I’ve always kept diaries. For as long as I can remember, I’ve needed to jot my thoughts down. I’ve used physical diaries, an online blog, discarded Post-it notes, and for a short period, I even used to record voice notes for myself.
I love the fact that I can trace back exactly how I was feeling on, say, 13 October 2013. I think, though, what I love even more was how insanely dramatic I was—and still am, of course. You would have thought that I truly was going through it given the sheer drama I poured onto those pages. I know that every teenager is a drama queen, but I’ve brought the receipts to show just how unhinged I was.
The diary excerpts I’m going to be telling you about (and in some cases, showing you) took place over the course of one year, from May 2014 to November 2015. I was 15 turning 16, emotionally wrecked, beginning to enter my anxiety era, stressed about school, and considering I was still completely anti-recognising any sprinkling of queerness, fully obsessed with boys.
Let’s kick things off with something relatively mild. For context, I used to sign off all my diary entries with the phrase “sincerely C.” Yes, I actually hate myself for it now. Also, forgive me for any grammar mistakes, I was a teenager.
On a Wednesday, I wrote: “Hi, this is my first entry to you. I have, for the past few years, kept on and off diaries, but now in my year of being 15 and school and friends, I have decided to keep a daily diary. Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Charlotte Louise Sawyer, BUT PLEASE, call me Charlie.”
“Now, I’d like to explain something to you. Although this will be a detailed account of my life, I wouldn’t expect any abortions or cheating or scandals because, as you can already tell, we are NOT in a script for Made In Chelsea or Towie. However, do expect arguments, crushes (LOTS), anecdotes, and well, a lot of me.”
Before we go any further, I need you to remember that I was a teenager who used up a lot of time convincing myself that, if I had only grown up in Tennessee, I would have been Hannah Montana. I’m, of course, much more humble now.
Please also pause for my own personal signed image of Douglas Booth, potentially my most prized possession:
I think another really big theme in this particular diary is a feeling of just being overwhelmed with my emotions. Everything was too much, existing was a struggle at times.
“Have I mentioned the fact that I have a killer earache, the fact that I’m still too fat for summer, my anxiety is at an all-time high, and I’m being repressed/oppressed by my own parents? But f*ck it, it’s not like I’m going to be alone forever… Oh wait, YES I AM.”
For example, let’s delve into what seems to be the day I discovered that I was perhaps an anxious girly. Prepare to be completely thrilled by this story:
“Today, I went round my close (the place I live) with the intention to give my babysitting slip to as many houses as possible. However, I have noticed something. I have a weird feeling I may have slight anxiety.” Girl, if you only knew…
“My paranoia is getting so much worse. I’m losing sleep over it, I hate to be out but I also hate to be at home alone. I’m constantly worrying and watching other people, trying to see if they’re watching me. I leave places to get away from people. I know I need help, I just hope my parents take me seriously this time.”
Re-living baby Charlie’s anxiety journey was definitely not the funniest, but it’s also slightly reassuring knowing now how much more in control I am of my mental health. Therapy, babes, it’s all about therapy.
One of the sadder things about taking this little trip down memory lane is how much I thought and wrote about my weight, and how unhappy I was with my body. It’s a struggle I still have to this day, but 15-year-old Charlie was really in her feels about this:
“You know that feeling when you’re alone, at home, and you still feel the need to suck in your stomach? Yep, that’s pretty much my life.”
“Why can’t I be confident in my body? I know I probably sound like a broken record, but the insecurities never ever go away.”
One of the biggest things that also keeps cropping up is this genuine deep fear that I will never get married or fall in love. I remember always being so obsessed with the concept of a life-long partner, it was all I thought about. Every aspect of that ‘perfect’ relationship was thoroughly contemplated. There were a lot of entries like this:
“One same thought keeps on coming into my head. I want to get married young and I want to be in head over heels, mad, deep, insane love. But 25, 30, and even 50 years later, I still want to be in mad, deep, insane love. I want to still be holding hands and calling each other babe or sweetheart. I don’t ever want to be in a relationship ‘just because’. At least that’s what I think.”
I just can’t believe my little brain thought about these things in so much depth. I know I’m not the first girl to fantasise about their future partner, but geez, I really did let this fantasy live in my head rent-free.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the countless entries detailing my extreme disappointment and anger at the fact that no boy proposed to me—or even attempted to hold my hand—during my family’s summer trip to Jersey. TV lies girls, summer romances are a fraud.
It would take me way too much time to decipher every emotional entry, every declaration of depression. So, instead, I’ll simply leave you with maybe the most dramatic entry of them all: