FEATURED IMAGE: Photograph of trees at night in the winter, a cloud-filled sky above.


I began to practice journaling not too long after I had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in 2013.

Writing about my emotional state, my frustration, and my pain was a therapeutic process. For years, I wrote when sadness and sorrow were crippling me. I can affirm today that my journaling practice paved the way to uncovering my authentic self.

At that time, I felt incapable of expressing with tenderness and kindness what I needed, what I felt I deserved. I didn’t know who I was anymore. What would be good for me?

What would be good for me was changing so rapidly in the day I could barely understand and make sense of my needs, my wants or my sudden emerging desires. Everything was elusive and intangible. I was in an abyss trying to emerge.

Journaling saved me from saying to my loved ones words that could have been harsh, violent, non-loving, words I would certainly have regretted as soon as they left my lips.

Rage, disappointment, fears, sadness, hope, trust and the despair in my future were all entangled.

Journaling was comforting, freeing and a wonderful way to unload the deeper truths I was discovering when I spent so many days, weeks and months in silence. Words flew easily and effortlessly on my journal pages, sometimes with tears rolling on my face. I was so glad to let them out, to release the heaviness that burdens me.

When my life was more harmonious I suddenly drifted away from journaling. But as soon as pains, disappointments and emotions appeared once again, overwhelming me, I found myself back releasing words from my heart.

I found this gift of writing in one of the most challenging times of my life. My passion for words, vocabulary, harmony and flow increased with time and practice.

Today I am reinventing a new story with journaling.

I am back with daily writing practice. I am using this appointment with myself to answer questions for self discovery, deepening my quest to live my best life and have a better idea of this new emerging me.

I am often surprised by what is appearing on my lined paper. I am grateful for the insights I find as I read the words written in colourful ink.

Lately, I am also writing positive affirmations after positive affirmations to imprint these new messages in my subconscious mind, changing the limiting narrative that keeps me in an idle state.

Grateful words and gratitude statements are visible from the beginning of my journal to the last pages. Being grateful helps me to stay present to the little details, events or situations that punctuate my daily life, reminding me to notice and appreciate life in its wholeness.

I have accumulated many journals over the years. Sometimes, I love sitting with them, and revising the long and tortuous healing process that took place for almost ten years now. Each entry gives me an idea of how I perceived life at that moment. I have so much compassion, love, admiration and appreciation for the writer of these entries as I explore the road map she had traveled to arrive where she is now. She most certainly learned to stand by her side as she transformed herself again and again to be who she is.

It is not done yet, the best is yet to come, she wrote.

I am curious to know if journaling is part of your life?

If yes, what are you writing about?

Happy journaling dear ones.

Follow France on Instagram at @Standingbyyourside65 where she shares inspirational stories and insights of living a beautiful and meaningful life after having a Traumatic Brain Injury from a cycling accident.