Give a hand to writing: Doing a journal is engaging

Jul 26, 2020

In 2017, at the age of 37, I began the process of trying to get pregnant through IUI with donor sperm.

Though my fertility was given a good prognosis, I had three unsuccessful attempts. It’s common to have to try up to six times, or more, before obtaining a successful pregnancy, but I was out of savings.

I had visited the Evermore Centre at the age of 30, but decided then it wasn’t the right time. Adopting was always something that had been on my mind. So, I left the fertility clinic behind and began the process of applying for the adoption waitlist. I am currently still waiting to be released.

While I was going through my IUI procedures at Aurora, I was also studying to become a certified journal therapy facilitator.

The Journal to the Self workshop is a 12-hour therapeutic writing course delivered across several sessions that implements various styles of journaling to experience self-care and problem solving. This course was created by Kathleen Adams, who was voted— along with Anaïs Nin and Anne Frank — one of the top three most significant influences on contemporary journal keeping.

Power of thoughts and words

Part of the certification process is taking the course for yourself, of course. The majority of my assignments were focused on my desire to become a mother and the heartbreak I was experiencing after each failed attempt. I found immense emotional relief from the act of writing my way through my thoughts and emotions surrounding this journey.

It might seem far-fetched that the simple act of writing can have a profound effect on our emotional state of wellness, but here’s why it works: The physical act of writing stimulates cells in the base of our brain, known as the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS filters information and brings our attention to the forefront, helping us to focus. This part of the brain is not activated to the same degree when we type. Writing changes the way our brain processes information, which might explain why it has such a profound effect on our ability to process and work through emotions.

I tried IUI only three times, barely scratching the surface of giving myself a fair chance and it weighed heavy on my heart. On my mind are those who have been going through this process for years. I am in awe of the fortitude required to endure that.

With you, of course

Having experienced how much the course helped me, I would like to offer a course dedicated solely for men and women, single or couples, going through the process of fertility treatments and/or adoption. If we come together as a group experiencing the same thing, it will create a safer and more comfortable space. This would take place in the earlier-mid part of 2020, and I’d work to find a suitable time for those interested. There is no experience required to take advantage of the powerful benefits of journaling/writing.

Please send me an email if you’d like to take part. I would also like to offer a 20% discount off the course for anyone going through fertility/ adoption.