I’ve just finished a book called Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo and I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learned. What I’m writing here, in this post, the fact that I’m utilizing this blog, is in fact my own spin on one of her suggestions. I’ll get into specifics a bit later about that.
I borrowed the book from a local library recently and I’ve read through it and even took notes, faster than I’ve read a book since the dawn of the internet.
I think it’s because I was ready for it even though it’s something I didn’t know I was looking for. I had actually gone through my Wishlist on Amazon to find some books at the library.
I made a list on paper, and decided on one particular library for a few specific books that were there, and was on my way. In one section, while looking for one of the books on my list, the title, Writing as a Way of Healing, stood out and I took it from the shelf. I felt excited and hopeful as I looked for a chair so I could sit and look through what I actually thought was the answer I’ve been looking for, for years. After only reading through the contents and a paragraph or two I was sold.
I have been struggling for a long time to blog about events in my life. Events that have caused complex trauma and I have in fact been diagnosed with PTSD. I have suffered depression for a few decades along with severe dysphoria now for a few years.
Although I’ve instinctively known that writing about the abuse and other events in my life would go a long way in helping me heal, I have felt strong resistance in blogging about it.
So when I came across this book, published in 1999, I knew it wasn’t going to be about blogging and that it would be geared more toward direction and instruction on how to write, what to write and what to do while writing.
This is an author who has written her own memoir and in the book she talks about other authors and writers who have used writing to heal, which helps a lot with illustration in her instruction.
In the beginning of this weekend, I woke in the morning to the realization that blogging my memories in such a way to heal isn’t for me, and that I was attempting to force something that just didn’t fit. What happens much of the time when I start writing a blog post about an event, I find that I either can or I do keep writing much longer than a post really should be. Not that there’s any set limit but I think there’s this unspoken thing that says, ‘Don’t write a 30 page narrative in one blog post.’
So I’m going for writing Kindle books. Of course I have to write them first before they can be uploaded. So there’s the technical learning curve as well as the memoir writing learning curve. But what the hell. And after reading this book, I feel like I’ve got a better understanding on memoir writing than before.
I’m not an experienced writer, although I’ve journaled, written letters, and used to really enjoy writing in school. I think I’ve wanted to be one but didn’t know how to go about it. I remember writing something a million years ago and sending it off to a bunch of different magazines. When I told my father, because I was so excited about it, he got angry and irritated, saying, “Whadya do that for? That’s not how you submit things to magazines.”
He never told me how before this though but I guess he just assumed I was supposed to know. That’s the type of fuck nut he was. I seem to remember him telling me through his condescending irritation that I was supposed to pick one publication and mail it to them and wait for them to respond. If rejected submit to another, and so on.
I had no real easy way of finding this out though, so not sure how I was supposed to know. There were plenty of opportunities for my dick weed of a father to tell me though. He had written things himself that he submitted to magazines.
I thought about pursuing writing in some way while I was in school but I’ve never had the confidence. A result of the trauma no doubt.
I know the ease of self publishing on Kindle bothers and probably even infuriates some professional writers and authors. And I can see why. I know there’s a lot of junk out there, and pretty much anyone can slap anything up there.
One suggestion the author of Writing as a Way of Healing gave, was to keep a ‘Process Journal.’ A journal in which you keep track of your experiences through writing. Your emotions, your ideas, etc. And this is the way I see blogging working for me.
Right now and as I had reached the final pages of the book, I began feeling excited, anxious, nervous and even scared. There’s a lot to be dealt with and heal from. So I’m certainly excited to be on the other side of that. I’m scared and anxious for the time spent, bringing the past events and pain into the present so clearly. I know it won’t be easy.
I’m nervous because when I get excited about something, I either don’t start because I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop or I do start and the other shoe drops.
The fact that I’m interested in writing Kindle books, makes it pretty obvious that I’m interested in earning an income this way. My priority is to heal and hopefully help others understand they are not alone if they are going through or have gone through similar events or emotions. But to heal and earn at the same time would be a dream come true.
That being said, I don’t see it as the only way to earn a living though. I used to be a pet sitter but have been quite inactive for a lot of years. Recently I looked up jobs on Craigslist to see if any pet sitting companies were hiring, since it would be faster to get a job doing it rather than starting a business doing it. And every ad demands you put in a lot of hours, basically be available most of the time and flexible as well as be in great shape. Which makes complete sense. And being in need of money right now, it would be a good idea. Except for the fact that it’s a physically demanding job.
Not to mention having to be available at the sound of a phone call or a text, isn’t exactly conducive to healing.
To give you an idea of how out of shape I am though, I do walk one dog, one day a week for a neighbor. Throughout the summer, by the time I was finished the walk I felt so exhausted I could have feasibly had a nap. I find myself zoning out into the daydream state throughout the day after our walk.
This is probably, among other things, an adrenal issue. So it’s obvious I need to heal physically as much as I need to heal emotionally.
