Thursday, December 3, 2009
Keeping a journal
I have been keeping a daily journal for a few years now. A very few years actually. I remember that I had a kind of journal when I was younger and would write things in it, with the general theme being my raging hormones and what was happening with my girlfriend and me. I would also write about how things were going at home--whether it was a good day (my father not drinking) or whether it was a bad day (my father was drinking, criticizing, and angry).
That journal was just another outlet for me. During those years, I didn't write about gratitude except for selfish things and there were no affirmations and certainly no spirituality. It was all about me and what I wanted, who I wanted to be with, how mean other people could be, how angry I was at my father, and how much I hoped that things would just be happy. I still have those journals and have opened them up occasionally. But the flood of memories they bring makes me not want to linger long.
I have my mother's journals too. What an inspiring woman she was. She had so many interests and would write about what she was doing: planting flowers, going to parties, sewing, playing cards, visiting with friends. But what is not mentioned at all are her feelings. She doesn't write anything about how she felt, while my journals from my youth and from today are filled with feelings and emotions.
I have marveled at how Mary Christine has been able to recount events during her drinking years. While I was in college, graduate school and at this job for so many years, it all seems like a blur. I might be able to remember some significant events but not many details about what life was like. Now I can do that for the last few years because of my daily journal.
Today I write still about feelings but also about events and activities and about recovery. There is much gratitude and a lot of personal inventory in my journal. It's a place where I can review what my day was like. Some days I beat up on myself, even take another's inventory, but all in all I incorporate what I have learned through the steps.
I wonder whether in some year in the future someone will open these leather bound journals and wonder about the person who wrote them and have a sense of who I was. I hope so.