From Bad to Better

Since I’m dreading it so much, it’s time to write in here again. Immediately my mind goes blank, just as it’s been doing at work lately. In the last few months writing at work has been a real chore, and most of the time I’ve been about 10 000 words from the mark. It sent my mood right to the depths. I’ve still been writing steadily in my journal(s), but that’s an entirely different type of writing – there I can just detail my thoughts and feelings and the things that are happening in my daily life.

At least I recently discovered that that’s the sensible way to journal. Writing in my journal, too, felt like a chore for many months. In fact, I was actively dreading it. When writing down my thoughts and feelings it often just made me feel like none of my mental life made any sense, and when I was finished writing, I had this confused, chaotic feeling buzzing around inside me. Like there was no point in trying to tidy my thoughts. Like I wasn’t even meant to be journaling.

When I’d underachieved one too many times at work, my boss threatened to fire me. Well, it wasn’t as much of a threat as a warning. After months and months of oversleeping and staring up at the office ceiling with bug-eyes I finally decided enough was enough. I was angry at myself, and at at how hard it is to live well. Three weeks later that anger has deflated into a resolve I’ve aggressively used to accomplish things. Such as getting up in the mornings, eating healthy, working out as much as my will allows me, and forcing myself to write no matter how hard it is.

So here I am, doing the same in this blog. I reckon that if I can make demanding changes in all those areas, I can probably do it with my own writing. Though for me, finding the will to write for myself is perhaps the most demanding change of all.

Which brings me back to journaling. A few days ago I was writing in my notebook when I realised I don’t ever write about the stuff that happens in my life. Catching up with friends, quibbles with my boyfriend, things happening at work – none of it. So I thought, that’s weird. I should try writing about some of that. What if I just write about my morning?

So I did, and it instantly relieved some of that terrible sense of chaos. I wrote about more mundane things, and felt even better. What the hell was going on?

I think what I was discovering was that I needed a context for my feelings and states of mind for them to make sense. I needed to be aware of what was happening in my life, properly aware, to see the relations between my inner and outer life. Journaling about things I’d normally just internally analyse and then push out of my mind made them much clearer to me. And better yet, they made me feel like more of a person with a story. Like everyone else.

That’s my latest discovery, and I’m relieved it came. Doing anything at all was starting to feel too tiresome, I was so scattered in my mind.

Now I can connect the dots a little easier, which gives me the mental space I need to start writing about not being able to write again. (Wink.)