While listening to Beyoncé’s new album the other day, I was suddenly compelled to grab my journal and rip out all the pages that chronicle my anxiety and depression and the horrible horrible feelings that I don’t want to remember. I shoved them all into one of my old journals, where they belong—in the past. Now, my journal begins when I moved to London for university, which is when I feel my life properly began. I have a life in London that is all my own, and I share it with whom I want. I don’t have anybody in my life there who doesn’t make me feel good about myself.

When I came home for Christmas and went back to the pub where I used to spend so many evenings, I felt how far I had moved on from that place and that crowd. For whatever reason, none of those people—people from my old school, my so-called friends—ever made me feel particularly happy or confident. There was one exception: my best friend. She still feels like my best friend deep down. She has a life or her own now, like me—last Friday I visited her in her new house-share, where she lives with a new kitten, a full-time job, and a double bed. She is someone I want to keep.

In the same drawer that housed my old diary, I found a letter I had written to my ex-boyfriend the morning after he broke up with me but never sent. I ripped it to absolute shreds. I like to think the past me kept it in that drawer just so I could have this moment where I felt so strong that I could definitively throw away the things that kept me tied to the past and made me feel like crap. To show me that I could be the one with the power.

I can see now how unhappy I was all summer, and how unhappy I was with my then-boyfriend. If I had been braver, I would have been the one who ended it, but I was feeling so vulnerable, I didn’t want to lose anything or anyone. I felt like I hardly had anything to begin with.

I also finally started taking antidepressants over the summer, something that had been on my mind a long time. I did it out of desperation—I felt like I had no other option. They make me so much more stable. Even more so than this time last year, when I wasn’t necessarily depressed, but my moods were volatile. These meds even me out.

I suppose this is quite a fitting diary entry for Christmas Day and the end of the year. I didn’t intend it that way, but gosh, I realise how much I have grown up. ♦