Writing in a journal is meant to be a relief or an expression of one’s self. It is an effort to get thoughts on paper, or events that you want to remember or work through. Being a writer, as I’d like to think of myself, I have had difficulty writing in a journal ever since my last child was born. Truth be known I have been having difficulty writing on this blog, which is like a public journal. I am trying to understand this lack of writing when I know I have many words in me that I want to express.
I started writing in a journal when I was a young girl. Back then it wasn’t called a journal as much as a diary. In it I wrote of my troubles, boys(which were some of my troubles), poetry and prose. It was my release when I felt I could not express myself vocally. This writing took me well into my late twenties, various attempts at working, school, loves and personal growth. It still included prose and poetry. I have all these journals. Some are filled, especially the younger ones. Some are briefly written in and then I moved on.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I wrote to him even before I knew he was conceived. I wrote of knowing that I was pregnant even though the tests weren’t yet showing it. I expressed my hopes and desires for him and my fears. It was definitely filled with prose. When he reached his first birthday I put some of these words into small booklets that showed his achievements over his first year and thanks to those who were a part of it. It surprised me when my father said he felt that way about me. Apparently my journal touched a chord in all of us. I hope it does for my son.
By my second son, I no longer wrote in a journal. Perhaps bits and pieces, but nothing like my first son. With him, besides raising a toddler as well as a baby, an illness had reared it’s ugly head in me. Apparently it was something I always had, but it surfaced after my second child and wiped me out. That, more then likely, would have been the perfect time to express myself. Goodness knows I was experiencing a lot of different emotions. Instead, that is when the writing mainly stopped.
This is not to say I stopped writing in my head. That has always continued, though not made it onto paper. So many words lost for various reasons. Taking care of my sons through my illness, taking care of myself, all took the energy away from the pen and paper. I can not even fathom what I have lost throughout all those years.
My son’s are now in their teens. I have promised to resume writing in an effort to teach them to pursue their dreams, to not stifle them as I have. I have had plenty to write about. My illness, my depression, my married life, and, yes, even my dreams. I still write more in my head then on paper. I have plenty of empty journals awaiting my words as if begging me to fill them. Please.
Therapists recommend keeping a journal. Is it being told to keep one that has me standing firm in not doing so. An awkward rebel. I need to write. Every thread in my being tells me so. I have to find, not the words as I have them, but the strength to write them. Maybe, then, the words in my journals, the one’s involving pen and paper, will find their way here.