Only Girls Have Diaries
By Alan D.D.

There are a thousand thoughts inside our heads, and we need somewhere to put them. We need a place where they can be expressed, freely and fearlessly, a little escape for such a heavy mental weight. I’ve used drawings and sometimes tried to sing along to my favorite songs, but the one thing that has helped me and that always gives me calm strength, is keeping a diary.

Keeping a Diary is For Girls!

Who says so? Where was it written that we guys should not write our thoughts? Why would we prefer to hide them inside of our heads?

Writing what I’m thinking about has always proved to be a great escape, from reality and the burden I get sometimes because of it. It allows me to take a step back from my daily life and recover, then jump back into the fight.

I Cannot Blame Them

Yes, everyone around us thinks there is nothing masculine about writing in a diary. Nothing that a macho man should ever do. They feel we already fight the stigma of mental illness with everything it implies.

I perfectly understand why some guys wouldn’t even think of doing this, and I cannot blame them.

However, human beings have always searched for what is best for them. We have always tried to find tools to fight, survive and live to tell the tale. If the written word is what we need, then so be it.

Keeping It All Inside is Worse

There are many ways to hide our diaries, and sometimes letting them be in the public eye is the best option of them all.

Nothing could be worse than keeping it all inside, letting the tide swallow us day by day until we cannot breathe at all. That’s the point where we lose any control we could have gained: a prize we should keep at any cost. I’m sure we will agree with that.

We shouldn’t feel any shame for finding solace, relief and calm in writing. Some people look at sports, some at their jobs, some at studies, but for me writing and keeping a record of everything, whenever I can, is what makes me feel good. I won’t let anyone take that away from me.

How to do it, then?

1in4 mental health anthology

Write Exactly What You’re Feeling and Hide Your Notebook

My first option is always to create a story that is short and quick, or work in a long term plot that allows me to express exactly what I’m feeling. If I ever get scared of what others could say about it, then I just don’t publish it until I feel confident enough. I translate it into another language so people around me cannot read it, or put a different pen name, as simple as that!

You Can Use Google Docs

If fiction is not the answer to your problem, then write exactly what you’re feeling and hide your notebook. Even better, create a Google Docs file, so people need to have your email password to read it.

If it worries you that you could leave it open by accident, use the Google Chrome incognito mode when keeping a diary. Close the window and everything will be fine.

My phone also allows me to write notes and block them with a password. See if yours lets you do the same. You can also block your phone with your preferred method, the one you feel most comfortable with, and let your fingers write as much as you want to.

Create an Alter Ego

If you ever need to get feedback when keeping a diary, then create an alter ego, hide everything that could give hints of your identity, protect yourself as much as you want, and publish it wherever you like. There are tons of people out there that deal with the same problems, I promise you’ll be surprised!

What’s important is that you feel better after doing so. If you cannot talk, let the words do the job, but never, ever let silence take control of your life.

We all know it is not always the best option.

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