Made A Terrible Decision And Don’t Know How To Fix It?
Oh, [insert expletive]. You screwed up. You really did it this time, didn’t you? This is bad. The worst, actually. Things are awful and they’re not going to get better on their own.
Sound familiar? If you’re currently living through the consequences of a terrible decision, don’t give up hope just yet. We’re not sure what that decision was — perhaps there has been a rift in your marriage, or you just crashed your expensive new car, or you’re knee-deep in a bad business move that’s got you fearing for your career.
Whatever the problem, your first priority is to take a deep breath, slow down, and tell yourself: this is not the end of the world. It is not! Before we move any further, know that what you’re going through can be solved — not only that, but also improved.
How? This is a story about journaling. It’s about looking inside ourselves and finding resilience when we think everything is lost. It’s about relying on others who are trained to help us when we can’t always help ourselves. If that sounds like the kind of help you need, then keep reading.
Journaling about our biggest screw-ups
There are some things you can only confess to a journal. Our greatest mess-ups are one of those things. If you’ve made a major mistake but haven’t sat down yet to process it, try this right now as you’re reading this article:
First, sit down at a computer and pull up a document. Next, start writing. Describe the mistake that was made in detail. Do not focus on whether what you’re writing is good or bad. Leave all judgment for yourself at the door. Talk about what you’re going through, how it happened, why it happened, and how it makes you feel. If you need to laugh or cry or shout while you do it, that’s okay. Just know that this is your time to let everything out on the page.
Once you’re done with that, take another deep breath, brew some strong coffee, and sit back down. Re-read what you’ve written and feel whatever feelings you must while you read it. Think to yourself: now that this has been captured, I can start to move on.
But how? What’s the next step? Don’t worry — you’re halfway there.
Getting clarity by sharing
Oh, [insert another, more colorful expletive]. You’re supposed to share your screw-up with others? Don’t click out of your browser just yet! Think of this moment as the critical, crucial point in your journey away from your screw-up and toward a solution. This is the pivotal point in the road where you can either keep riding the highway of misery or take an exit.
Trust us, you want to take the exit.
Here’s what you do: you take that journal you just wrote down, and you look into The Journal That Talks Back. It’s a journaling service that connects people who are going through difficulties with certified responders who know how to help navigate those difficulties.
What will happen if you choose to sign up with a responder? First, you’ll select a prompt that mirrors the issues you’re facing in life, and you’ll write a journal about it. Since you’ve just wrote a journal, you’ll have the hang of this. This will be an even better, cleaner chance to express your thoughts.
Then the responder will read your journal, critically assess your major screw-up (chances are they will not call it that — after all, we are hardest on ourselves!) and start asking questions. They will learn more about you so that they can help you move on from what went wrong. You’ll go on to write more journals, which your responder will reply to, until you feel you have the clarity you need to move on from your mistake.
It’s important to note that these responders are not mental health professionals — do not think of them as therapy — but in many ways, they do what therapists cannot. Certified responders can speak to problems in life that do not necessarily require therapy: financial issues, certain relationship problems, feelings of stagnation or boredom in life, and so much more.
It’s also worth considering that responders are available much more frequently than therapists. These are not people you pay to see for an hour once a week. Responders will reply to your journals during and throughout the week, sometimes within hours. With The Journal That Talks Back, you use it how much you need it — that’s the beauty of it.
In the end, it’s important to remember that whatever big hurdle you’re facing in life right now, surmounting it is not impossible. You are strong enough to get past this, and with the right tools we’re confident you will. So: swear all you need, soldier. Then, pick up a journal, and let’s get to it.