Note – 23rd April, 2020, (daily prompt)

I have written journals or diaries since my early teens. I have an obsession with notebooks.

Early on, I wrote in standard diaries but the lines were not big enough and the daily entry space not long enough. I have a few old exercise books which I turned into a diary, ripping out and destroying the few pages of school work before covering the book with a poster.

Later, in my early 20s, my notebook passion took full force. I can’t go into a stationers without buying one. TK Maxx is lethal.

The cover is important – of course. But so is the weight of the book in my hand, the feel and thickness of the pages and the size of the lines.

My journal writing is sporadic though. I don’t and never have written every day. I often write more in times of distress or when I am in love.

I write notes on my life.

I write diary style, poems, short stories. I write random thoughts, random words. I doodle, I draw. I plan, I reflect. I log, I consider. I work out my life. Work through my life.

Strangely, despite my love of physical journals, most of my writing now appears on here instead. I still have paper journals and write in them occasionally, but the majority of my writing is on here.

And so, dear reader, you are reading the notes of my life. 🤗

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On WordPress

I tend to come onto WordPress every couple of days to catch up on the few blogs I follow. I only follow a few blogs because I want to make sure I give your writing my full attention – I follow enough so that I have enough to read and enjoy. I’m not going to follow a blog that I don’t have the time to read – that just seems rude, as does the apparent practice of liking posts that haven’t even been read (does that really happen?!)

Of late though, there seems to be less and less on my blog feed. Today I worked through my ‘followed blog’ page on settings and realised that many of the blogs I follow have just stopped – that’s so sad! Sure, a couple have moved to Facebook or other platforms that I don’t use but many have just stopped, frozen in time on those last thoughts and posts.

So, I’m going to start adding some new blogs to my list over the next few days and it’s quite exciting. I love new reading material. 😊

As you can see, I’m still trying to ride the positivity train. I have a road trip that I need to write about but at the moment my mind is preoccupied with my dad who is ill again. Things are not looking good and I will post on this soon too.

Hope you are a having a restful and celebratory Easter with family and friends. Today, for me, is about celebrating being alive – about new beginnings, miracles, and the wonders of this world we live in. Enjoy. 😊

Defiant

I will admit it. One day was not quite enough to get my head straight.

Yesterday I continued to mope. I defiantly ate chocolate brownies for breakfast (no one is ever going to love me so I may as well eat whatever I want). I didn’t get changed and refused to get in the shower.

By mid morning though, the depression started to lift. Still clad in pyjamas, I began to drift about – tidying here and there- and trying to focus on something positive. On Tuesday, a big group of us are going camping in the Lakes; so for a little while, this occupied my mind.

In trying to find the right charger for the air pump, I searched through my bed drawer and came across an old journal. Knowing that I had written about Lost Soul in it all those years ago, I allowed myself a peek into its pages in an act of sheer self-sabotage.

I ended up reading all of it, knelt on my bedroom floor.

There were moments long forgotten alongside those memories that I still hold dear. But more than anything I was moved by the voice of my writing… its pain and desperation, the fleeting happiness and enduring hope.

“My head is aching with all the thoughts that are running through it. I wish I had a machine so that I could just extract it all…. Why am I so pathetic? Why can’t I just sort my head out?… He keeps telling me he loves me… He said he wants a relationship with someone just like me but not me as he doesn’t want to lose me. He said that I don’t realise how wonderful I am… I’m trying to gain perspective, trying to console my aching heart. He’s apologised for leading me on, hurting me.”

I was struck by the repetition of my thoughts and feelings. All these years on and nothing had changed. I became so angry: with him and myself. How had I allowed myself to fall back into this situation?

I still love him. But I am no closer to ever being with him and don’t think that I ever will be.

And rather than give blame to him or me for what has happened, I come to realise that this was always going to happen. The hope that I had long had, buried deep inside, was always going to come to the surface when I became single again.

Now, though, I had my answer. Hope is futile. It is never going to happen. So my grief over the past few days was necessary to – as I’ve already said in my posts – to purge that hope, and him, from my system.

I felt angry, yes, but defiant too. And dare I say it, positive too.

Now I can truly start. I have grieved my broken marriage and fought may way through the exhausted depression left in its wake. I have now mourned a love that I had put on the highest pedestal, somewhere which it probably did not deserve to be. I’ve survived it though; the crushing disappointment and the attack on my self esteem.

It’s clichéd, but now I realise that I’ve got to show myself some love. I’ve been battered by so many things in the past few years and yet most of them can be attributed to my love of someone – my parents, my husband, my lover. All that energy and love, although well spent then, has taken its toll on me. Sadly, I cannot say that I have felt the same energy and love coming my way because they were unable to for so many reasons. I suppose I could say, in some ways at least, that I have felt unloved but perhaps more precisely, I have not felt like someone’s priority. I have put my family, my children, my husband and my job first for so long that my mind could not cope any longer.

My body has bourn the brunt of this self neglect and abuse for years. I have talked before about my emotional over-eating, lack of exercise and just general lack of care.

People will hurt me for the rest of my life – it is human nature after all. Their misdemeanours will be forgiven and forgotten because that is what love means. But the same cannot be said for myself. Hurting myself cannot be forgiven because there is no excuse for it.

I can be a better mum, teacher, daughter, sister and friend- not by trying harder or working longer but by being a better me. And I am the only person that can make that happen.

There’s a powerful voice in my head that tells me that I will never do it. Or if I do, that it won’t last or it won’t make me happy. This voice has encouraged the chocolate brownie breakfasts and the scraping back of unwashed hair and the dry skin and the chipped nail polish and the ill fitting clothes. This voice has whispered my self imposed failings continually in my ear until my heart has recognised them as truth.

No more.

I am going to truly devote time and love to myself. I’m going to show myself the love that I show those around me. I’m going to give myself the quality time that I reserve for those I love. I’m going to give myself the little acts of kindness that I use to show someone I care or in recognition of a need in them.

This blog, this journal, is so important to me. Starting from the middle was created because I recognised that I needed to start my life afresh somehow – something was wrong or missing.

Now, I have an idea of how I will do this. The last ten months have been a long and arduous journey to the truth:

To be a better me, I need to love me better.