2019 has seen me re-ignite my love for journalling. Thankfully my content has developed somewhat since the heartache-laden pages of my teenage diaries, but the purpose of writing down my innermost thoughts has been ultimately the same. Chatting away in the pages of a notebook allows for some much needed processing time. It can help you notice patterns of thoughts or behaviours, and can lead you to learn even more about yourself, what motivates you, what your real passions are.

Lots of my journal entries are pep talks. Talking to myself in the third person, taking on the tone of a problem-solving, no-nonsense yet empathetic aunt. It was never a conscious decision to start writing to myself in this way, but it must have been subconsciously what I felt I needed. It tends to work wonders, providing me with some much-needed clarity and a dose of empowerment. This imaginary aunt comes up with all sorts of gems of wisdom just when I need it.

A particular favourite is “ride the wave”.

The wave metaphor is quite an accurate depiction of how struggling with your mental health can feel. You can be soaring high on the crest of a wave one moment with the wind in your hair and the sun on your cheeks, only to come crashing down to shore with a mouthful of seawater the next.

The wave can be merciless. It can knock you off your feet without warning, and make it almost impossible to get back up. But you will get back up. And your time will come again on that crest, and it will feel glorious.

The wave will always be there. Learning how to ride it is the key.

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