What luck: a few more gorgeous pages from Nina, who has been keeping diaries—often enhanced through painting and collage—since she was 14. She’s currently studying art therapy in the Netherlands.
“I thought I would send you a few more pages. The first one is from June 2014. This one is very throwback diary appropriate. It’s a poem from Siegfried Sassoon who was a first world war soldier. Who kept diary’s in the trenches. You can read his diary’s here: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/sassoon
“On the second one is from July 2014. I’m debating in very unclear sentences what to do. I have to make a choice between following my heart or my head. Choosing between what’s good and what is right.
“The third one is from May 2014. I had written in a diary for 2009 that was obsessed with this poem by Wendy Cope. Sometimes new adventures remind us of old ones. And apparently May 2014 reminded me of 2009.”
‘On Waterloo Bridge where we said our goodbyes,
the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I’ve fallen in love
On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing. you’re high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?
On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You’re a fool. I don’t care.
the head does its best but the heart is the boss-
I admit it before I am halfway across’
Diary 11 / 22 years-old / NYC
It’s probably safe to say my first interest in acting was being The Music Video Girl. I watched *a lot* of VH1 and MTV in my day. And just three short months into my adulthood in NYC… it happens! Dreams come true.
Watch my stellar performance as a Music Video Girl (MVG), below.
This is in response to the March 21, 2010 post, shared with permission.
“Hi my name is Catarina I really want to share some things about myself but have always struggled to until I found this, I’m an artist, photographer and writer and those passions have been my refuge but I want to share with others like myself too, I also need to confront and accept my bipolar diagnosis for maybe the first time in my life and maybe this could be the start and maybe feel a part of a group in which others are brave enough to share and not judge and accept. I have many images and journal entries that have remained hidden for so long…I respect and celebrate the candour and raw honesty of you and the people that share and feel blessed to add to the project in a small way.”
I thought that, in response to your entry about starting an antidepressant medication, I would send in an entry from one of my journals. This entry is from my tumultuous freshman year of college, during which I developed an eating disorder and was formally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Shortly after the start of spring semester, I moved home and commuted to school from there. Here I describe my first of many visits, to many doctors, for these issues.
February 13, 2009
I had an appointment with Dr. S at C— in L—. He was very nice and understanding. I told him everything. He thinks I have an underlying problem with anxiety, which contributes to the depression and disordered eating (which he thinks are situational).
He also asked me where I was at spiritually. I was rather surprised and said, “Nowhere… I haven’t been to church in the last six weeks or so.” Even as I said “church,” I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly. He told me quite frankly that he thinks that’s a mistake. He said that since our bodies were made for the Garden of Eden, we face depression and anxiety because we are so ill-suited for this world. He thinks it would be very beneficial for me to “get closer to Him.” … I was quite taken aback and felt almost attacked–what if I didn’t believe in God? He just assumed I did. But I also thought for a minute that I was going to cry. I thought, maybe this is the nudge I needed. Maybe this is God speaking through him.
…Anyway. They weighted me–125–and prescribed Prozac. Mom came in and talked with us a little. She told me something I didn’t know. Uncle T struggled with disordered eating when he was a kid, becoming obsessed with healthy eating. I was shocked.
They drew blood to check my iron and thyroid. And that was it. I left feeling good. I’m optimistic about the medication.”
Diary 17 / 28-years-old / New York City.
If you’ve been watching Throwback Diary, you’ll notice by the photo that this entry is written immediately after the February 12, 2010 entry. (scroll back to February to view.) Giovanni is still visiting, and we’re dealing with the after-affects of the cancer scare on our relationship—including a completely lack of sexual intimacy, because he’s afraid I’ll get sick again. This on top of the strain of continuing a long-distance relationshp.
And, I’ve started taking an anti-depressant. This is the first time I write about it. It was a huge and scary decision, but it saved my life. Depression has been a recurring issue not only in my adult writing, but in diaries from my childhood as well. There are many, many resources for those in need, and http://www.dbsalliance.org and patientslikeme.com are some cool ones. Also, this is a great TED talk by Andrew Solomon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBUcBfkVCo.
Big thanks to Jeff for being the first to use the Throwback Diary voicemail account! (929 320 0024) Listen as he recounts his transition from high school to college, “for me it really was…a feeling of belonging.”
Mobile users click here to listen
This did bring to my attention that messages are truncated at 3 minutes… I don’t think I can change this (working on it), but please call back and continue talking if you’re ever cut off. Let’s all encourage Jeff to call back so we can hear the end of his story! ~thank you, Jeff~
“My name is Nina. I’m from the Netherlands. I have been writing in diary’s since the age of 14.
On the photo you can see all the diary’s I could find. Some are completely filled others barely. The dark green one is only filled with the adventures I embark on with my 85 old grandmother. When I cannot write. When I have no words to describe my feelings I paint. And I call them my “medium dagboeken” what basically translate to art diary’s. I have about 16 of those. These are filled with drawings, quotes from my favorite books poems songs and movies.
“The second photo is really bad, my camera died and i took it with my phone.
Summer 2014 it’s a quote from kafka on the shore writen by Haruki Murakami.
‘And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.’” ~thank you, Nina~
Diary 7 / 18-years-old / Reading, Ohio
This is the entry I’d just gone back and read at the start of *last week’s* entry. Go back… watch last week… I’ll wait… Here I am on Spring Break from my freshman year at Duke, listening to Ella Fitzgerald and happily/nervously wondering what it will be like when Ralph kisses me. My anticipated first kiss.
Below the diary pages: a letter (poem?) written to Ralph some months later.
Somehow, just this past weekend, I came across a journal that hadn’t been rounded up with all of the others. It isn’t a day-to-day diary; more a collection of quotes and writings from my first year of college. Tucked before the back cover, was this handwritten note for Ralph. I believe I’d written it to him because he was going through that complicated transition from college graduate to Real Life. It is strange and wonderful for me to remember the very lyric writing style I once had. You can feel the influence of ee cummings, TS Eliot (and Billy Joel.) Click on the pages to expand and read.
~From Elaine, in the UK, shared with permission.~
“I thought it would be interesting to see what I was doing 30 years ago today. It was a Friday, I was living in Scotland and I remember the winters being cold. I had been married for about five years and there was some domestic discord going on which I passively rage about.
‘Friday 7 March 1986
Friday again. This week has past (sic) quite quickly. Am finding it hard to wake up in the mornings, my bed’s too warm & cosy and sleep is so delicious. Two red stamps on my card this week. What am I to do.
Don’s a lot better today. Too ill of course to wash-up or anything remotely house-worky but well enough to fix his computer, play it and go round to Steve’s for the evening to record tapes and no doubt play games too as it’s almost 11 and he’s still not back.’
I kept diaries between 1985 and 1988. They were from Habitat, and I liked that they were the same square shape each year.
I would be delighted to be part of this project and community, sharing snippets of our lives and experiences, because whatever we are going through right now, someone somewhere has been there before us, and it’s good to know that.”