12 Aug 2020

re-reading old journals and preparing for future thoughts

Disclosure: there are emotional parts to this blog post. I also toyed with the idea of posting this or not for a long time but in the end, decided to share it.

As a confessed nerd, I am a huge fan of journaling. Having kept one on and off during my teens, I started decompressing mentally much more in my early twenties. I now journal almost daily and it really is a great thing to do before bed. On the days that have been stressful and I don't write anything down, I do notice that my sleep is more disturbed and I wake up feeling less refreshed the next day.

Mental health has had a spotlight on it for a while now which I think is justified. Conditions that aren't 'visible' have had some unjustified stigma attached to them and I do believe that everyone will have gone through some mental health difficulties at some point in their lives. 

For me, writing is very therapeutic. After my father died (maybe one day, I'll write about the experience of this as a 'good death' is something I am passionate about), what I found most difficult was never being able to talk to him again. In Hong Kong culture, we believe that things you cremate with the body are taken with them to the 'afterworld'. So for his cremation, I wrote him a letter using the best paper I could buy, using my 'Flower of Scotland' ink (as our happiest days were my childhood in Scotland) and written in my best handwriting. This helped me a lot. 

Sometimes, I also like to read parts of old journals to see what I was up to at that particular moment in time. As cheesy as this sounds; by doing this, I could really see how much I'd grown as a person and how much mentally stronger I am too. That said, I still have a long way to go in this journey and the blank journals below are just waiting to be filled with future ramblings that will hopefully allow me to develop more as a person. 

Do you find writing things down helpful? Did journaling get you through any particularly difficult periods of your life?

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