Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer, and how I threw away my journals

A blessed Summer Solstice to everyone on the northern hemisphere! May it be filled with love and light, and all the shadows in your mind and heart chased away by the sun.

In celebration of the solstice, I cleared out unnecessary clutter and junk from my life. Boom, into the garbage can. Whammo, into the recycling bins. I even let go of the white-knuckled clutch on my four most recent journals that were with me here in Canada.

Let me tell you something about my journals. I've had a diary ever since I was eight years old. I don't have my first three diaries anymore, but I possess every single one I've had since I was fourteen. I couldn't bear the thought of ever NOT having them in my life. Contained within are memories, thoughts, dreams, fantasies, and sometimes short stories and poems.

I even made a scrapbook page about them in 2010. It shows all of my journals minus one that I couldn't find, and minus three I'd written in since then.

But there was something else contained in all these journals, too.

Years and years of severe depression, heartache, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety that I didn't understand until a few years ago. Books back to front filled with endless negative energy that was tangible to me. Stagnation, isolation, ignorance, and bigotry. Definitely not the woman who I am now. I was crippled by mental illness, unable to stand on my own. Pages and pages documenting the cuts I made on my upper arms to punish myself for some reason or another. Pages and pages of me wanting to not exist. The last few journals dealt with the severe depression and anxiety I felt during those 18 months I had to go back to the US, and my dad dying, and my mom dying.

Ever since my mom passed away last November, I've been working hard to fully move forward and become a bright, healthy, strong woman who can hold her own against both the world and her mental illness. I've made leaps and bounds like you wouldn't believe, friends. I'm doing things I never thought I could do that are menial everyday tasks to everyone else. After twenty-nine years, I'm exploding from my cocoon with wings as vibrant as day.

But some things are holding me back from being able to move on, weighing me down as I try to rise.

And I struggled for a long time with the realization that some of those things were my old journals.

"But those are part of who I am," I whined to myself.

"No," said the reasonable part of me. "They are part of who you were, and honey, you are no longer that person."

"But what if I want to read them later in life? What if I want my kids to read them?"

"Do you really want that negativity hanging around you all your life, clinging to your ankles and not letting you move on? Do you really want to recall that shit when you're a wise, fantastic Crone? And why would you want your kids reading all that crap?" said the reasonable part of me.

All my life, I've had trouble letting go. Of people, of things. So this was not an easy decision for me. I had made it one of my goals on my 100 Things to Do in 2013 list, and I honestly wasn't sure if I could go through with it.

My children won't need to read my old journals. They will have me as I am and see all my beautiful scrapbook pages I've made of my life.

So last night I took a deep breath, feeling small and scared (because I WAS getting rid of something that was a part of me, and for years I'd considered my journals to be like extra appendages), and I chucked my journals out into the garbage can with the other crap I'd tossed from my life.

I wasn't expecting the sudden relief that I felt.

So do I regret it?

Not one damn bit, darling.

It's going to be harder to toss all my old journals that still reside in my mom's house in Virginia, but now I know that I can.

Cross off number 25 on my 2013 List.

I also crossed off #100 at the same time. Another way of letting go and clearing negative energy was to write bad memories and regrets on paper, then destroy the paper somehow. I did this, ripped it up, cussed it out a bit, and flushed it down the toilet.

And I feel so much happier, ready to keep on travelling through my life without all that heavy baggage on me.

I think the summer has gotten off to a great start! I'm dancing with happiness!

Have you ever gotten rid of journals/diaries before? How did you do it?

1 comment:

Jeff Goebel said...

Whoa! Bold move. I'm not sure I could ever get rid of my journals, even if I think I may never ever read them. I get why you did. I just hope you don't get famous and want to have some dude ghost write your book. (grin)