What An Illness Journal Should Not Be

A journal should not be a source of angst or stress.  When using a journal a person should not feel intimidation or inadequacy about his/her abilities in penmanship, grammar, literacy, or his/her adeptness at writing (the turn of a phrase).  A person should not believe a journal is a grand theatrical stage with which to portray his/her life’s drama upon for the entire world to read.  And, thus write his/her entries as if he/she is addressing an audience or another party.  He/She will be more likely to self-edit and not be willing to freely express him/herself.  It would be more meaningful and the person would be more open with his/her entries if he/she addressed the writings to him/herself.  A journal should not be a source of fear or shame.  If it contains material that haunts a person and causes him/her any measure of pain/fear it should be discontinued.  Perhaps if the journal needs to be, it should be destroyed in order to put that period of a sufferer’s treatment/illness behind him/her.  A journal should not be a place where expectations are high.  If a person settles upon writing an entry one day but discovers he/she cannot produce anything more than a sentence or two he/she should not judge him/herself harshly.  At times a journal entry may be only a mere dot on the page.  Do not push oneself, relax and let the process come naturally.

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