Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

to journal or not to journal

Our deepest secrets must be found within ourselves. 
Our darkest secrets are the ones we don't want to see; 
they are, however where we find that which makes us truly who we were born to be.
By not fearing the dark, we can travel where we need to go--
fearing it keeps us bound where we are.

From 2003 at Catalina State Park

For years I kept a journal but then lost interest in doing it. The last handwritten journal was begun in November 2003. The last entry was November 2013, the day we had my beloved cat, Pepper, euthanized as she was suffering from a fatal illness and going downhill so fast. Her death at 4 1/2 years old caught me off-guard. She should have lived so much longer. I'd have paid anything to keep her with me, but all I had for an option was extending her dying with more misery. There is always one pet who touches you in ways you likely will never find with another.  She was that one for me-- my little buddy.

I stopped the journal because it seemed the times I most wanted to write in it were negative. I wrote when I felt depressed and down. Rereading the entries made it sound like that was all I ever felt. They were like what I am sharing below from something I'd written on my computer. I had been thinking that I'd be more faithful in writing if I was typing it. In the end, it had the same drawback as the written one.

I might someday keep a journal again but not for now. I still have these dark times. They just aren't all I have. If I ever kept a journal again, I'd try harder to find time to write the good and the bad. I suspect there are those who only write the positives as though to reinforce them. That's not really more accurate to who we are than all the dark times. Life should be and generally is a balance of both.

March 24, 2003
I am working on improving myself, building a new life, but I’m confused, unsure what I want, what I can have in the things I want.  I am back in Oregon. Now is time to start focusing on a future life for me.I woke up Saturday morning and felt so depressed and unhappy. 
Then I remembered something I had read about depression and how therapy helps with it. It said you reprogram how you think about what has happened. My thought when I woke was how unhappy I was.  I revised that to-- How happy I was. How I was starting on a path of healing, begun what I had to do to find a new life. 
March 25, Tuesday morning
We walked up the hill this morning which was nice, a mist and temperatures not too cold.  I never really want to walk and have to make myself do it. I am thinking a lot about what I want to be now, the kind of woman I see myself being through my 60s which begins in a few months.  I cared more about looking good in my 50s, maybe I won’t so much in my 60s. This is the time to do art, to keep my body physically fit, for being an interesting, involved person. I see women who are like I would like to be. Means growing my hair out longer, maybe more skin work. I have to decide on the HRT also; so my plan for now is lose weight, grow out my hair, get books out, find a home.
March 28, Friday morning
Still upset about everything. I am trying to think positive but I feel snowballed by things. I began looking at publishing houses and that was depressing. I think I am letting things get to me but don’t know to change that. I guess I need to take things one step at a time. I just don’t have good answers for anything in my life at the moment and it’s depressing.


Tabor said...

Perspective...that is what a daily journal can provide even if years later.

Rain Trueax said...

It would for those who write for the good and bad days. I wasn't doing that. When all was going well, I had no interest in it or was too busy. So it didn't reflect my life but only the bad days. Most days were skipped. I think years ago I did better on writing regularly. For some people, their blogs would give them that but I don't do a journal type blog.

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

And I am "that person" for whom a personal blog was the answer. I wanted to investigate who I was, what I thought, where I was going, what was happening around me, but I couldn't write a diary/journal just for myself. Having an audience helped me.


Rain Trueax said...

Ashleigh, I think such blogs are very popular and if they work for you, then that's great. In my life, I have things I only would share with a close trusted friend, and that wasn't whoever happened to hit the blog. If I hadn't shared them, the blog wouldn't be honest to who I am. I am darker than I might appear ;). Sharing my ideas though gets me in enough trouble.

joared said...

Started a journal years ago when a friend gave me one. Had this concern what i wrote might one day be read by others i didnt want to read it for a varíety of reasons. Finally wrote one page but did so using coded language only i would understand. Our household broken into and my journal stolen among other things. No more journal writing for me after that.