Journaling & Me
I share quite often how I found journaling when I was at one of my lowest points ever. I was 21, in a relationship with a narcissist, failing in university (we’ll get to that in another post), in a job I despised, starting to experience chronic pelvic pain, I didn’t feel wanted by many people and I truly believed I was unlovable. I didn’t think writing my thoughts down on paper could help me, but I was so desperate to not feel the way I was feeling that I would try anything at all.
Over the years, my mental health improved greatly, and I found I would only get my journal out when I was finding it difficult to process my feelings. One of the last entries in that first journal was written at 3am in the summer of 2014, almost 6 months since my last entry, and it started with the words ' I didn't expect to be writing in here again'.
It wasn’t that I was even in a bad place when I wrote that last entry. I was finally free of the narcissist; I was no longer living in a home where only a couple of people wanted me around. Phil and I had saved up enough money, given up our jobs and gone to Bulgaria for 6 months. I was free of everything (other than the chronic pain) that was affecting me when I was in the UK and I didn’t understand why I felt the need to be writing my thoughts down on paper again.
When I look back at that now I realise that I had a negative view of my journal, I was embarrassed at the thought that I needed it, I thought it made me weak.
Since then, I've come to see journaling as just normal part of my life, a place to process my feelings whether they were good or bad. A place to record the best days and a place to remember the days that seemed mundane at the time.
I go through phases of not opening my journal for days on end, sometimes I will write in it for hours and sometimes I might just write a couple of sentences to remind you of something that happened that day.
One thing I now know, needing that first journal didn't make me weak, it made me the person who I am today, and I will never be embarrassed to have needed that first journal again.
Now I know that I’m not unlovable, I just listened to the wrong people for far too long!