thing. Well, at least mine is.

You think you remember how it was but in fact it wasn’t quite that way at all.

Here’s an example from my life. For years I’ve remembered the time whilst I was
in graduate school as the best ever. I was learning, phenomenally creative,
madly in love, energized, busy, making money, and active. Life was good.

And, it was. However, I’ve always remembered that time as being free of SAD.
S.A.D. is the acronym for Seasonal
Affective Disorder
a mood disorder caused by the season shift in sunlight.
Many of us who live north of the 49th suffer from it, to various degrees. I
didn’t realize I had it, in spite of obvious symptoms all along, until 1995.
Then, because I had started tracking trends in my journal, I realized this
pattern. I then went out a bought a light box and began daily treatments. Light
therapy stimulates the brain and supplies the sunlight we crave. Currently, I
use a portable LiteBook.

Back to grad school. As I said, I had ‘remembered’ grad school as being free of
depressive episodes. Today I decided to pull out my journal for 1988. Q’uelle Surprise!
As I leafed my way through the months it became readily apparent that the
depression (low energy) vs. high energy cycle I identified in 1995 was there in
1988.

I’ve been journaling since 1984. Now, 21 years later I have thousands of pages
of writing (in 1990 I switched to writing on the computer) that records my
lows, highs, anger, joy, questions, answers, and the emotions of my life.

I’m always amazed when I go back and read stuff from 10 or 20 years ago.

And, it’s been my journaling that’s helped me uncover ‘secrets’ that have
helped me reduce my pain.

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