Recently, I followed up my first interview with my friend Diane about her depression and anxiety which she had coped with for most of her life through medications and holistic healing. She managed to find ways to help keep all her emotions in check and was able to live a healthy life. At the end of that interview, I gave her advice from Puja Thomson’s book “After Shock”. She took this advice and decided to go even farther with it.
I discovered that Diane started to journal her life on a regular basis. “At first it was hard to get into the groove of it,” she explained to me. She had never really kept a journal before and the task seemed a little daunting at first. Her life can get busy with school work and maintaining a social life. “I had to find some time in my day to just sit down and get writing…once I started it, I started to really enjoy it.” She started off with just doing it a few times a week but soon she found herself doing it almost every day. “Some days I would write pages about how my day went and other days I would just write a few sentences…but I really did start to see a difference with myself”.
“I would usually do my journaling before I went to sleep. It was just a good time to get everything I was feeling off of my chest”, she told me. She started to realize that she would be able to sleep easier when she did this. “When I had a bad day, it was good to just get it all out…by the end of journaling, I felt good enough to just to let go into sleep.” Since sleep also helps with reducing stress, Diane was feeling more refreshed as the days passed.
Life is bound to come with stress. From illnesses, to work, to fights with loved ones, stress is unavoidable. Being able to reduce this stress is something that everyone deserves. “Getting my feelings on paper was so therapeutic”, Diane said. “Some of the things I feel most people wouldn’t understand. Most people don’t get the feelings that come with anxiety and depression”. No one has to read her journal. She doesn’t have to filter what she has to say and worry about how anyone would react to it. “I’ve always been afraid about disappointing or upsetting the people I’m around…having this journal helps take that struggle off of my shoulders”.
At the end of the interview, I lent my own copy of “After Shock” to Diane. She skimmed it and seemed interested. “I’ve never gone through cancer or any type of illness like that…but I can see how you could apply her suggestions to other things.” Not only would I recommend Puja Thomson’s books to others, so would Diane. Leading a healthy life is something we all should strive for, but sometimes it’s hard to start. Getting suggestions from this book is a good way to begin this journey. To see more of this book, you can find the revised version of “After Shock: From Cancer Diagnosis to Healing” on Amazon.
Written by Heather Salerno, SUNY New Paltz intern at Roots & Wings