How journaling saved me

I know it sounds crazy. How can something as simple as journaling have saved me, but save me it did. I only wish I had known the effects of it sooner as it could have spared me years of suffering.

Let me take you right back to the beginning.

Just a few years ago I was hurt so deeply that I was angry at life itself. I felt problems and drama followed me and infact it did because that’s what I was expecting.

Even as a child, at times life had been challenging. I was always incredibly loved but a troubled parental separation which was fueled with violence in the home left me quite anxious as a child. I can remember believing that I had to touch things eight times or else something bad would happen. I was always worried about what would come next.

This coupled with being sexually assaulted as a young teenager left me in a place of despair. My life was swallowing me in and I had lost all control of everything. The only way I had to try and grasp a hold of something was for me to try and control me. I had no control over any external circumstances but if I could control what I ate, I had some element of being in control of my own life. I restricted what I ate and loved my shrinking frame. I loved that I could control my weight, well I thought I was in control, truth be known now I had absolutely no control. I was obsessed. I was just trying to grab a hold of my crumbling world around me. I loved standing on the scales and watch them go down. I loved being able to feel my ribs and hip bones, yet still I struggled to look into a mirror without crying. I hated my reflection. It repulsed me.

Perhaps I had been a bad person why so much hurt came my way?

Perhaps I deserve it?
These are all the questions I asked myself daily. I told myself that I wasn’t worthy of a fulfilled life. My life was hard and I was worthless. I didn’t deserve to be happy.

That was the case until I met my beautiful husband, Adam. He loved me so much; and when he looked at me he saw the real me. He saw me for all my beauty inside and out; that I just couldn’t see.

He taught me what it was to love.

He taught me that soul mates really do exist, and that perhaps there was a chance for my happy ever after, after all.

I was no longer alone. I had a reason to smile and my heart was fuller than I had ever known it was possible.

At last I had a reason. Life started to make sense, well a little; lets just say it started to finally come together, however I still had this dull ache of pain that I had never quite put to bed.

I still battled with my demons and as much as I tried, I still had an overwhelming guilt everytime I ate, and a deep rooted feeling of repulsion at my appearance.

I am extremely blessed. I had the fairytale wedding, I have two beautiful children, a beautiful home which is filled with love, but still I struggled.

My past continued to haunt me and my life continued to present problems. After almost loosing my life during childbirth to our second child and watching my mum battle cancer again I was a shell. I was numb. I was simply exisiting.

I can remember going out and walking for miles and miles searching for answers, but just kept getting stuck on the question of why me?

I would jump in my car and head off driving, not knowing where I was going but again in desperation to find somewhere that could make it all make sense.

I can remember one day being sat in the car and crying as I believed the world would have been a better place without me in it.

How wrong was i?

I can remember at this point crying and praying in my car, asking in despair please help me. Please someone just help me.

At this point, my phone rang and it was Adam. He was worried where I was and begged me to come home. I apologized to him. I told him he and the kids were worth so much more than me. He told me all he had ever wanted was me and that he wished I could see what he sees.

I got home and he held me while I cried. He told me that I needed some time to just be me.

That day was quite a pivotal point in my life. I had reached what some may say was rock bottom. I was tired and didn’t want to feel this way. I wanted this pain to stop. I didn’t want my children to grow up watching their mummy cry and battle with a constant need to be thin.

My family deserved more!

I started on my journey of self development and self discovery. I had heard people talk of a book called the secret and the law of attraction. I bought it and immediately I was hooked. I think I had made a subconscious decision that this was it. I had had enough and it was time for a change and here was a book telling me I could have all of that. I loved the hope it gave me that there could be a better tomorrow. I had the power to change things if I only changed my thoughts.

I quickly realized that I was so consumed with thoughts and feelings of what was going wrong, that I never actually stopped for a moment to think about what was going right.

I never actually stopped for a moment to look at how much I had already right before my eyes.

I had been so busying running away that I hadn’t stopped to look at how much I had that I was running away from. I had my soul mate waiting for me, two beautiful babies, love, a beautiful home, food in the fridge, a car to drive, my health, clothes on my back, clean running water, a bed to sleep in, a cuddle when I wanted one, a kiss good morning, tv, family….. the list goes on and on.

Once I stopped and took it all right back to basics I quickly realized I was so incredibly blessed. I had spent so long worrying and fretting over what had gone wrong and what could go wrong that I never truly lived.

Sure I had been poorly when I had my son, but i had amazing doctors on hand who saved my life!!!! Yes saved me!!!! How incredibly blessed am i!!!!

Yes my mum had been poorly but she was cured….. yes cured!!!!! She again had amazing doctors and medication that saved her. How fortunate are we to have my mum here with us.

My house may have been a mess with toys and sticky handmarks but it was filled with love and little people.

My car may have been a banger and my friends may have poked fun at me driving it but it got my family and I safely whereever we wanted or needed to go.

Yes I was exhausted and may not have slept a full night for years on end but I had two beautiful children and I was their mummy. I wanted to get up to them in the night. Theres people out there who would love to have what I have.

That’s when it all began to change. I began to see that whilst I had so consumed with what i didn’t have and what was going wrong that I had never truly looked at what I did have. The reality of it was that I had more than most. I was incredibly blessed. I just hadn’t been able to see it.

Life started to make sense. I felt as though the fog had finally lifted and I could see light.

I began to journal everyday about things I was grateful for. I had heard that this is a practice others did, like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Walt Disney, and many many others so there must have been something in it right? Yes I was right!!!!

I could actually feel myself begin to smile as I wrote the words because I was so immensely grateful.

Each day was different as I would write about what had happened that day. What the kids had said that was funny, how we celebrated them riding their bike, how they had slept through the night, how adam had surprised me with flowers, how one of the kids had made a beautiful picture for me, how my mum had cooked us dinner, how parents evening had been amazing, how we had had a trip to the movies laughed as we spilt all the popcorn, how I had even managed to get my brows waxed and blowdry my hair, how we had even managed a trip to tesco with only three tantrums, how my mother in law did all my ironing.

Soon my journal was filling up, day by day with memories and pictures documenting just how truly beautiful our life was.

Often I will sit and read back through my old journals, smile and laugh remembering things that had happened. Things that I had forgotten.

Its so lovely to share my memories I had captured with the kids telling them how proud I was and how they made me feel.

Once you truly start to focus on your life and what you have, it’s then when the true magic begins to unfold and you begin to live life to the full.

My message to you is this. Stop worrying, stop wasting your life and start living. Give yourself ten minutes a day to try journaling and document just how truly amazing your day has been. What memories you have made and just how much you have to be truly thankful for. Its amazing what you find when you only look.

You have nothing to loose by trying….. but a whole life to gain.

Happy Journaling xxxxx

For more help and advice on gratitude journaling see my website

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