Promoting wellbeing through reflection
“Today I bought this diary and it cost 99p but now it costs infinity because it has all my feelings in it ...”
Ten years old and proud. These words were mine. They weren’t for sharing. And they were very important.
Writing in a diary has always felt like talking to a real person: a quiet friend who doesn't judge, someone I didn't need to change myself for or hide from. And they were always there waiting for me when my sister, my mum or my friends just wouldn't do.
“I'm going to tell you something really private. I want to be loved by someone who isn't part of my family, I want to be trusted, told secrets, told really special things.”
From arguments over Scrabble to honest wants and desires, I wrote it all down in secret and it helped. I didn’t feel so alone.
As a child the one thing that drove me crazy was feeling misunderstood, that and not being able to clearly articulate how I felt. I just didn’t know how to calmly assert myself or argue a point if I felt hard done by. Instead I’d boil myself up into a frantic mess and end up screaming, crying and slamming doors.
Arguments with my dad were the worst. We’re both so similar we’d set each other off and end screaming matches feeling attacked and hurt.
My mum would freeze torn between us two, or join in and cry along with me, and my sister didn’t know what to think.
Having joined the first year of grown-up secondary school my ‘best’ friend decided to jump ship and pretend she’d never met me. I had no one to explain it to, no-one who knew me or knew what things had been like before. No one who had seen how close we’d been. And no one to listen when I couldn’t get to grips with how everything could change, just like that.
My diary was there throughout everything. It was on my side. Writing and keeping it as a constant companion eased these frustrations. When I couldn’t tell anyone else what was going on with me, opening up a blank page and taking time to explain myself was a massive relief.
I felt that someone understood, even if it really was me struggling to truly understand myself.