I found therapy and a career by journaling


Lisa Alioto

21 February 2020 34 comments

I was always good at writing in school but once school was over, I quit journaling.  Not necessarily for a reason, but I just moved on to other things.  Then, I got a chronic illness and I was filled with mixed emotions, grief, and sadness.   My solution – sorting it all out on paper.

I have to say that it worked really well.  It helped me to put all my feelings down on paper.  Once on paper, for whatever reason, it helped me seem more in control of them.  They also seemed smaller, more manageable.  Don’t get me wrong – these feelings were still overwhelming but somehow writing it all down made it real in a positive way.

So, pen to paper I continued on.  I wrote about my losses.  I journaled about my limitations, sharing my confusion about it all.  And, I grieved.  Eventually I noticed that my writing started to take on a new spin.  While I still wrote about many of the same topics, all of a sudden it wasn’t just about the losses, limitations, and grief.  It was about what I gained from experiencing all these deep emotions.  The gratitude I felt for the things I still had – the things that really mattered to me that were still very much in my life.

All in all, I guess what I’m saying is that writing became very therapeutic for me.  It was an outlet for my feelings, a way for me to sort through them, organize them, and find a way through them.  Now whenever I go through a new wave of emotions from my illness the first thing I do is go back to journaling.   It’s my release; it helps me find my freedom from the constraints of life with a chronic illness.

My journaling journey did not end there though.  I started sharing my writings on Facebook and eventually on public outlets.  I was amazed at how well received my writing was.  How much people appreciated my realistic optimism.   This new success was a win that came from so many losses.  I couldn’t help but rejoice a bit.  While journaling was therapeutic and internal, blogging about my take on my illness was an external, self-created success!

Eventually I expanded my writing to go beyond writing about my illness and my realistic optimism about it.  My writing transitioned to creating awareness about my illness.  I wrote newspapers and publishers.  I quickly went from a blogger to an advocate and there too I found success.  Now I was not just helping myself, I was helping my fellow chronic illness friends.  More success!

And it all started with me, this mixed-up lady who got caught up in her chronic illness.  Wondering how to handle it all and how to make a life with it.

Did I take lemons and make lemonade?  I think so. I also learned how journaling can be therapeutic, an internal release, and even an external success story!  Like so much in life, problems can lead to opportunities.  Hardships can lead to new successes.  You just have to be open to the possibilities.  

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34 thoughts on “I found therapy and a career by journaling

  1. 100% agree, and it’s what I did for years, but then stopped. I started again recently and turned it into a blog, best thing I ever did.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Congratulations on your new blog Adam! I’m glad to hear you find journaling just as rewarding!

      1. Melissa Kacar says:

        Writing has always helped me get through the hard times too, it’s really so therapeutic and freeing to get all of your emotions out on paper. I’m happy to hear it’s helped you so much as well! You’re such a talented writer! Thanks for sharing your experience with it! 🙂

        1. Lisa Alioto

          Thank your for your kind words Melissa! I’m glad you are enjoying the benefits of journaling as well! 🙂

    2. I’d really love to get back into journaling again!

      1. Lisa Alioto

        If you do, I hope you find it as helpful as I have! Thanks for sharing your comment. 🙂

  2. I love your writing! I also use writing as a way to cope with my illness. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thank you Natasha! It really is a great way to manage the ups and downs of an illness! A form of self-care is how I think of it.

  3. I’ve never written a journal, I tried a few times when I was younger but the habit never stuck. I wish I’d been able to make it a routine, I think it would be great to look back on x


    1. Lisa Alioto

      Yes, that’s definitely another benefit of a journal – to look back on your life and also see how your writing has developed! Thanks Sophie!

  4. I used to have journals in my teenage years – it’s a fantastic way to write things out, especially if you find it hard to express them vocally. Great post!

    Holly x

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thanks Holly – it definitely is! It’s a great way to get internal thoughts on paper and think through them.

  5. There is a reason that so many therapists recommend journaling! It’s a great way to work through the thoughts and emotions that we may not acknowledge otherwise or may struggle to explain to others. Not only does it help you to sort out your own thoughts, but it also makes it easier to find the words to express your thoughts to others.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Great insights and sharing – thanks for commenting Britt!

  6. Thank you for sharing this.
    I know writing my thoughts down will help manage the clusters of thoughts in my head but I haven’t been able to write them down. Reading this, I guess I will start step by step

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I’m glad I inspired you to give it a try. Remember, it doesnt have to be a novel or work of art; jotted down random words even help! 🙂

  7. I absolutely agree that once you start writing down your problem, it becomes manageable. I’m glad you found an outlet

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thank you Adedoylin! Yes, it definitely does become more manageable once on paper!

  8. I love journalling! I write in a diary every night to get any thoughts down on paper (good/bad) and I also do a bullet journal to track any lists or my emotions! Great post!

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Daisy – I’m thrilled that you’ve found a love for journaling as well! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. And more success to you Lisa! Love the post. Journaling is like self care for me. It’s included in my morning routine. Thank you so much.

  10. Lisa Alioto

    Thank you – glad you enjoyed the post Nilakashi! I agree – definitely a great form of self-care.

  11. I have come to realize how important journaling is in blogging! I recently purchased my first journal and am ready to put my feelings and emotions down on paper as a way to keep my life organized. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I am excited for you Denise! Have fun!!

  12. I have been journaling my whole life and found it super helpful with getting your thoughts out instead of leaving it in your mind. I love how it has helped others go through situations.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I do too Nancy! I’m glad you are enjoying the awesomeness of journaling.

  13. I love journaling. I do it for many reasons, including tracking my symptoms and how my actions and life events make them worse or better.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I do that too Cynthia – the symptom tracking. It’s so easy to forget gradual changes over time. Glad you found so many uses for journaling!

  14. I agree, writing is such a healthy way to help cope with chronic illness or any big life event.

  15. Lisa Alioto

    Thanks for sharing Despite Pain! I’m glad you’ve found journaling beneficial to you too!

  16. Thanks for sharing! I actually journaled when I was really young and I enjoyed it but I haven’t for years. I did have a family member who really used it as a coping mechanism so I know it really helps. Would definitely consider going back to it.

    Ashlee | ashleemoyo.com

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Hi Ashlee – as you can imagine, I highly recommend it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  17. I have never had the patience to journal! Or, rather, to keep up with journaling. Because I got too into it!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      That makes perfect sense – clearly you are a doer. I’m a bit of one mysef but I still find a need a journal for the things I need to contemplate a bit.

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