I've kept a diary on and off for years.
You don't need to introduce yourself to a diary. You just write, assuming that the book knows your background. They know your friends, your family, and the name of your favourite pet. There's no need for small talk with a diary. With a diary, you can get straight to the nitty-gritty details of your life.
 Inside my diary are all of my dark dirty secrets about my life. It's mostly about my mental health, and my feelings, sometimes extreme and other times a complete lack of. But I don't want to do that anymore.
Don't get me wrong, writing that diary helped me pour out some of the feelings that I wasn't able to express properly to my family or friends. A diary can't judge you, it's just a stack of paper, precariously bound together, and somewhat falling apart after years of use.
But even so, after each time I wrote in that diary, I locked it up and tucked it away. Hiding it until I next felt the need to throw up all my emotions onto the page. (Gross image right? But that's what it feels like.) Hiding the diary away makes me feel ashamed, as if, although I've just expressed my feelings, they still need to be hidden away. As if they'd be a burden to whoever read my diary.
God knows they're a burden for me to carry around.
Sometimes, carrying all *this* around feels heavier than lugging my 65 litre rucksack, filled to the brim with camping kit, around Dartmoor. At least back then there were chances to take the rucksack off. Shrug it off for a 10 minute recess. Time for me to set it down for the night and rest.
There's no way to take this metaphorical rucksack off. At least, not yet. Or not a way that I've found. But maybe, with the help of my friends and family, and maybe even this blog, I can start unpacking it a little.
I can make camp with some of these 'dirty little secrets'. Not to lay down with them, defeated by them. But to understand myself better. To actually feel, rather than just exist, seeing the things around me but not experiencing them. And hopefully, over time, my rucksack will be lighter, and each step a little easier.
Pretty sure I should have called this post: "How many hiking metaphors can I cram into a single post?"  A life of Scouting will do that to you.

Originally posted on my blog: thementalbox.wordpress.com

Published by Katie Meakin