What you see above in that slightly-small picture is two piles of gutted journals. Some still have pages that haven't been written on, others (like the red one on top of the left tower) have been completely decimated.
These are the journals that I wrote in from ages 13 to 18. Now, I'm not a very dedicated journal writer - I write a lot, but not always in a journal and not always about my day or my feelings. So some of those journals were written in the same year, some span a couple of years. Some have random entries in a code I can no longer crack (and don't really care to).
Xin and I decided recently to go through our old journals and only keep the entries we wanted, and shred the rest. I finished fairly quickly (my writing was quite big...), but it left me quite depressed.
The thing is, I had always pictured myself as someone who was friends with everyone (as a form of necessity at times), but stayed fairly removed from all the drama of high school life. Hmm. Think again. The emotions I was experiencing as I wrote in those books were very strong, and I even noticed how past-me kept trying to convince herself that she was fine with everything when she really truly WASN'T. I wanted to be able to adapt to anything, but through my efforts I ended up hating myself on the inside and feeling absolutely fake on the outside.
Don't get me wrong, I did write about some good times, but the majority of the time I was trying to convince myself that I didn't have feelings for someone, or that I wasn't hurt by something else. I also used a lot of page space to yell (and by 'yell' I mean write in capitals) at myself about how little study I was doing, how I needed to get healthier, do more exercise, be nicer.
It really showed my how long I have had depression without properly realising it, and it showed me some of the worst years of my illness. Not the worst in terms of pain and discomfort, but the worst in terms of not understanding what was happening to me, and constantly feeling like I was letting everyone else down by being sick two - three times a week.
It was only after I left high school and had entered uni that I realised how deeply unhappy I was. And how sick I was.
For awhile after reading, I was trapped inside the world of liking people who didn't like you back, trying to help friends when I hated myself, and feeling so alone. (From talking to friends, I know that this isn't a unique experience of high school.)
Having said all that, though, and after finally shredding those journals (I saved about three entries - mostly about Xin!), I realise the good that has come of doing that. I can see how far I have come with accepting myself and my health. I can see that I look after myself much more effectively, and I am not too shy to follow dreams. I see the self-love that I have cultivated since 2009, and how I see myself as beautiful rather than 'painfully average'.
I am proud of who I am now, and I am grateful to who I was before - because she was working so hard to become who I am today. And I am glad that I have gotten rid of those journals, because I feel much lighter now.
Love to all who read.
P.S. Just a little link here that I adore about friendship-love. Check it out!