The Forgetful Frog #25: How Journaling Can Keep Loneliness at Bay

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog August 17, 2016 10:21


By The Forgetful Frog

Okay, folks, I know you’re out there! I am 100% certain that many of you would thrive on creative journaling. My editor suggested I might find you by describing how I first fell into it.

It will be different for everyone, I’m sure, but for me, it was a survival strategy. Being disabled, I found pretty much all of my previous hobbies and productive pastimes were no longer possible for me.

My hands are too shaky for crocheting. I can no longer drive to meet friends for lunch. I can’t even chase my dog any more. I would love to make a phone call, now and then, to keep in touch with loved ones. However, dialing the phone is out of the question, as is remembering or managing the phone numbers.

Writing is a way to keep myself company. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit this, but I am becoming quite accustomed to being embarrassed. In fact, if you are no longer disturbed by having people see your shortcomings, perhaps embarrassment is no longer the correct word. At this point, it is meaningless for me to try and pretend otherwise. My life is quite limited, and I make the best of it that I can.

In any case, when I speak out loud, so that Dragon dictation will capture my words, I find that I am not lonely. And this is very important for me because I am prone to loneliness. I adore my husband and have several dear friends and family members. But it is still possible to feel lonely.

So for me, creative journaling keeps boredom and loneliness at bay. Once again, I must express appreciation to the inventors of Dragon dictation. Without it, I fear I would be truly lost. With it, the world (of writing) is my oyster!

Today, more than I recall in recent memory, I am feeling at peace. I love having my blog, and find it makes me feel useful. I still hope to find a way to volunteer as a writing consultant.

In my late 20s and my 30s, I spent thousands of dollars seeing counselors. I had no especially dire circumstances with which to deal. I just found it helpful to have an ally, outside my circle of friends and colleagues. I think if I had discovered journaling at that time, I could have saved a lot of money.

Psychotherapy is a great resource, and very helpful at times. Indeed, perhaps my ability to journal is partly due to my years seeing a counselor. At this point in my life, I suppose I feel experienced enough to explore my psyche on my own. And I think my ability to process difficult things on my own today is largely a result of those counseling sessions. As usual, you can see that I need to make peace with my past.

I wonder if I fret more than most about my life, or if I simply do it more out loud?

Does anyone out there remember Pogo? The brilliant comic strip by Walt Kelly? “We have seen the enemy, and it is us.” How about the TV commercial showing an egg and saying, “This is your brain.” Then, they crack the egg and it splats, sizzling, into a hot frying pan. “This is your brain, on drugs.”

Today’s reflections on my difficulties have brought both of these notions to mind. So often now, I am my own worst enemy. And it feels like my brain is fried. If I could reclaim all my wasted time over the last couple of years, I would be wealthy, even if only paid minimum wage for it. I must constantly remind myself that it has all been time well spent. Or at least, spent the best way possible for me.

Sadly, I am often driven to begin writing when I feel low. As a result, I seem more downcast than I truly am. This observation, however, aptly demonstrates why my idea to help others write is so important to me. I would not even want to try to imagine where I would be, emotionally, had I not begun writing months ago. What about all the people, recovering from so many difficulties, who have not happened to discover the benefits of journaling? My life is often challenging, but would be impossible for me if I did not write.

At this moment, I feel compelled to express, yet again, how miraculous Dragon dictation is. Also, the immeasurable value of having someone read my words.

Partly, because it feels good to be heard. And partly, because there is always the hope that someone else benefits from my experience. All the difficulties seem so much less, if someone, somewhere, can be helped by my stories.

To be continued…

forgetful-frog-image3-300x2301-300x230-132Rose Oaks is a foothills resident in her 50s who writes with the help of a computer tablet and speech-recognition software. She hopes that her notes on coping with disability will help others facing difficult challenges know they are not alone. Read more Forgetful Frog blog posts at this link: Readers’ Journal.

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog August 17, 2016 10:21
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