When I was 14-years old, I started a diary. It coincided with the beginning of high school. I was a fresh-faced “minor niner” and suddenly, my world became a lot more interesting. There were new friends, new crushes and of course, a new set of important tasks that almost overshadowed my education (where does one buy the perfect grunge-inspired plaid shirt to go with Revlon’s Blackberry lipstick?). And when I was happy, troubled or somewhere in the middle, I wrote.
I wrote about my insecurities and my fears. I jotted down unsolicited opinions on everything from the length of a mean girl’s kilt to the blueness of my crush’s eyes. I wrote about my first boyfriend and my first heartbreak. And most of all, I wrote about my hopes for the future. I wrote about having a job I loved, exactly two sons (it was always my preference), and of course, meeting my prince in shining Burberry sunglasses. Funny how things work out, huh?
I wrote in a first, second, third…. seventh diary throughout my high school years and even into my first year of university. I can’t describe the sense of relief I felt as I unloaded my feelings. My diary didn’t judge me, offer unsolicited advice or spill my secrets. It was a form of much needed therapy through a period of angst and personal discovery.
I abandoned diary keeping in my twenties. Years later, when I started my blog, I rekindled the joy of putting thoughts on paper (or in this case, a computer screen) but truly, it didn’t offer the same release; I don’t have to tell you there’s a vast difference between publicly sharing experiences and privately sharing my innermost feelings.
Recently, however, I started a brand new diary. It was inevitable and necessary. Because I was betrayed by a friend and needed a place to sort out my feelings. My parental responsibilities were driving me to drink and writing is infinitely better than hitting the bottle. And I needed to balance the happy face I put on for my brand versus the intense anxiety I was feeling about all the things I had taken on for 2016. I needed somewhere to be me, uncensored, unapologetic.
So, at 37-and-a-half years old, I’ve found myself writing Dear Diary again.
I don’t know how long I’ll keep it up. But for now, it’s the cheapest form of therapy possible (only $8.49 for a cute new notebook!) and I’m hoping it will provide that release I’ve been searching for.
Hey, I agree fully that if something as simple as writing in a diary to REALLY get out your thoughts and feelings is enough to lessen some anxiety, why not?
Hopefully this gives you the release you need! :)
I started writing in a notebook, when I found out about my husband and then him leaving. I had to 3 mths of extreme heartbreak was too much for me to tuck away. I wrote in it sometimes more then once a day. I find now I’m not reaching for it as much, hopefully soon it becomes a happy book
I think heartbreak is one of the reasons so many of us turn to diary writing in the first place. I’m so happy to hear that your entries slowly shifting to a happier place.
I used to keep a diary when I was younger, I wish I had kept it as I tossed it years ago. I would read it years later and it had some bad memories but now I wish I had kept it as it had some really good entries of when I first met people and etc… I think about keeping a diary too for similar reasons to you. I tried blogging (for myself only) but I found it not very helpful. There’s nothing like the feeling of pen to paper and your thoughts just pouring through your pen quicker than you can write it
I remember trying to get a diary going, but I tend to procrastinate, and that only lasted a few weeks before I gave up.
I wrote in a dairy from grade school to high school and gave it up after that. Sometimes I think that starting a new one would be beneficial!
I did used to use a diary, but haven’t for years. Maybe it’s time again
I used to keep a diary but have stopped, I really should get back at doing it one of these days.
I love writing things down to help with my thoughts and anxiety over things
I was going out to by a new book for 2016 only positive things in it and I forgot. I’m calling it “all about me 2016”
Keeping a diary is actually good, it lets you release what you have been keeping in, and it is therapeutic!!
Just wanted to let you know that this post got me thinking and I ordered a pretty journal yesterday to hopefully get back into writing things down :)
LOVE that! Thank you for sharing Judy!
Jennifer Ann Wilson
Thank you, this has inspired me to start keeping a journal!
I kept a diary off and on as a kid but I’ve never been one to write down my thoughts. It’s definitely a better choice than drinking though. I think I spill everything to my friends instead.
Keeping a diary is actually good for the soul i believe,keeping things inside can be very troublesome if you find it hard talking to others writing it down is the next best thing!
I just got my grandkids some pretty diaries to encourage them to write
Debbie White Beattie
I tried doing a diary when I was a teen but it just didn’t stick. Maybe I was out with my boyfriend or other friends too much but I got too bored just writing things down. Although maybe I just wanted too much action.