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SCARS|RSN™ Victim Recovery: Journaling And Recovery From Scams
The Key For Every Victim Is Balance And Recovery Should Begin With Journaling
We are at the end of another year with 2019 around the corner. What better time than now to consider the value of keeping a journal and tracking your daily life balance from an emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical levels.
There are various types of journaling that you can do and is based on your personal preference.
Journaling may include a “drawing journal” for those who prefer not to write, and a picture is worth a thousand words. After all, storytelling predates writing, with the earliest forms of storytelling being oral or combined with gestures and expressions. Cave drawings told stories of hunting and survival. In psychology, storytelling is an integral part of making sense of our lives (McFeature, 2009).
Journaling, or keeping a regular record of experiences and feelings, especially as they relate to your recovery, can be a helpful tool to advance your healing process. For example, a journal can be used to record your recovery-related struggles and accomplishments or to identify – and work through – difficult emotions. It also helps to hold you accountable for your decisions and actions and helps you invest in your own self-discovery.
What Is Journaling?
Journaling is a type of expressive writing, where your goal is not to produce a “book” but instead to simply use the process of putting your thoughts and feelings down.
You can do this – Journaling is not hard:
- On paper – buy a cheap notebook and fill it with your thoughts and feelings
- On your phone or computer or internet – we recommend “Journey” from 2 App Studio – it is free »
- In a confidential SCARS approved support group on Facebook – here is one of our groups »
- Or as a comment on this webpage – though public details of your life are not recommended
This is to help you understand and cope with these thoughts and emotions.
Types Of Journaling
There are many different types of journaling and several of these lend themselves well to working through emotions involved in the scam recovery process. Journaling in recovery might take the form of:
- A Diary – where you write down the events of the day and how you felt about them
- An Evening Reflection Journal – where you reflect on the day’s events and ponder ways that you may have thought or behaved differently that would have involved better choices
- A Gratitude Journal – where you write about things that you are grateful for and appreciative of
- A Goal-Focused Journal – where you keep track of your goals and objectives and your progress toward these
- A Spiritual Journal – your spiritual growth
- A Health Journal – recording daily exercise, stretches, nutrition, etc.
- A Relationship Journal – that has a focus on relational issues – family and friends
Examples of Journaling:
Below are ways that a person might journal about the same situation in different ways, using the four different types of journaling mentioned above.
Today was a bad day. I got upset right off the bat first thing in the morning when I could not find my keys. I yelled at my wife and accused her of moving them. Then I found them in my coat pocket. But I did not tell my wife or apologize. I just left the house. I felt lousy for the rest of the day–guilty that I had accused her and yelled at her, and disappointed and angry at myself for not apologizing till much later in the day.
Example: Evening Reflection Journal
Event: Yelled at wife this morning & accused her of moving my keys (but they were in my pocket); left house without apologizing.
Reflection on Event: I could have asked wife instead of accusing; I could have stopped to recollect when I had last used keys and what I might have done with them…Would likely have found keys sooner and avoided a negative experience for us both. Will try to stop and think before immediately making accusations next time.
Example: Gratitude Journal
- I am grateful for a loving wife who puts up with my quick temper and impulsive behavior.
- I am grateful that I found my keys in time to get to work without being late.
- I am grateful that my wife is willing to accept my apology, even when it comes too late.
- I am grateful that I have this opportunity to reflect on my actions and consider better options before I drive my loving wife away from me.
Example: Goal-Focused Journal
I will improve my ability to hold my temper and not deflect my frustrations toward others, especially my wife. I will do this by using the following steps:
- I will take 3 deep breaths when I feel myself becoming frustrated or angry.
- I will use the time to think about what I am about to say and how to say it.
- I will consciously choose to ask questions and explore options before jumping to a conclusion or saying what immediately pops into my mind when I am upset.
Benefits Of Keeping A Recovery Journal
Studies have shown that journaling encourages the writer to disclose emotions with less fear of criticism. It also makes it easier to gain the benefit of support groups in that you can read from your journal, instead of trying to express yourself on the spot.
Journaling has been associated with reduced depression and grief reactions, as well as improved health outcomes including reduced stress, improved immune function and reduced digestive issue symptoms. It is theorized that actively repressing difficult thoughts and feelings requires effort and acknowledging and writing about these feelings reduces overall stress in the body. Translating an event into words hel