For the last few months, I've been considering no longer posting to this journal. I felt like I had nothing new to say or address regarding my mental and emotional health. I started this journal in an effort to try to find ways to deal with the depression that has plagued me for over 25 years. I have had no success in talking with a therapist--I seem to be unable to open up with a "live" audience. There are things that I have shared with only a few trusted friends (who later betrayed my trust) and things that I've buried deep inside and never told anyone. This journal was to be my outlet for digging up and discussing those issues. Some entries took minutes to write. Others took days. They were written and rewritten and sometimes deleted. Most of them were written through tears. I often felt drained after finishing some of them. I usually spent hours looking for just the right image to express the sentiment of the entry, but that creative element was often what brought relief to an otherwise emotionally draining time. I haven't ever gone back and reread my entries. Not yet, anyway. I will, someday.
But now, I find myself at a turning point after 14 months of near isolation spent in introspection. Last night, I had something of a revelation, one of those sit-straight-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind of moments. I realized that I really feel different. Almost calm. I wouldn't say that I am at peace, more of a feeling of being comfortable or content. I thought, at first, that this sense of calm was emotional exhaustion. Now I realize it's that I've lost the overwhelming despair that I've been dealing with for the past year. Despair has made every moment of every day seem hopeless and meaningless, so much so that I will admit to often wanting to just quit trying to get better. Despair is like constantly having a dark cloud overhead that threatens to turn into a storm at any minute. It colors every thought, feeling and action.
So I've decided to continue with this journal but with a different purpose. Many thanks to those who have stuck with me and read my past entries, painful though they might have been. Thanks, too, for the encouragement and words of wisdom. What I hope to accomplish in staying the course here is to chronicle my continued healing, not peppered with despair and exhaustion, but with strength and hope born from a year of struggling through the storms. I'm working on making some changes to the site to reflect my new found self.
I can't wait to get started...