Who knew a pen and paper ✍️ could save a life?
I wasn’t actively suicidal. But I was having frequent daydreams of having a wreck that was “bad enough” to keep me in the hospital a few days, off work at least a month, and unable to help anyone else for a while. 😳
I wanted it to be a single-car accident and of course I wanted to be alone. I wasn’t looking forward to the injuries and was praying nothing would require surgery, but I couldn’t wait to have a respite from work, life, and motherhood. Does that sound crazy? Selfish? Or similar to thoughts you’ve had?
Caregiver fatigue 😴 is a real thing, even if you’re paid to care for others. Motherhood fatigue 😴and lemme just say it, full-time step-motherhood 🤷🏼♀️ fatigue is a real thing even if you love your children 🚶♂️👬🏼 dearly. Today’s world 🌎 for women is exhausting:
Toss in a pandemic 😷 and virtual school 📚and BAM, all the therapists are booked!
Fortunately, my mental "breakdown" was pre-pandemic. Thank the heavens I already had a therapist when my regular job got flipped upside down in March of 2020. My crazy started when I was in the throes of motherhood, working full-time and commuting with kids age 2, 4, and 12. I was crying regularly on my way home from work, wondering how I was going to get everything done and actually sleep too...😴
I’ve always had pen and paper near me, but I didn’t start regularly journaling ✍️ until I started feeling that OVERWHELM on a regular basis. I had so many thoughts racing through my head and I didn’t have a system to capture them. I was using a planner, but I might think of something while driving or in the shower and I would lose the idea 💡 or thought before I captured it.
Some internet scrolling led me to David Allen’s Getting Things Done method. By this point I had played around with bullet journaling and list making (List Maker 4 Life right here now!), but again, I felt like my thoughts were fleeting and scattered. I will link the GTD method below, and I do think it's a good system, but that's not the point of this post.
Once I started decluttering my mind from all the racing thoughts, then I had to face my actual thoughts. This was not a good look.
I couldn't remember the last time I had laughed with abandon or woken up with a passion for life. I felt like I was on a treadmill with no way off. Someone was going to have to pull me off, and I didn't have the time or energy to ask anyone to pull me off.
I never felt relaxed. I was in a constant state of fight or flight (or so it seemed). I was alive. But was I living?
Enter the JOURNAL. ✍️
A journal can be so many things: