In 1994 I was going through a freak out. One bad thing after another kept happening to me — loss of a loved one, end of a relationship and a head injury from a random gang attack ALL within a couple of months. For several weeks I could barely read or focus my attention enough to dial a phone number, and despite therapy three times a week, my depression and anxiety were getting worse.
I didn’t know then that what I had was PTSD, triggered by recent events but powered by some seriously messed up events and neglect in my childhood that had caused me to struggle my entire life. Just when I became desperate for anything that would help, I met a woman who taught me a technique she had learned to release fear and resentment. It was so immediately comforting and so effective at making my life better that almost 23 years later, I still practice it twice a day. It’s called a personal inventory, and in this video I show you how you can do it too.
For the record, my friend happens to be an alcoholic and writing daily inventory has helped her achieve permanent sobriety. I am not an alcoholic, but my friend noticed that during this period, I had a lot of the same hypersensitive, over-reactive character traits that were creating the kind of problems in my life an alcoholic might have — self-centeredness, destructive relationships, depression, and difficulty getting myself together, for example. Finding a friend who understood the unbearable emotions I was having, and offered me a solution that actually worked, was the most important day of my life. There is research (from people like James Pennebaker at the University of Texas) that shows that, compared to talking, writing about feelings can be more effective to access our inner selves, to fluidly express our thoughts, to feel more peace and event o improve immunity. I know in my case, I was transformed from desperate, depressed and shaky to strong and happy in just a week or two. Life still has its ups and downs, but with a paper and pen, I am always, always equipped to handle whatever comes, with no group, therapist or cost!
I hope you find it as helpful as I do. You can learn how to take a personal inventory here.