I’ve been writing in journals for most of my life – I have a stack of notebooks filled with personal thoughts from my childhood and teenage years that would be incredibly embarrassing if another person were to read them. It was and continues to be through writing and journaling that I have been able to work through many of the incredibly difficult things I’ve dealt with in my life. Writing and journaling have been an escape, which I’ve written about before, and they’ve been an amazing way in which I’ve dealt with my struggle with depression and anxiety.
When I was a junior in college, I stumbled across a zine about how to survive in the Pacific Northwest during the winter – a time in which we are dealing with almost constant cloud cover, regular rainfall, and rather short days for some weeks. (A 4:15pm sunset is not that much fun to be honest.) I ended up buying the zine and using it to create a journal in which I worked to remember why I love the things I do and to remember all the reasons to get out of bed each day. I also started requesting tourist guides from various states and finding old magazines to dig through photos and places I one day hope to visit.
And more than that, it was through this journal that I felt accomplished. I have something that I’m proud of, that is something I did. It became a way in which I positively (although rather indirectly) dealt with all the negativity that I so regularly feel. I found quotes that reminded me that I am alive, that my depression and anxiety will not control my life.
I still flip through this journal, looking at all the things I’ve glued and taped in, at all the things I’ve written in the past. And there’s a part of me that feels a certain sense of happiness and accomplish when I pick it up – I don’t quite know how to describe it.