Why I Added Journaling to My Pain Management Plan
I love that I am able to express myself and share information through written word. Writing gives me a voice when I fumble to push the words out of my mouth. While I adore writing for others, it is journaling, writing down my deepest thoughts and recording moments that have impacted my life that has become an important part of my pain management plan.
Journaling is ink therapy
I find journaling to be extremely therapeutic. The best part is that I am able to release all of my feelings, the good, the bad, and the ugly without hurting or offending anyone. My journals aren’t for anyone else to read, they are just for me. Unlike having a conversation with a friend or family member, I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s feelings. I get to unleash my thoughts, no matter how raw and ugly they may be. I feel so much lighter after I release my emotions through writing.
Making a connection
I began noticing a connection between my physical state and what was going on in my life a few years ago. While looking back on my personal writings, I could clearly see how my emotional low points coincided with severe flares and physical setbacks. With this piece of information, I thought about what else I could learn about my body and diseases if I expanded what I included in my journal.
Keeping track of the day to day changes
In order to get a better understanding of my body, my chronic illnesses which include but are not limited to psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, and mental health I expanded what I journaled about. I began including what I ate, which later helped me figure out what foods or ingredients were triggering inflammation and pain in my body. Logging how I felt physically each day uncovered when I was doing too much, not addressing my illness like I needed to, and on the flipside when I was doing something good.
Rewriting the future
Journaling about all aspects of my life has helped me rewrite my future. Had I continued living like I had, I would still be wheelchair and bed bound. I say this because there is no cure and the thought of being healed overnight is not a reality. Each and every improvement I have experienced has been the result of the changes I made to how I lived and viewed living with my illnesses. By comparing what I eat, my physical activity, my emotional state, and more, I am able to see what changes are necessary. Seeing my failures and successes in writing also makes it easier to see what needs tweaking or totally eliminated.
Some people have expressed that keeping track of all that I do sounds like a hassle. The reality is that the few minutes it does take to write everything down is nothing compared to the amount of time I now spend living.
Have you tried journaling to improve your chronic life? If so, how detailed do you get and what has it revealed to you?
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?