I wanted to write another introduction to say a little bit about myself and what I am doing. My name is Callum from Scotland, I live about 5 minutes away from Edinburgh, and I have written diaries for a long time. I wrote my first ever diary entry in 2011 but it wasn’t until later in 2017 when I started writing more regularly. Before this year I had written almost 130,000 words and this year so far I have written nearly 40,000.
Writing has become my main method to express myself and to get all my feelings out. I find it extremely difficult to open up and talk and when I keep things bottled inside it causes me too much stress and anxiety then I completely shut down. I really enjoy reading back my previous entries, sometimes a few weeks ago or a few years ago. I have a motto: ‘if you can’t truly confide in yourself, who can you confide in?’ I think I am quite lucky to be able to enjoy writing so much in depth of my feelings and emotions, because I have had so many struggles in the past. Even now, my struggles are very real.
A lot happened in 2017. Things that changed me completely as my entire outlook of life had become completely warped. Everything I thought I knew about myself just wasn’t true. I had no friends and was going through an awful breakup that nearly killed me. To be honest, I am still recovering from the events of that year. Most of that stuff I don’t think I could ever write about no matter how hard I tried to but one day I hope I can get the courage inside me to write about it.
I started a blog in 2017 where I would post all my diary entries and I was overwhelmed with some of the feedback I got, so many nice comments and just one really nasty comment the entire time my blog was live. I decided to take everything offline during 2020 in the initial periods of lockdown as I started getting all these negative emotions and I couldn’t even confide in myself anymore. I made a ‘New Years Resolution’ to start another online diary and eventually incorporate all my hobbies onto my website. Writing in my diary and also some non-fiction and poetry to attempting to showcase my photography skills a little bit. I also want to write about my general day-to-day life with a focus on my mental health. I want someone to stumble upon my website and perhaps it could help them, show them that they are not alone, that things do get better.
I may repeat myself at times but I have created this online Journal in order to help myself and others. The last entry will be on the 31st December 2021 and I will hopefully find another New Years Resolution to begin with whatever that may be. I may also incorporate my other interests in this Journal such as the video games I play, the anime I watch and perhaps some other hobbies.
My Journal Layout
Friday evening is when I spend a few hours writing and updating my website. Throughout the week I may take notes on my phone about things I want to write about and I separate each weekly journal entry with it’s own subheading. This sentence was written on Monday, but won’t be published on my blog until Friday. That way I am able to slightly edit grammar add a few words here and there, although my diary is full of spelling and grammar errors like most diaries should be.
Throughout 2021 there are 53 Fridays as it happens the year began on a Friday and ends on a Friday. I had planned to write at least 1,000 words a week and when I started I wasn’t really sure what direction this would take but for the moment I am relatively satisfied with the way things are in terms of my diary content. I will also upload my ‘daily diary’ at the end of each month. I think the planned layout of this journal is important in order to organise my own thoughts inside my head.
A Need to Escape
Sometimes I have a strong urge that takes over me with the need to escape. I’m not quite sure what it is I’m escaping from but I could be just chilling in my bedroom and I just need to get out. I don’t really care as long as I get out. So, I’ll jump in my car and drive off somewhere. Sometimes I just drive to a park 5 minutes away and sit in my car and chill out with a cigarette or two, other times I drive a little further. I travel so far but not really wanting to go anywhere, I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there.
I don’t just get those feelings when I’m in my bedroom but sometimes when I finish work too. I don’t want to go straight home. I might see if there’s anyone around for a chat or I stand in the smoking shelter pretending to play with my phone. I know this sounds quite sad but, sometimes when I finish work and I’ve driven all day, I should go home to rest, but instead I go drive somewhere because I don’t feel ready to go home.
During the early stages of lockdown when I was unable to take my car anywhere so couldn’t go for short or long drives. I would walk somewhere and sit on the grass somewhere or find a bench. Sometimes I would walk far away and other times I would just walk somewhere in my street. I just have a need to escape reality even if its just for a few hours. Whenever I get home it just feels like I step back into a boring reality. I feel as if my situation is improving but I definitely have a long way to go. As long as I keep writing about how I feel I know that I can get through this.
I started feeling this need to escape after Andy and I broke up. Though some weeks are better weeks, I need to get to the bottom of this as I just wish I could find a happy place in life. Hopefully I find some sort of contentment soon.
My Anxiety: Introduction
This is a post that I’ve written a few times but deleted it because it became a bit too much. Therefore I have decided to take one small step at a time and write this in parts. I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember and it’s something that I’ve never been able to speak out loud about. To be honest, I’m not really sure where to start writing about this but it’s something I need to do for myself. I’ve suffered from anxiety episodes throughout my life and I want to write about the times I’ve felt that way.
Copy and paste from Mind.org.uk, a website I use regularly. Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Most people feel anxious at times. It’s particularly common to experience some anxiety while coping with stressful events or changes, especially if they could have a big impact on your life.
I am not trying to commercialise my anxiety issues in any way although I think I will try to organise my diary a little ahead of time. What I think I will do for the remainder of my ‘2021 Diary Project’ is to label the headings ‘My Anxiety: Title’. I feel this will help me a lot to open up and to not feel pressured into saying too much at once. I don’t want to overwhelm myself and avoid making so many numbered titles such as ‘My Anxiety 28’ like my ‘mental health check’ posts. This will remain my ultimate safe space for anything I want to write about.
My Anxiety: 2020
Last year my anxiety levels were at all time high. I would drive to the supermarket and sit in the car park for a few minutes before I plucked up the courage to get in for what I need. Walking towards the front door my heart stands pounding and my breathing intensives. Sometimes I need to make a list of things I need otherwise I get upset that I forgot something. I usually go in the last hour before it closes so there’s not very many people around as I hate walking past people with trollies and large crowds. It really does take a lot of energy to go somewhere like that although most of the times after I walk through the front doors I seem to be okay, that is the hardest part for me.
Before the pandemic hit I felt as if my life was making magnificent improvements. Also reading the daily statistics the effects of the pandemic was mentally draining. I would spent most of my days in bed during the initial stages of lockdown and my mind went to many places no mind should ever wander to. I spent many hours every single day looking at the statistics and watching the news from around the world and there was nothing good in sight.
Mental Health Check III
My last ‘mental health check’ was at the end of April and this is my third ‘check’. I thought I was doing so well at the start of the week but by the time Wednesday came I just lost all my momentum. Perhaps I tried to be too positive for too long and maybe smaller steps are needed. There has been so much to happen this week and yet not very much has happened.
I know that I have friends, that’s not the issue. But I feel extremely lonely and I know exactly what direction I want my life to take and yet it feels like I’m asking for the impossible. My appetite has completely vanished and I only ate 1 small meal on Wednesday and on Thursday. Maybe this diary entry talking about my anxiety has drained me mentally but even physically I am in pain. My legs hurt and my neck feels stiff, I feel really ill and yet I feel as if nothing is wrong. It’s so confusing. I don’t have the energy to play video games or to watch a new anime series. I would rather just lay in a darkened room and wait for time to pass.
I can’t blame the pandemic for the way I am feeling as I have lost all hope for what is to come after. I find it hard enough to talk about my problems but eventually they become too difficult to hide. Maybe in the next week or so I can write a mental health check that is a little more positive.
I’m finding it really hard to write what I want to say. I think this has been my darkest diary entry this year. I feel it is important to post although I am so tempted to just delete everything I have written this week. I’m past the half-way mark of this project and at this very moment, this is all I have. So I will continue to write.