If I Die, I Expose My Journal Writing. What Is The Worst That Could Happen?

Journaling can be cathartic, or can it be intrusive?
Journaling can be cathartic, or can it be intrusive?
A journal can be more than just simple words....
A journal can be more than just simple words....
Write what you feel, see, hear and are.
Write what you feel, see, hear and are.

Is Journaling For You?

Just the other evening I was doing a little pondering. I got to thinking about my death and all the journals I've kept over the last several years. I don't know what prompted me to think about my death, it wasn't in any sort of depressing way, just little people in my head running around with signs saying your in trouble now.

So I'm thinking about all these journals I've kept for many years. Sometime before getting ready to go bed I am quietly standing in the hallway looking at my journal resting on the coffee table. Who would be the first person to crack it open if I died? To bed I went. I lay there, my head spinning, going through several scenario's of each person who might want to read that journal on the coffee table. There are no loose ends. Everything is in there. My life and how I live it. Everything I think about, good bad, and the ugly.

My loose ends would be all the tumultuous agonizing emotion I put into my journals from time to time. I began keeping journals when I was just a teenager. I have lost many of them through my many relocations. From Florida one day, and Virginia the next. I have art journals, manuscripts, and picture only journals.

I have even rewritten them over the years. Unfortunately sometimes with to much graphic detail. Being diagnosed with bipolar I think I began to write about that secret side more than the sunny side, because in sadness, it is internalized more. And journaling becomes a way to release that raw emotion that on many occasion exaggerates to the tenth degree.

The deepest darkest side of bipolar found it's way into my journals as well. And the people in my life now unfortunately are included in those journals. There are so many bipolar rants and raves, a lot of it I don't remember happening, but somehow, I managed to capture the moments of rage and destruction.

A lot of it is very scary, hurtful, sorrowful, funny, maddening, and euphoric. However it is all truthful. It will definitely offend someone. I have tried in my lifetime to apologize to those people I have hurt or damaged because of my bipolar illness. Bipolar disorder shows no favoritism.

So I lay in bed feeling kind of miserable. I thought about getting up out of bed to write something in my current journal to let everyone know I loved them and I was sorry If I offended anyone. But that would be kind of lame. I look back and I am conflicted with contradiction.

I have experienced some very volatile relationships in my life. If those people were to read the journals they might misunderstand, but not necessarily, because of who they ARE. Their personalities won't accept what I wrote as my truth. My feelings. The things that happened to me. In my lifetime. And they just happen to be there in that timeline. How can I be sorry for something I didn't mean to do? Like be a bad partner, or emotionally unequipped to even be in a relationship.

For whatever reason, that evening, I just felt like I was going to die. Not in a sad or morbid kind of way. Just in a comfortable, slip off and see you later I gotta take a long walk across the street way. If that should happen I have to say I am okay with whomever picks those journals up and reads them. If they read them with an open heart they know I meant no harm.

So I guess the moral of the story is do you keep a journal, and run the risk of them being read someday, or do you just abandon your fear and write without conscious. Because after all truth is truth and if it helps in anyway manage your life why should you be denied?

So what do you do?

The worst that could happen

Well I think the worst thing would be that I offend someone, wrote something I can't take back, because I am dead. I don't know about you, but when I am wrecked on emotion, I tend to write things in the heat of the moment. Sometimes those words are just a way to express. To express anger, when the writing takes over. Words written in anger are like words spoken in anger. To often with little thought. In my case anyway.

The last thing I want is for someone to hate me because I said something I didn't really mean, and hadn't had the chance to correct it. Leaving them feeling awful and humiliated. That is the worst for me. But do I not write what I feel at the moment because I am worried someone will eventually probably read the journals? No I have to write what I feel, or it is kind of pointless to even begin writing.

So essentially the only way to avoid your journals being read after you die is to set-up a system for them to self-destruct upon opening by someone other than you. Yeah, great idea right? seriously someone is going to read them, so I have more or less accepted that. I try to jot down every once in awhile that I am only human with human emotions. With a huge smiley face of course.

So, the worst can happen, and may happen. But I still write as much truth as I can. That to me is pretty much what writing about yourself is, the truth.

What do you want to journal about?

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Comments 10 comments

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI Author

That would be pretty interesting if they were published a 100 years after my demise. I have to admit i fight the urge to depose of them. Or not write at all. But I keep them and continue to write because I feel I need to. Thank you for your encouragement, and sharing about your ex- partner.

jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 4 years ago from UK

Maybe your journals would be seen one day like Mark Twain's autobiography - published 100 years after his dead, who knows? :-) And PLEASE, don't destroy them!

I' was telling you about my bipolar ex-partner... I remember that he also was apologizing a lot, mostly after his outbreaks.

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI Author

Your welcome, i hope it helps you understand your brother a little better, I am sure he is often confused and in turmoil a lot of the time with an illness we never asked for. Thank you for your comment, i am glad it helped.

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI Author

I don't even hide them anymore, i just leave them out so i can write when the urge touches me, i don't have to go dig them out, if someone wants to read them, have at it. It has taken some time for me to get to this point, but the worry of it just isn't worth it anymore.I often apologize for harsh things I have said of others, and if they shall read than perhaps they will also forgive. I hope so, because i won't change what I wrote or how i write. Just write it and be okay with it.

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI Author

I do go back and reread them, I have slowly come to terms with whomever reads them will just have to understand my rantings, I use to hold back and don't do this anymore, I have gotten to the point I write what i want and leave the rest to fate, destiny or whatever happens happens. Great questions and thank you for asking. Journaling has to be true or there is no point. I like knowing what i wrote five years ago, they give me memories I may have forgotten or don't want to forget...

Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

My brother is BI polar. What a horrible struggle it is.Thankyou for your insight in this article.Wonderful.

cherriquinn profile image

cherriquinn 4 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

I commented on this hub but seem to have lost it! Great hub anyway!! I can relate. I have many diaries lying around with my own truths inside but fear prevents me from sharing the contents. When I have more faith in human nature I may publish until then they remain my personal property and top secret!

cherriquinn profile image

cherriquinn 4 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

Hi there, great hub and something I can relate to! I have diaries lying around filled with my own truths and often wonder if I should share the content. Fear prevents this but maybe one day when I have more faith in human nature. This may or may not be in my lifetime!

cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 4 years ago from northeastern US

journal away. people who do so tend to be healthier mentally and physically right down to getting less colds.

Ask Ashley profile image

Ask Ashley 4 years ago from California

Do you ever go back and reread your journals or are they just a creative outlet you use to get your thoughts on paper, never to be referenced again? If you aren't regularly rereading what you've written and you fear others reading them, why not just burn them or shred them after a set amount of time? Or you could destroy the last entry before writing the next, so you only risk one entry ever being read.

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