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Mental Health

How Journaling Helped My Mental Health And Made Me A Better Version Of Myself.

When I was younger, my favorite part of my day was writing about it in my pink diary with my colorful pens. I carried my diary with me everywhere and wrote down all my secrets like my best friend list, and all the cute boys’ names in my 2nd-grade class. Before bed, I would hide it under my pillow, so my brother wouldn’t read all the mean things I wrote about him. 

I grew out of that phase a few years later because writing in a diary was embarrassing in middle and high school. Having that fear of being vulnerable, judged for my thoughts and feelings, prevented me from writing about my days. I began to start bottling my emotions for days and weeks because I just wasn’t processing them like I used to. Something as small as not having a good hair day made me so upset because once one emotion comes out, everything is out, and the next thing I know I’m crying about something that happened weeks ago. I googled how to cope with these feelings, and everywhere I looked the answer was journaling. I knew that this was not an option because I don’t like talking about my feelings, and I don’t want to write down my inner thoughts because then it becomes real. And being open and vulnerable in my journal that potentially could be seen by others was terrifying. In my sophomore year, my anxiety really started taking a toll on my mental health, so I decided to finally give journaling a shot. I tried bullet journaling, and it worked for a while. It was fun to use my colorful pens again and make my own monthly themes but, eventually, it just became a chore. I felt like I wasn’t really being honest with myself because I was trying to make this notebook look pretty and perfect, and that was definitely not what my life looked like.  I quit that and began to explore different options, and that’s when I found The Journal That Talks Back

The Journal That Talks Back is an online journal where you are given the opportunity to have your voice heard by a certified counselor. Instead of waiting for months to meet with a therapist in your city, you can get paired with someone in only three steps. The first one is to go to their website and press start. From there you will be directed to a page to make an appointment to meet with a specialist to discuss all your questions including pricing, counselors, and the whole process itself. After that, you just sign up and set up your monthly payments. The last and most exciting step is to start journaling. You can write about whatever you want. Simple things like what you had for breakfast, or serious things like your anxiety and depression. There is always a counselor there to help if you get stuck, or you are like me and get overwhelmed with all your emotions. They are there to guide you through this journaling process. They keep things entertaining by asking new questions that encourage you to reflect on yourself and your beliefs. 

Now if you are still unsure about it, I totally understand. I was in your position once too. Back in high school, as I mentioned before, my anxiety really wrecked my life. Doing daily things like going to school made me feel sick. I wanted to stay and hide in my bed all day and let my feelings control my life forever. Days passed where I didn’t leave my room, and all those emotions were fogging my head and my mental health was deteriorating. Journaling was a life raft when I was drowning in my anxiety. Just writing about what was hurting and pouring all my emotions out and discussing it with my counselor was so relieving. I believe writing how I am feeling down is easier than talking about it aloud. The counselors really make an effort to encourage you and help you develop past the dark times. With The Journal That Talks Back, you are given your voice to be heard and listened to. Sometimes all you need is a shoulder to cry on, or a pillow to scream in, and that’s what these coaches are there for. So if you are struggling, and need someone to talk to, please reach out to the coaches on The Journal That Talks Back, and schedule that phone call. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help. They are always available to listen and give you support in these challenging times. 

Kaleigh is a freshman at the University of Tampa majoring in political science and minoring in sustainability. In her free time, she enjoys going thrifting and shopping at farmers' markets. You can find her on instagram at kaleighh.marie
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