I have written a diary – a sheet of A5 for each page – for just under seven years.
I rarely read it, but the point is, I know that I have a record of my comings and goings, my highs and lows, my emotional journey through what has been a period of intensity in since I came out as a gay man in 2012, living in a heterosexual marriage of 25 years duration at that time.
I have noticed that if I write my diary at the end of each day, the limited space I have to write is filled up with the minutiae of small facts about what I did and where I have been and who I have seen.
If I write my diary a day in arrears, I remember less about the detail, but more about my emotions and feelings and it is these I am more interested in recording whilst encasing them in the who, what and when as background detail.
It is my emotional journey which I am most interested in recording, because as I journey through this period of development to know and love self and to accept my gay sexuality I am looking to see the curve of highs and lows in mood and whether the gaps between the periods in which I display anger and reactive behaviour is lengthening between episodes.
My journey is not trying to reach some nirvana where my state of emotion is flat or my anger non existent or my mood on a constant mid-high, rather my diary helps me keep a record as a point of interest, a point of reference and a point of fact (albeit my version of the truth).
My wife has open access to this blog, to my journals (longer pieces of writing which explore particularly intense episodes in depth) and to my diaries.
The understanding between us is that I don’t use these forms to direct a message to her and she cannot challenge my version of the truth in direct response to my written word, although I do enjoy noticing her attempts to do this subversively!
So, my diary is my emotional store, it allows me to let go, so that despite its form taking shape a day in arrears, I can live my life today, in the present.
My next blog will be: Picking Up My Underwear With My Feet