Journaling for Mental Health
I remember the moment I was given my first diary. My aunt had gifted me a pink and leopard diary that had a lock and key as a Christmas present. I couldn’t believe that she would give me something that I could call my own. The diary meant that I could be me. As long as what I wrote was within the clasp I was free to be me. I enjoyed thinking about how no one ever needed to see or ever know my deepest thoughts. Whether she knew it or not my aunt gave me privacy and a place to breathe. Soon I would be journaling for my mental health.
At 11-years-old I didn’t realize that my parents were near the end of their relationship and during those events, I was transitioning into a young lady. My mental was going to be turned over from a more stable two-parent household to living with a single mother. During this transition I journaled. I kept my diary and wrote as much as I could. I felt I couldn’t share my thoughts with my mom and my siblings and so my thoughts were kept on paper. Looking back now I understand that journaling for mental health was what I was doing. Journaling saved my life.
Journaling as an anxious teen
During my parent’s divorce, I was transferred to a city middle school. Everyone annoyed me in school. People would speak and it would anger me. I remember in class I didn’t speak unless I was spoken to. I didn’t trust anyone and the level of discomfort I felt every day at school was high. The change of schools happened so abruptly to me that I took time to assess the people around me and my new situation before I felt like I could speak and make any friends. The main form of communication I performed while at middle school was journaling. I would write down the times and dates of when someone would do something in class. After school, I would look back at what I wrote, and then I’d write a more extensive excerpt in another journal.
In class, I would journal while trying to understand the class lessons. It wasn’t long before another student found out I was technically recording all events in my class and my journaling became so long that I had multiple books of these recordings. That student and her friends ended up being my first friends in middle school and thankfully they were just as nerdy as I was and believed my journaling was cool. They never caught on that I was journaling for mental health reasons. But, back then, I didn’t know that either.
The rest of my class also caught on to what I was doing and several class clowns would joke and wonder if I was recording their actions so they could be in my book. That journal became popular and helped me build a connection with my classmates.
My journaling notebook saved my mental health and my life
Growing up without my dad was not an easy thing for me to deal with. I didn’t understand what happened between my parents and why it happened. Because of the way the divorce was handled I felt I couldn’t trust my mother or father. The only person I could trust was myself, especially If I couldn’t trust my parents.
Back then, I wanted my feelings to feel safe and would keep them only on paper. Yet, I still felt alone as a teenager and I had this inability to share my feelings and innermost thoughts with others. No one understood me because I wouldn’t share myself with anyone. But thankfully journaling was just enough for me.
The feelings I had were so many and the pain and confusion I felt were so grand to me that I continued to journal my thoughts and feelings all through high school and even as an adult. I never shared those thoughts with anyone.
In fact, this is what Tru.Works is for. Tru.Works is my journal.
Journaling is truly an art form
I need to journal. I have to write. Not only am I journaling for my mental health but I need to write because it’s part of my artistic self. I enjoy drawing, designing, and painting but writing is where that all starts from.
This leads me to share that I will be transitioning this website to be more so my art and blog website. For a long time, I’ve struggled with my identity as an artist and business person but I have finally found my answer.
I am a writer. Writing is an art I enjoy o share. It’s raw and thoughtful a
For other journal entries check out:
Yessenia is a compelling and innovative program and operations manager who uses her 5+ years of experience in operations management and graphic design to determine small business needs in the areas of inventory costs, labor expenses, P&L, COGs, marketing, and graphic design to create and manage profitable plans for small businesses and individual projects. She is the Owner and Founder of Tru.Works.