Not too long ago, but what seems ages ago, I made a decision to start a diary in
shorthand gah stroke burp wrong word longhand. I searched far and wide for my favorite notebook, a moleskine. Not too long ago, but what seems ages ago, I started writing in this moleskine–things I could not post in non-anonymous public, but still needed to write down. It was an “overflow” writing center.
By “not too long ago, but what seems ages ago,” I mean a month ago, right before I had my stroke. In hindsight, this decision was incredibly momentous and timely–just a few days after starting a written diary, I had a stroke.
This written diary has now become my lifeline and link to sanity. It has a huge role in my healing. I write in it everyday–grateful for its hidden, underground nature. Before my stroke, I wrote things I did not feel comfortable writing about here. After my stroke, I took advantage of the anonymity of this journal and wrote despite my handicaps, despite the hardship, in incomplete sentences, in bullet points. There is no audience for a journal, there are only the words. It is really pure, sometimes rough, sometimes the words are gems.
I wrote in it while in the hospital, and it contains thoughts and experiences I don’t remember very well: the hospital, my confusion in the hospital, people’s names! It contains things like test results, and reminders to myself, and little factoids I have to remember, and questions I need to remember to ask my doctors. It contains my darkest moments, and my sense of victory. I jot in it while parked after an appointment, overwhelmed with feeling. I jot in it while at lunch with a friend, my mind flashing with a fleeting thought. I write in at the end of the day in bed, unfurling my thoughts until my mind is a flat lake.
It doubles as my “memory book,” something therapists urge stroke victims to take up, a journal to jot down reminders and thoughts and memos.
Thank goodness for this black notebook.