I have not been taking care of myself, despite having been sober since January 1 of this year. I was a binge drinker and although I’ve craved beer here and there, I remember the commitment I’ve made to myself to stop for the year and that is working. I figured committing to a year, to something I thought might be difficult, would give me a better chance of sticking to it. Using the word commitment has helped immensely. And by giving myself a year to be sober, it’s easier for my psyche to accept than if I’d said, “I’m never going to drink again.”
You could implement this with anything you have a problem with. And I’m definitely going to now.
So in addition to all of this, I found out today that my roommate and I will need to move in six months time. Emotionally neither one of us are ready. Physically neither of us are ready. Financially we are not ready. I feel really anxious about having to move so much stuff. He has so much stuff including a bunch he doesn’t use. Getting him to let go of just about anything is like trying to pry the ring from Gollum’s hand. “My precioussss.”
It’s hard to be someone who would prefer to be a minimalist while living with a pack rat.
Why don’t I just move out on my own? Because I’m not financially able. And that’s all I’ll say about that right now. Probably another good subject for a book…How I ended up living with Mr. B.
I’ll refer to my roommate as Mr. B from now on. It’ll be easier.
I have a plan, though not written out yet. And I think the 6 month dead line will help me a great deal. For years I’ve had difficulty with depression and as I said above I’m really out of shape, heavier than ever and I’ve been feeding my face junk food, the replacement for the vices I have given up to this point.
I have eaten healthy before, I have done self study on nutrition and supplements. So it’s not because I don’t know what to do. It’s because I’ve been treating my body like shit, because I haven’t cared about myself and have slacked on eating well, exercising and getting proper sleep. I’ve been slowly feeling more and more depressed. I get more and more away from a self I have never really known.
My plan isn’t complicated it’s just a matter of implementing it.
Sleep between 9:30 and 10 each night, including weekends. That leaves out tonight, it’s after 10 already. But writing this out is important to me.
Up by 6 am. Meditation for 20 minutes to half hour.
Breakfast within the hour of getting up.
Exercise for an hour.
Write for a few hours.
Doing things pertaining to selling some of the stuff here that needs to be gotten rid of. Mr. B has actually agreed to sell some things and I have some things as well that I don’t need. And once a week as I mentioned before I walk a neighbor’s dog. So that fits into this window of my day as well.
If time allows I would love to get outside for a walk (not the day I walk the dog) or throw some frisbees, take a bike ride.
Dinner between 5 and 5:30
Write here on the blog (Process Journal)
To publish my first Kindle book in a month. (By October 21) I think is reasonable. My stomach turns as I write and think about that.
To be down 25 pounds (or more) by the time we move. Altogether my goal is to be down 50 pounds in a year from now. By eating healthy (for me) and exercising. I might as well go ahead and reveal that I’m 185 according to our bathroom scale.
The reasons for the goal on health is to feel better and look better of course. But I want to be in good enough shape to start dog walking and pet sitting again, whether I do it for myself or an already established company. Plus be in good strong shape for moving all this STUFF.
As for blogging as my Progress Journal: my intention is to post here every night. So I can utilize it to mostly keep track of how I feel while writing. I’m thinking the blog is a good way to keep me accountable as well.
Thing is I know I’ll want to blog about other things too. Like our progress in our moving adventure, my progress in weight loss. Maybe even talk about food. I don’t know, just life in general. But I guess I’ll have to see how it works out.
At the very least, I think I can keep up with 3 nights out of the week posting here. But as long as I stick to my schedule and don’t waste my precious time on Facebook or watching endless videos on YouTube, I should be good.
Edit: As I re-read through this on August 25, 2018 I have such difficulty not editing it as I read.
The book I mention, at this point, I don’t even remember much of it now. Reading about how I’m planning to write Kindle books, I’m cringing. The story of my life seems to be me saying or thinking, “I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna do that or I want to do this and I want to do that.” But that’s all it is, just talk. I never do anything. It’s been since 2015 and I still have yet to write a Kindle book let alone really commit to this blog or anything really.
At the end I’m all, “As long as I do this and as long as I don’t do that…” Crap, my patterns are all the same, since I can remember. It doesn’t help that I’m depressed. It doesn’t help that my emotions and energy levels are not consistent. The day I wrote this, I felt like I meant everything I wrote. But I’m sure by the next day or two, I was like, Fuck it.
There’s no process journal. I didn’t lose any weight before moving. I don’t stick to a schedule and I’m still staying up way to late to be healthy.
These are still things I want to change, but saying I’m gonna do it, isn’t gonna get me anywhere.
I could just leave this private I suppose, but I wrote it, as cringey as it is.
I probably…no, I definitely should not be so hard on myself. After all, I can use some of what’s here to refer back to.
It does hurt, frustrate and alarm me to see that I’ve written intended goals in the past only to never pursue them. There’s a lot of instances of that kind of thing as well as written things I’ve referred back to, only to see absolutely no growth. That to me is very serious.