I’ve been dealing with a few things, of late, related to health and well-being, and, once again, the recommendation came about that I ought to ‘journal’ the experiences. To give me a chance to reflect on them, and consider things.
As I’ve done probably fifteen or twenty times in my lifetime, I actually went ahead and started a therapeutic journal. Most of the time, I’ve gone into it eagerly, anxious to see what my subconscious would reveal. This time, though, I guess I was more aware and less eager, and I -did- come to a profound revelation…
Journaling does ABSOLUTELY nothing for me. Apparently, dwelling on and reflecting on things doesn’t do much but increase my anxiety. Again, after a month of journaling, I went back and found myself circling the same intellectual drain, trying to climb out of the shifting sand dunes of my own mind before they buried me. So I stopped journaling. Again. What I didn’t stop doing, though, was paying attention. And this turned out to be a critical turning point for me.
Do you know what I have discovered -does- make a huge difference for me? My fiction writing. Somehow, an evening of novel-writing, or, especially, the group-written real-time roleplay-style storytelling that I do as part of either my Thousand Realms room (Fall of Darkness/NeXXus/Thousand Realms) or in one of my fellow writers’ rooms, from the modern criminal underbelly of a large city, to a dark night in Orlando full of vampires and weres, to things even stranger, like a city beneath a city that slips into an alternate universe where demons are born, allows me to purge some of the angst and ennui that creep into my day-to-day life. It is one of the most therapeutic things that I do, and, on top of that, it excites my creative potential in ways that have dramatically improved my writing. Now -that- is therapy.
There is no -one- tool that is right for everyone in terms of getting inside their own head and repairing the daily damage that living can do to our psyches. Too, even the best solutions aren’t effective all the time, or immediately. Sometimes, no matter how much we try for self-care, the circumstances get overwhelming. But… don’t discount the therapeutic value of your form of creativity. Art, music, writing, sculpting, making jewelry, and even just daydreaming alternative outcomes to some of the things that are impacting your life can be great tools for adapting to a world that is sometimes less than respectful of our well-being. For me, creative writing and interactive, real-time storytelling are huge therapeutic activities that make a real, and fundamental, difference to my day. Feel free to come and read along — or even join in the story.