How important is journaling?

I have read and been told by prior ketamine dr that journaling is vital- by hand journaling. I have a real issue with this as journaling I think is a trigger for me. (My mom had me keep journals my whole life which she said was healthy but I didn’t find out until I was about 18 that she had been reading them and even tearing some pages out of them that she didn’t like). So even though mom is like 17 states away now, I think I just have a mental block and can’t write down things.

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Personally, I think it’s super important. I mostly just write. It usually just ends up being random thoughts but sometimes there’s some stuff in there I would rather have people not see. You can always use the notes app on your phone. I found that it helps me break down how I’m feeling and where those feelings are coming from. It also gives me a little inspiration to see how far I’ve come when I’m in a spiral. It’s also just helps to get on here and talk to people who have gone through the same or worse. There are some amazing people here. Best of luck on your healing journey. 🫀⚡️

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Journaling is something anyone can find. I’ve been stressed for years about what to do with my lifetime of journals I kept from age 8 or so to 18 when I found out mom had been reading them. My whole life is written in those journals, and I don’t want to lose all that but nor do I want anyone to ever read it. I treasure my old journals. But now struggle to write. What do you do with the journals? Are they for keeping forever or what do people do with them? Keep for a while then destroy?

I really enjoy journaling after my ketamine sessions, and reviewing them later. But I don’t think it’s necessary.

Your story about your mom reminded me… My mother tried to teach me to do a body scan meditation to help me go to sleep when I was a kid. Now I’m in a meditation class and whenever we start a body scan I get an anxiety attack. Well, every time my mom walked me through one, she was really disappointed I was still awake. I was supposed to be asleep already! So doing something that is supposed to make me feel more relaxed has the opposite effect.

I think it’s fine for you to skip journaling, if it’s anxiety provoking for you. Maybe try making a voice recording? Or just chat with a trusted friend or your therapist afterwards. There are lots of ways of examining the ketamine journey without going through the act of writing it down.

I actually write a lot to a priest friend, almost daily. I put in subject line if he should read or not and I have no clue if he reads it all, but I ask for prayer and off go the emails. I guess my point is maybe I’m already “journaling” just in a different way. I did try to journal today just for good effort and it was sad, I mean journaling itself was a sad process. In no way enjoyable.

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Hi Lovebeach. When I started ketamine I did start journaling again. After what you went thru it’s understandable you wouldn’t want to journal. I was going to also suggest what CAMlinda suggested, make recordings. Some phones even have the feature where make recordings right on your phone.
I too journaled as a child thru my 20s but don’t know if my mom ever read them. I had volumes and then in my 30’s burned them all in a friends fireplace. And then have just journaled on and off until recently with ketamine. It helps me to deal with stuff.
Keep following and see what other people do,
Maybe something will be helpful

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Im really sorry that you were betrayed by your mom like that. Her level of intrusiveness is really telling of her own attachment issues and she simply passed down the feeling of un-safety to you.
I think those physical journals are really important to you and I am feeling like they’re worth truly protecting, now that you can. One idea is to get a safety deposit box for them. No one but you would have access if you didn’t want them to. What does that feel like, thinking about that?

Going forward… I just keep a password protected running document for myself on my computer. I also like to write with pen and paper and feel nervous about where to keep these pages (have a lot from the past year)! Right now they are all in a fat briefcase at my office, temporarily! And need to “place” them somewhere. Maybe follow my own advice about safety deposit box;) I feel you!

I am not a regular journaler. I do write occasionally, sometimes just to vent all the BS that nobody else wants to hear, sometimes documentary, less often celebratory. At some point after high-school I started journaling regularly, everything from documentary to hopes and dreams and teen-age sexual fantasies. I lugged them around from one apartment to the next, occasionally read them, kept writing. For a little while I would read them and transcribe "the good/meaningful parts to a new journal, with the idea of having the pithy parts and then getting rid of the originals. I eventually burned 20 years’ worth of (thank you, George Carlin) brain droppings. Now I have another 10 to 15 years’ worth that I have no idea what to do with. I’ll figure it out someday.

I suppose a fair amount of my journal entries consist of talking to myself about everything that I now blather on about here to all y’all. I have heard it said that just getting it out of your head and onto paper frees you of whatever BS is cluttering up your forebrain.

The safety deposit box …well then what to do with them? One day you die and someone will ultimately find them. I almost just want them buried with me!! (Is that a bad idea?)

I’m hesitant about keeping anything special to me like my writings in computers for multiple reasons…but then I’m also emailing a priest daily and so the “email account people” (whomever they may be) I guess know half my life! (Life in 2021. )

Remember that “ journaling” can be expressed in many ways. Can be art based and not actually writing at all.

I write for a living to a large extent so it’s pretty much the last thing I’m interested in doing apart from corresponding with all of you here! Osmind has basically been my journal and I just make a little note every day when I do my check-in. Nothing heavy.

You do you - don’t stress over this. It’s your journey so you travel it in your own way at your own pace.

I remember this…making my living in fine woodworking, the last thing I wanted to do when I got off work was to smell sawdust.

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@Sojourner EXACTLY. Although having a stack of promotional garments to create does not alleviate my craving to say F— it all and just go make a bunch of pretty clothes for myself! But some days I just can’t face my studio.

I get the write for a living burn out! TaKe away my computers and phones while you are at it! (Except I need my phone I think)

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Do what’s right and useful for you. I am going to mention something that may sound crazy, but then again somebody may find it useful.
Fingerpaints. It’s fun. It’s expressive. You cannot do it wrong. I have a set of 30 colors. They are so pretty in their little pots. Just looking at them makes me feel good


Oh my gosh that is the best idea. I do a lot of art when I can and I’ve never done that but it sounds like it would be interesting and fun. Thank you very much for the idea.

@Kara I :heart: this so much!