Before Alphabet Brains there was my private Tumblr, which I used to write about the early days of my recovery. I started Alphabet Brains in May 2016 (three years and three months after my injury) because I wanted to share my feelings with other survivors and possibly help them in some way, I had no idea it would be what it is today.
So I thought I’d write a post on the the things I’ve learned about blogging/journaling along the way incase anyone is thinking of doing the same thing.
I’ll also be sharing a post from my old private Tumblr 14cm (the size of my scar) every week because this is one of the first things, possibly most important things to know about—let’s call it writing—after a brain injury:
It’s important to look back and see how far you’ve come. Even if you aren’t in the early days, it could be years after your brain injury and you can start writing… We’re always making little improvements and when you write about them, you see them.
Another reason writing is good for you is because it lifts that invisible weight we feel when we can’t say things out loud or articulate ourselves well enough to.
Taking the time to write feelings down and word them how you want to will rationalise them when they come back. You can look at how you described those feelings, which will help you understand why you feel them and slowly, over time those feelings will lessen.
The more you write your feelings down the more you begin to understand yourself and your mind.
Sometimes you want to share these feelings, I’ve been told over the years that writing a letter and reading it aloud to the person or letting the person read it is a great way to say what you want to say without getting flustered. I struggle to articulate myself under pressure, when I’m emotional or when I really want to say something so I’ve found this technique really helpful. Take a step back, look at the situation, think about the situation, what do you want to express? How do you want to say it? Write all of this down, read it to yourself and edit it if you need to. This is such a calm, great way of sharing those hard feelings.
How to write
Writing about your emotions may seem daunting at first, it gets easier with time and you may grow to love it. Here’s some advice on how to start:
How has your day gone? At the end of the day (it doesn’t have to be every day) reflect on it. What were the positives? Were there any negatives? How did you feel? Start writing and the words will flow.
If you want to go public write about what you know. Don’t try to write about what you think people want to hear, you never want writing to feel like a chore. You want it to be enjoyable, easy and you want to get your feelings across in your own way.
There’s no word limit, it can be as many or as little words as you’d like. As long as you’ve written what you want and you’re happy with it, that’s all that matters.
Start with a paper notepad if using a laptop or computer is daunting. I recently started using a private one as a journal and it’s a different way of writing, a more relaxing way of writing at times. I think because there’s no distractions.
I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful and it’s inspired you to write, I feel like everyone should write (brain injury or not) as it’s a great form of therapy.
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