Sunday, 24 April 2016

Be Free from Consuming Thoughts

My Mad Fat Diary and Journaling

This month I'm trying to Be Free. It's been a journey so far (more on that in my April conclusion) and part of that journey involved freeing myself from my past. But my mental health difficulties aren't all in the past - I also need to free myself of my fears, worries, and negative thoughts on a regular basis.

That's where writing comes in.
I find writing to be a great coping mechanism for my mental illness and I enjoy the therapeutic and learning process blogging enables. Sure I write my blog posts every couple of days; but often the feelings and thoughts I struggle with are too personal for public consumption on my blog.

But I've been inspired.
Just two weeks ago I started reading Rae Earl's 'My Mad Fat Diary'. I couldn't put it down and I finished the book in just three days.

**I requested to review My Mad Fat Diary from Netgalley.** 

You may have seen the ads for the TV show on E4, or maybe even watched it yourself. I had watched the adverts but never quite gotten around to the show itself. The basic premise is that on release from a psychiatric ward, 17-year-old Rae kept a diary for 365 days in 1989. The result is a very humorous and honest telling of what it's like being an overweight teenage girl with severe OCD. Everything from being bullied to falling in and out of love quicker than Rae can get a description of said guy down on paper is captured with a real sense of humour in the book.
But Rae also has an intellect far beyond her own years and the rest of her small town. She understands and questions world politics. She empathizes with the pain and suffering of others. She criticizes the expectations that come with being a woman.

Reading 'My Mad Fat Diary' coincided with some of my own body confidence issues. I've spent the past couple of weeks hating the very sight of myself in the mirror and struggling with my own weight. Perhaps that's why I became so drawn to the memoir, Rae's journey and the release of writing.

The book is engaging, personal and reflective. By writing Rae was finding solace, support and also conclusions to her life troubles. I thought "that's exactly what I need".
When I was 11 and 12 I kept a diary. It's how I coped with my early self doubts and the mean girls. Three years ago I decided to start journaling after hearing about its positive effects on mental health. But it was short lived. The notebook contains 3 posts from 2013 and a number of sporadic entries in the years since. But the research I've done does suggest that if applied, it can work and offer an effective tool for wellness. So I'm giving it another shot.

To free myself from my daily worries and insecurities I will write. I will journal. And I will be free of consuming thoughts.
You follow my journaling over the next few months.

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