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Write Your Way to Happiness

Hi, my name is Jenny and I’m 26 years old. I live in London and have a degree in Creative Writing and English. Several years ago I began getting chest pains and migraines, some days I felt so ill I couldn’t get out of bed and the thought of facing the world caused anxiety.

Eventually, I went to see a doctor, he suggested counselling. I replied that I was Chinese, we are not allowed to talk about how we feel. He then suggested that I should keep a diary, writing exactly how I felt and what triggered those feelings. Keeping the diary became second nature to me, I even began writing poems each week, exploring my emotions through this medium too, and gradually I began to get to the root of my feelings.

At university I decided it was okay to see a counsellor, there were no fixed appointments and it was free. It was then I realised how much else I was keeping in. I was diagnosed with mild depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. After I graduated, I looked for counselling, but not only was it expensive, it was also difficult to fit it in with my unpredictable work hours. I convinced myself I didn’t need it anymore until mid 2013, when I found myself unemployed, fighting a legal battle. My life was filled with problems and everything else that could, went wrong. My health deteriorated, all my symptoms came back, it was difficult to eat and I only weighed 40kg.

I went back to writing in my diary, entry after entry, poem after poem. I often cried myself to sleep hoping that the next day my diary would give me the answers and help I so desperately needed, plus perspectives and options for me to explore.

I felt like I had gone back to an old friend. Once again I didn’t let myself worry too much about whether it made grammatical sense, I just tuned into my inner voice and let my hand do the work. I like to think of my pen as my magic wand and my diary as my best friend; someone who won’t judge me. I started to notice all the benefits again...including enhancing self awareness, developing new interpretations for negative events, reducing stress and many others.

I can’t believe I let life get in the way of what kept me alive during the darkest days. I am now inspired to write blogs on Mental Health issues and also to help people with their own concerns. With my expertise and personal experience, I have now set up a business and Facebook group; helping individuals to write their way to happiness.

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