Dear Diary

Day 6, #WinterABC. We are doing this!!


“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” Jen Williamson


I didn’t even know therapy was a thing in this Accra. 

The idea of sitting in front of someone and telling them my life story weirded me out!

Mama laughed when I told her I was going to therapy. Kuuku asked why. Kojo just shrugged. I wonder what Ol’man would have said. In that moment, I missed him so much, I felt actual physical pain in my chest!

“I’ll get you at 8, and I’ll come with coffee.”

The deal was to go daily for a week, and then decide if I wanted to carry on with it. Mawuli would get me just before work, I’d have one-hour sessions daily, and then grab an uber back home. 

The therapist’s office was not exactly something I expected. It was a medium sized office space, with smaller offices.There were some really good paintings lining the different walls. It did look bougie, and I had to fight the urge to ask about their prices. Mawuli said there was no cost, but I knew it was a lie. He was covering the cost.

The place had a good vibe and smelt nice. And the receptionist was nice… which was not exactly a common thing in doctors’ offices. 

“I noticed on the form that this is your first time. I just want to let you know that I don’t have to be your permanent therapist. We are about ten here, and you can have a session and decide which of us is a good fit for you. Our priority is that you get better.”

He was a tall bald man with a full beard. He seemed particular about his appearances, because he was dressed very well, and smelt like a million dollars!

When he turned to walk out of his office briefly, I noticed he had the popular Ghanaian man butt. Ordinarily, this would have made me smile, and given me something to laugh with Mawuli about later on.  Now, it was merely an observation.

This wasn’t looking so bad after all.


Dear Journal…. Or diary… should I give you a name?

Well, I started therapy today. And I committed myself to a 14-day journaling thing. Apparently, it helps some people. I don’t know if it’ll help me.

I miss Ol’man, I miss him so so much, it’s killing me! At the funeral, I would have thrown myself into the pit if I hadn’t been held. 

He was just fine one minute and then he was gone, and the fact that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye makes it so much worse!

The therapist asked me to talk about the things I feel. I don’t know what I feel right now. I know that at a point all I felt was anger. I was mad at the world. At COVID, at Ol’man, for succumbing to it!I was also so mad at Kojo! He was never home… Why was he always somewhere? Why doesn’t he just stay?

Then I was mad at uncle J, and all the crazy family members who came here feeling so entitled! Is this what Kojo or Kuuku would do if I were to die with property? I don’t get it at all! 

I cannot really feel other things the way I used to. I can’t seem to feel hunger, or pain, or joy… The anger remains to some extent, but otherwise, I mainly feel numb. 

And then, I feel terrible when I think of Mama… and what she must be going through. It makes me feel worse about the way I feel. Because maybe I’m exaggerating things? Didn’t she love him more than I did? Why do I feel his loss with such magnitude?  Why is it so hard to cope when his wife of so many years doesn’t even seem to be having such a bad time? 

Dear Diary, Is it okay if most of the things I write to you are questions? Because I don’t have many answers…. I have thoughts and questions. 

I really hope this helps.

Because I want to be able to be okay. I want to be able to go to the art gallery and feel all the thrills. I want to be able to laugh with Mawuli, and fight with him about something… anything!

I want this therapy thing to work. I really want it to.

Comments (18)

  1. For someone who has been journaling for years now, I can attest to how therapeutic it is.

    Sound advocacy, Elise 👊

  2. Oh dear! Journaling…….
    This hard journey to walk. Can’t someone helpe.fly to hug you now. I can imagine this kind of therapy

  3. Yikes, I felt this. When my dad died in 2014, I was dying so someone told me to blog. I did like 4 times and stopped. I regret that. I should have gone on but now I have all of it in my journal. I haven’t written in it for ages…GGoes to look for it

  4. What did I stop journaling?
    Thank you for the subtle reminder.
    Have I said I love how you write?
    Can’t wait to read the next…

  5. Journaling is a great way to declutter your mind and take the pain out from your chest. It does bring some sort of peace and calm.
    Thanks Elise for this masterpiece!

  6. I really need to give journaling a try 🤦 Still holding my feelings in your letters for show. Thanks for sharing Elise

  7. There is something about journaling that makes it so therapeutic and comforting. Unlike humans, a diary never talks back at you or gives you its two cents on your thoughts or feelings. As crazy as it sounds, the journal’s or diary’s silence just gives you this sense of peace knowing that this is a safe space and there are no judgements here. And the beauty of it is that it’s always ready to hear you regardless of your mood. Hopefully this gives him a bit of comfort. Stay strong. Our thoughts and prayers are with you 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾. Nicely done Elise 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

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