Now in no way am I demeaning therapy, friends, counselling, psychics, books, workshops or anything else that we can try. All of the above have helped me enormously and besides, I actually now do most of the above, for myself and with others.
But the single most thing that has been with me day in, day out, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and joy, in quiet moments and in celebration, in the depths of despair and the heights of the awesomeness of life, is my journal. You see, there's a special relationship between me and my journal that has yet to be found elsewhere. Think about it: a journal doesn't disagree with you, doesn't argue back, doesn't criticize, is always there, and best of all, LISTENS. It’s a safe place to scream, to be silly, vent, explore feelings and beliefs that I might not just yet feel comfortable sharing with others. Mine goes EVERYWHERE with me. I am totally indiscriminate about what I put in it. My days, my thoughts, great quotes that inspire me, recipes, photos, the fortune cookie message from last night's dinner that was unbelievably meaningful. Notes on a book I'm working through, a class I am taking. Cards, I keep copies of letters I have written to other people. Stuff I don't know where to put but don't want to part with. I have no rules. I buy sturdy, ring bound, inexpensive notebooks with a pocket inside the front cover, and decorate it, making it mine. I make sure I have an abundant supply of pens I like to write with, one permanently clasped inside the rings. I do have some really beautiful journals that I have purchased in a weak moment (they were on sale) and a couple that friends have given me, but I am afraid they lay abandoned on my bookcase. It's really hard to make a mistake in a lovely book, it's even harder to be nasty and I absolutely cannot, for the life of me, swear on ivory colored paper. I just can't. And I'm not saying you have to swear, but sometimes writing an entire page of the rudest word you can think of is very cathartic. Doesn't happen on ivory paper, trust me.