As previously mentioned, I have been tediously copying my old Livejournal over to a word document. I have gotten about two years done in a week, so it will likely take longer than a month, as previously anticipated. What is terrible about this experience is that I am getting exactly what I hoped for.
One of my projects is a potential novel dealing with depression. I was hoping that in my waltz down memory lane I would come across some raw and powerful moments where my depression and/or anxiety was particularly overwhelming.
Here’s what you don’t realize when you have been on medication and in therapy for long enough to operate at an appropriate level: once upon a time, you did not. Once upon a time you were unmedicated, or mis-medicated, and not in therapy, and twirling wildly in a tornado of angst and mental illness. When you look back on it the way I am right now, you see the amazing difference a person with mental illness can attain if they put in the work. This makes me proud, but not proud enough to cover the deep well of shame my cringeworthy hysterics of the early 2000s illicit. Bad writing aside (and it is,) I have found several entries that would be useful for my novel, provided I want to make my lead character have a massive meltdown and spew inarticulate paranoid rantings.
The other day I texted Jaime to apologize for my youth, to which she replied that we were all pretty useless as human beings at that age. I assume this is correct, but I look at my little sister who is just stepping into her twenties and wonder. She seems to have her shit together, more or less. I very clearly did not.
I’m three years deep in it now, and while I see a definite improvement between 19 year old Brigid and 22 year old Brigid, I am not impressed with my behavior. I wonder how many people I alienated without realizing it, or that I hurt but forgot about. We are all garbage people at some time in our life, and I think it teaches us to be better, to grow as stronger beings. Will I look back on this entry in 15 years and think “God that’s some terrible writing,” or “Ugh, what was I on about? My emotions were so overwhelming.” I certainly hope not.
I thought I would always keep my Livejournal, but now I’m in a race to finish copying it so I can just delete the damn thing already. Every month that I read though brings another wince or regret. I have started to feel as though this is some sort of morbid torture I am bestowing upon myself. I have considered just saying screw it and hitting the delete button, but it’s not all just surveys, quizzes, and songs. Some of it is a document of my 20s. Some of it is remembrances of people I have loved. Some of it is a distinctive look at how far I’ve come emotionally. Some of it is reusable writing. So, I can’t just let it disappear one day the way my Blurty did. If I have to journey my way through my most difficult decade, I might as well get something out of it.