I never really kept a diary when I was growing up. I always used to have a notebook on the go but, looking back through them now, there is only the occasional diary entry. There is a diary entry about how I felt when I kissed a girl in a nightclub as a student in France (tingly, excited and a little bit scared). There is also an entry about how I felt bullied by my ex’s sister nearly a decade ago.
When I was at University, I scribbled down quotes from great philosophers and political theorists like Jean Jacques Rousseau and Jean Paul Sartre. There are post-cards and newspaper cutouts. There are also some very mundane ‘to do’ lists and I even went through a phase in my late teens of recording every single penny I spent in my notebook. Hardly riotous teenage years!
A diary always felt a little bit self-indulgent, whimsical and just a tiny bit school-girlesque. I wish now that I had been a regular diarist. Having kept a blog for over two years, I now know the benefits of blogging for my mental well-being.
I am a very reflective person. All of the psychometric tests that I take at work on various management training courses always score me high on being reflective. I am also, according to the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), an off-the-scale introvert. Introversion doesn’t mean I don’t like to socialise, in fact I really enjoy socialising, I just find it quite tiring. I need to spend some quiet time, on my own, to recharge and to replenish my energy.
I sometimes wonder whether my off-the-scale introversion is the reason why single motherhood quite suits me. I will never drown in a well of loneliness, but rather swim contentedly in a sea of solitude.
I am one of those people who allows ideas and stresses of the day circulate in my head, often for days on end. Blogging has been the most wonderful therapy over the past two years, because it has enabled me to get the ideas out of my head and onto the computer screen.
When the words are written in black and white in front of me they somehow make more sense. I am able to digest them. I am able to reorder them. I am able to work through and rationalise my reaction to an event, an argument, a tragedy, a crisis.
Blogging doesn’t solve everything, but over the last two years, blogging has given me a lot more than I have given it credit for. Blogging has enabled me to get the dark words out of my head and onto the page. Blogging has enabled me to reflect on my separation and analyse it with a degree of distance and objectivity. Blogging has enabled me to compartmentalise the really bad times, to put them in a box and to store them away, safely, never to be forgotten, but addressed, assessed and digested.
I have been able to write myself out of my emotional funk. Time and again.
Probably the most important thing that blogging has done for me over the last two years is to remind me that bad times pass.
Nothing lasts forever.