I have been journaling since I was a child. I used to have this really pretty journal when I was a about 10 years old, which was pink and purple and had sparkles all over it. The most important thing at the time was that it had a lock. Even until today my journal is something very private to me.
I still have those journals from my teenage years and I sometimes flick through them. It makes me smile a lot to read about my secret crushes on boys and troubles in school. My childhood was not a very happy one and in those days my journal was my confidant about my feelings about my parents and how they treated me. In those days children wouldn’t really talk about their home life to many people, well at least I wouldn’t have done that, so my journal was always close to me, like my best friend and it could keep secrets.
I have a blog where I share many of my personal experiences, but some things are just not meant to be for the public to read. In my journal I write down all my thought uncensored. This is the most important point to me of journaling, that it is free from criticism, other than my own, and I can write whatever comes to my mind or bothers me.
When my father died in 2013 and seven months later my best friend, my journal was once again my best friend. I felt I couldn’t keep on at my friends about how much I was hurting. My friends were supportive, but I felt after a while they kind of had enough. Even until this moment the grief of having lost two important people from my life is overwhelming and through journaling I can vent these emotions.
Journaling can also be very reflective. I was going through a phase lately of very low self-esteem, and not being able to find a job. My mind was taking me to very dark places. Writing it all down in a journal at the time has helped me a great deal and reading through it now seems almost unbelievable that I was having such dark thoughts.
Journaling really helps to make you more aware of your behaviour and how it can affect your life. It can help you to change or work on certain things you would like to change. It is certainly very helpful if you want to work on your mental health, I found and helped me a greatly to deal with bouts of depression. It can also be a great motivation to work towards goals.
My name is Britta Freemantle. English language and literature have always been my passion. I have an MA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. I read a lot, as that supports my own writing process. I am a writer. My dream would be to one day publish my book and become a full-time writer. I have written several short stories and one of which won the Dorset Short story award. I have my own website and blog were I review books of various genre, write a blog about all sorts of things and where I post some of my short stories and poems.
This article was published in a blog hosted by Caroline Johnston in 2017