Research has shown that keeping a journal about your life can be a big help relieving stress and managing the emotional components of living with a chronic illness.
Traditionally done with paper and pen, many people are now turning to sites like WordPress and Blogger and LiveJournal that provide free, easy to use blogging software. Online journals or blogs are useful because they allow you to keep selected entries to yourself, while sharing others with friends, family and the world. Having the information online allows friends and family to be involved, but in a non-intrusive way. I appreciate all the phone calls I get, but it gets tiring talking about my condition all the time. Now I can refer people to my blog and enjoy conversations about more enjoyable topics!
How to Begin
The key is to find about 20 minutes of "alone time" every day and just write. Start anywhere - don't worry about grammar, spelling and punctuation. Write quickly and just let the words flow straight from the brain onto the paper (or keyboard) without censorship. If it helps, pick a theme for the day, week or month (for example, peace of mind, confusion, change or anger). The most important rule of all is that there are no rules.
I've often looked back on what I've written and been surprised at what I've found. I've had lots of those "I didn't know I felt that way" moments where I was able to identify something that had really been eating at me, but that I wasn't fully aware of. Journal writing is a great tool for listening to your heart. It helps you sort through the whirlwind of emotions and allows you to clarify your thoughts and feelings.
Best of luck on your journaling journey!