Writing: A Therapy for the Lost

I began writing in my journal when I was young. Our mother, a Chinese immigrant, was worried that our English would be scrabbled amidst the Chinese and English dialogue. She made us sit down and forced us to write journal entries over the summer on the topics she chose. Eventually, journal writing was not a chore anymore, and became something I looked forward to.

That was my first taste of writing.

In junior high, I was writing stories of the fantastical, never able to finish them. I put my own personality into my characters, hoping I could spin fictional characters out of thin air who would understand me better than the people in the real world could understand me. I was still writing in my journal, ranting about my parents and my sister, ranting about soccer, ranting about everything and nothing in my life.

Eventually, writing became a sort of therapy for me. Whenever I am upset, I write. I turn on my “sad” playlist and write. I let myself go, and write about fictional characters who are ten times better than me or have ten times better friends and families. I write characters who have what I am missing.

In that way, I fill a small hole in my heart. I import all of my pain into these characters. When I am done writing, I feel relieved. I feel raw. Washed out.

With my journal, I have entries dated randomly throughout the year which hold my entire day’s thoughts in them. More often than not, they were angry entries, about things that had happened that day.

This year, I began a bullet journal. It allowed me to relax while drawing out designs that would have looked much better if someone else drew them. My entries were more colorful and more sad than angry.

I came across a post in Pinterest that encouraged those who journalled to focus on specific events in the day. Write about one event in color. Not only has that helped me get over that event, it has allowed me to procure material for stories that I am writing. Transform my events into something much more dramatic.

Here is a sample entry:

The sidewalk was cracked under my feet. I did not pay much attention to it, as my sister and my mother were right behind me. If I stopped to stare at the cracks, I would have drawn more attention that I wanted. I was slightly dizzy on my walk; the dizziness had followed me from getting out of bed, to writing on my blog and scheduling a post, to now. I hoped the dizziness would go away; it was throwing me off my game.

There was one house on the corner of sixteenth street that had a wonderful train track set. There were bridges, a pool of water, turns and hills, and an actual train that ran along tracks further down the house. It kind of reminded me of Knott’s Berry Farm; I have no explanation for this correlation.

It was chilly in the morning, maybe thirty minutes past seven. Once we hit halfway through sixteenth, we began jogging to seventeenth street. The chilly air constricted my lungs, and my eyes constantly darted between one of my friend’s houses – a slightly vomit green color with a huge star on the side – and another house that had wooden planks compiled into a sort of, what I imagined it to be, a fairy threshold.

I was quietly singing under my breath a song – Everybody Loves Me – from One Republic. I have been recently obsessed with them, but I know this obsession will stop once I get obsessed with something else. Anyways, I was singing this song as I was running, letting myself fly away with the lyrics. I hate running during the morning, even if it is short. Why do people have to encourage pain in the middle of a leisurely walk? I would rather just walk than have to run in the middle of a walk with stiff muscles.

I thought Mom would force my sister and I to practice with our father at the nearby park. I hate going. Now, it is better, but before he used to yell at us all the time. So I hate going there, even if he doesn’t yell anymore. But she didn’t luckily. She will probably do it next week. So I shoot a hateful glance at my mom who comes up panting because she is slower than my sister and I due to her creaking bones.

I like this weather. Chilly. Gray. Fits me perfectly.

Yes, this entry is less specific than some others, but I would rather not let anyone see my personal entries. But, you see, even if it is less colorful than others, it is only focusing on one event: the morning walk.

I never liked going on the morning walk because we had to run in between. Yes, I know I ran cross country last year, but last year’s running was too much. So now I have a tiny aversion to running.

Anyways, writing about an event that ended up with me frustrated allowed me to spew my feelings out onto the page. I may have had to plaster a smile on my face while walking, but, when I am writing in my journal, my mask falls away. I don’t need to talk to anyone as long as I write it in my journal. Sometimes, when I find myself holding a secret on my soul, I write it out. That way, the burden is not that heavy.

Writing can be quite therapeutic. It allows you to express your feelings when you have no one to talk to. You can write out your pain and your feelings into fictional characters, and imagine a better world for yourself to live in. I always feel more relaxed while I write, and, often times, I am filled with glee because I either killed off a character, or I just wrote something I am very pleased with.

Writing, for me, is like therapy. It is a great mood-booster, and allows me to tell my feelings to someone who will not judge me.

Lots of love, and keep writing,

Jess

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