it’s a start

I’m no good at talking about myself–at least, not in any productive way. I can do the negative self-talk thing all day long, of course. Want to know what I’ve done wrong, what I should be doing, why this idea is stupid, why that one won’t work, what that one person I spoke to fifteen years ago really thinks of me? How much time have you got?

But things that actually matter, any sort of meaningful analysis or useful insight? I’m not so sure about all that. In my youth, I rarely missed a day in my journal. I could write for pages at a time, and even when I was recapping the most depressing events I felt purpose flowing through my pen. Now, what feels like several lifetimes later, I feel the pull but I have trouble bringing myself to answer it.

Over the years, what I now know as depression has been smothering that fire I once had and now all that remains is a handful of little embers buried under the ashes of so many abandoned dreams. Every once in a while, I gather the strength to give them a little stir and see how brightly they might glow–but all too often, I give up before anything catches. I’ve got to build up my endurance again, especially now that I know one of the culprits behind its disappearance.

I fell in love with my journals even before I knew they were vital to my mental health. I just loved writing, and they gave me one more reason to do that. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the act of writing down a lot of the abuse I endured during those days probably helped me end up slightly less broken than I did. Knowing what I do now, I want to resume the practice, but it’s going to be a little different this time around.

It breaks my heart to admit it, but I just can’t keep an analog journal if I’m to have any hope of making this a consistent habit. Because of the limitations and complications of my disabilities, I’ve had to accept that digital is the best option for me now. To help me make my peace with that decision, I considered that if I was going to start blogging, I might as well make this thing public and use it as nonfiction practice.

I highly doubt that this blog is going to turn into a portfolio worthy of notice or consideration, but … well, why the hell not. If it can convince me to start journaling on a more regular basis, I’m willing to believe that little lie for as long as it takes to get this lying brain of mine under better control. But now that I’m doing it, there’s that added layer of pressure that comes with the knowledge that I am writing for a hypothetical audience. I’m not sure right now whether that’s good or bad, but it does make getting started considerably harder. Here’s hoping that I’ll be up to the challenge in the coming days. If nothing else, this turned out to be the longest and fastest post of all my attempts so far.

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