Breathe - a place to write your experience, trauma, or difficult situations
Hey! I’m Sophie, currently a 16 year old junior in high school. I created Breathe (www.breathesafespace.com) over the summer last year (2022). Breathe is a place to write about your experiences, trauma, or difficult situations. Personally, I used to write whenever I got overwhelmed or was overthinking, and it has helped stop me from overthinking. So, I thought if writing helps me, it probably helps a lot of other people. I wanted to make a public space so people can find other writing and relate to other people’s stories. So far, we have received many submissions and are thrilled that it seems to be a safe space for people to write their thoughts. Most submissions have been around the topic of sexual assault.
Journaling is a crucial part of healing. After a traumatic event, it may be hard to even acknowledge what you have been through; writing down what happened will help you understand, and once you understand what happened, you can properly deal with the situation. In cases of sexual assault, especially with teens, there is a constant question of ‘did I make it clear enough’, ‘well, I didn’t say no’, ‘ I don't want to make a big deal’, ‘I was probably leading him on’. These questions end up making excuses for the rapist and further push down whatever you went through because you refuse to acknowledge it. Whether it is writing the story down or telling it to a trusted person, understanding what happened and fully processing your story is crucial for your mental health. Trauma builds up, and the more you bury it, the more likely it will become harmful in the future. Releasing it through acknowledgment and taking the burden off yourself is one of the first steps to fully healing.
Journaling is a proven cathartic therapy. In an article written by Courtney E. Ackerman, MA., published on PositivePsychology.com, she discusses a study by Baikie & Wilhelm that found that participants who “wrote about their most traumatic experiences for 15 minutes, four days in a row, experienced better health outcomes up to four months than those who were instructed to write about neutral topics.” This study highlights that even 15 minutes of writing a day can have a drastic impact on your health. Trauma is directly connected to how you as a person function; if you leave it undealt with, it only negatively impacts you.
“I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” - Joan Didion
Founder of Breathe
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*Breathe is designed to assist in the process of moving on from a traumatic event. The word Breathe is supposed to remind you, when you start to feel overwhelmed, to breathe through your thoughts and feelings. Writing is a proven cathartic form of therapy, and Breathe welcomes you to write your thoughts here. These can be any style you want from poems to essays or statements. Breathe offers complete anonymity, your name is not attached unless you want it to be.