This is an email from Words to the Fearless, a newsletter by Fearless She Wrote.
A December Summary from Fearless She Wrote
Happy New Year to all of our readers and writers!
And, happy 2020! We’re so excited to usher in this new year and decade with you.
2019 was a year of love and growth for us at Fearless She Wrote, and we’re looking forward to continuing that trend in 2020.
We try to release this newsletter on the first Wednesday of every month. This month, the first Wednesday was New Year’s Day. We didn’t publish the newsletter on that day for a couple of reasons: 1) it was a holiday and 2) we needed to take a minute for self-care time after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
This leads us to the focus of today’s newsletter: self-care. It’s a phrase that we’re all acquainted with (and that some of us are tired of hearing). Still, self-care is important, and especially here. If you read or write for Fearless She Wrote, we encourage you to frequently evaluate your short-term and long-term personal needs.
The stories that we publish in our space are so vulnerable. They can also be emotionally taxing to read and/or write. We love that our space is a place of healing for our community, and if you’re someone who uses writing as an emotional healing tool or as an act of self-care, you may find that after writing a particularly emotional piece, you feel tired. Exhausted, even.
That’s because talking (or writing) about your traumas can be re-traumatizing. You’re reliving your trauma when you put it into words — you’re thinking about, and feeling your way through something that you’d likely rather forget. Our editor, Gillian Sisley, calls it the “Trauma Hangover.”
You’re doing important work by writing through your traumas — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. As such, we want to encourage you to check-in with yourself frequently throughout the process.
Are you paying attention to your own needs?
The world doesn’t stop because you’ve written a challenging piece, and you may feel pressure to move through your day as though everything is normal. But it’s not normal — you’re taking important steps toward healing — and you’re feeling that aftershocks of that! Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Are you sleeping enough?
- Are you eating foods that make you feel healthy and strong?
- Are you participating in any activities that make you feel relaxed?
Are you allowing others to support you?
Dealing with trauma can make us feel terribly alone. Writing — an often solitary activity — can also make us feel alone.
Who are the people in your personal and professional lives who can help to bring you out of the doldrums? Spend some time with them!
Part of the reason we began Fearless She Wrote was that we saw a need for a healing community — and we hope that you use this space as such. We are all here to work through these difficulties together — because we’re all taking steps toward personal peace. You lean on us, and we’ll lean on you.
And remember, be gracious with yourself!
You’re doing important work. When you write to heal, you heal yourself, and you help others (your readers!) to heal as well. If you need a break, take one. If you don’t feel quite ready to share your experiences — that’s okay too. Continue to use the support of those around you, and the stories in this publication to propel you forward in your own process.
As Gillian notes in her story about trauma hangovers (linked at the bottom):
“Every story, and every interaction where we share and process our own pain, is another stone or boulder removed from on top of us, releasing the weight and giving us another bit of room to breathe and expand our lungs.”
Be well, and thank you for kicking off the year with us.
In case you missed it! (December 2019)
One of the Lucky Ones
I am writing this for women who are not like me. Women who can’t speak up about their experience because they are…
Don’t Tell a Woman, “It’s Not So Bad”
In many cases, it’s much worse than you have ever imagined
I Was Told I Don’t “Look” Like a Married Woman
And it left me thinking, what does that even mean?
If you’re ready to write your challenging pieces, Gillian Sisley and Jessica Lovejoy have words of advice end encouragement ready for you!
You May Be Helping Someone Else When You Write About Your Pain
No matter how many stories there are, when you tell yours, you make a difference for someone else.
Navigating Trauma Hangovers Through Self-Care
The day after speaking or writing about your trauma has unpleasant side effects.