After sharing that diary entry last night, I felt terrible. I don’t know why, it was like opening up the dark and terrible past. It leaked all over me like an ugly oil-slick.
It’s no mistake that I haven’t read back my old diaries for a long time. A lot of my past was an unhappy time.
Part of my recovery was to acknowledge the hurt and pain, to make it part of one’s life, and not hide it away. Those painful times are as just a valid part of life than the relatively happy and contented one I live now.
Before I went to bed I watched a TED Talk by Andrew Solomon, called Forge Meaning, Build Identity. In it he described how traumatic events can actually shape and guide our lives in a positive way. Making a narrative from those horrible events, finding meaning in them, leads to a better and more well-rounded self, he says.
Perhaps this diary project won’t simply be a painful kick in the guts?
Will it lead to those times being revisited in a meaningful way, will it heal rather than shame, build-up rather than embarrass, be a symbol of hope rather than despair? We shall see.