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I Offer You A Few Vile Pages From The Notebook Of A Damned Soul

Writing by Ellen Muller // Photograph by Ramona Langner

Writing by Ellen Muller // Photograph by Ramona Langner

I had a flick through my old journals today. I’m not in the habit of re-reading them because it can be quite draining, and to my surprise there are still certain pages I can’t bring myself to read over. Despite the fact that I may never want to open them again, and regardless of all the times I’ve debated throwing them onto a bonfire, I’m very blessed to hold such an intricate link to my past (even if younger me shits me to tears something chronic).

I have kept journals since my first year of uni and currently I’m halfway through my eighth one. It’s a habit that’s so embedded I can’t imagine myself living without, for three reasons,

  1. I love seeing blank pages and holding an unknowable future in my hands
  2. As an excessive worrier and over-analyser I need an outlet
  3. I have a terrible memory so I like to write moments down so they’re not lost

What makes the older ones particularly harder to read though is that my anxiety disorder went untreated for the first four years of journal keeping, and I felt deeply isolated for a very long time.

So I thought I’d share with you some snippets from past entries just as a small reminder, to anyone who may feel low at the moment that you’re not alone. I’ve also added in some of the weirder ponderings that are scattered throughout these very tattered old notebooks.

What if this is my life forever? Not bad, but incredibly lonely with nothing new happening ever’

‘I think I have come to terms with my demented brain which can only seem to remember pointless bollocks like Simpsons quotes – how the fuck did I get into uni again?’

‘It’s Christmas eve and the very horrifying and most un-jolly thought has crossed my mind that perhaps every single thing I have ever dreamed or fantasized is doomed to not come true, or that it will come true but there’s a terrible catch attached’

‘I’m frightened that I’m that friend people compare themselves to and reassure themselves that their lives are worthwhile’

‘I’m starting to think that I’m one of those people who everyone thinks is just strange and it’s only people who I’ve eventually worn down who have grown to like me’

‘This is why being around people who you knew in High School kinda sucks. They assume that you haven’t actually changed in five years’

‘I wonder if I’ll ever have truly close friendships and relationships again. I’m very needy and I think TV and pop culture have given me an inherent and hugely unrealistic expectations of how much time friends should spend together and what meaningful relationships look like’

‘Just saw a tattoo that said “I BIKE”. My question is what happens if one day you’re no longer mad into biking – what happens if you fall in love with tobogganing so much that it makes biking look like a piece of shit? I’m about to get a snake on my ankle though – who am I to judge?’

‘Just got my eyes tested and I have some terrible news: he said I had ridiculously good eyesight. So my dream of being a sexy glasses wearer is dead.’

‘Christ I’m bored! I’m starting to think that my life is so dull at this point in time that keeping a journal is probably unfair on you, I mean why should I write it down? So that one day I can relive a time where I sat on my ass 90% of the time? At least my last journals I was a hot mess so they’d be somewhat amusing’

‘Ok so just then I was actually involved in a war with a huntsman. I did finally get a mug over him but at one point I accidently sat on a nectarine so in a way we’re both winners’

‘I’m still such a child at heart, eating vegetables makes me pull these faces in disgust’

[it was about 4am and I couldn’t get to sleep] ‘I’m scared that if I look too tired and horseshit tomorrow everyone will think it’s a hangover, and I made this big speech last night about how I just don’t get hangovers. So I’m really feeling the pressure to go to sleep and avoid looking like a dick’

‘Do you think I’m ever going to be ok? Do you think I’ll get there in the end? How do you think I’ll turn out? What do you think it’s all leading to? Is it leading towards anything?’

‘I think this job, the universe is trying to teach me to live in the moment, because honestly I’ve never known a month to move so slowly. It feels like I’ve been alive for 200 years’

‘….I’m very honoured that she sent me another update, I’m glad I actually managed to successfully console someone instead of making it worse. Before I was about to console her Wednesday night, there was a real fear that my presence would make her cry more’

‘I need to stop thinking that deep, entrenched thought I have that I’m just not talented at anything’

‘There was a genuine fear last night that I’m basically doomed to be rejected by every single girl I’m attracted to – I do need to drop this self-doubt bollocks though, it’s just not an appealing quality on anyone’

‘I can’t decide whether I like the haircut I got yesterday, it is quite short. I suppose it’s not the haircut’s fault that my face isn’t great and on reflection I’d prefer a wall of hair acting as a makeshift mask’

‘….Yeah I’m doing that, fuck it I don’t care – my dignity died away a long time ago’

[talking about my extended family]‘Occasionally I think maybe I ought to let them know I’m gay but what’s the rush? I have enough stress in my life right now and there’s too many of them – how would I do it? Get a megaphone and pull a Kanye during Kris-Kringle – “I’m gunna let you finish but…”? If they ask I’ll tell them, otherwise I’ll just leave it for the time being’

“I literally wrote the last of my essay in my car cause I couldn’t handle looking at the mess my room was in, and knowing I didn’t have time to clean’

“That’s my beautiful wife Ellen. She’s gorgeous and I’m madly in love with her – even if she is bat shit crazy” – how I dream I’ll be described by my future wife someday’

‘….in years’ time if I want to play the most intense as fuck drinking game I could always reread this here journal and drink every time I mention [a girl I used to see]’

[*The title was the forward by Arthur Rimbaud to his Deserts of Love poems]

Ellen Muller

Ellen Muller is a Melbourne-based publishing student who keeps a satirical literature blog called, Poe’s very attractive cousin, and volunteers at a zine shop called Sticky Institute.

Ramona Mahrla

Ramona is a 29-year-old natural light photographer located in Augsburg, Germany. At the age of eleven she already took her mom’s camera and went out to explore the world. Ramona’s first picture that didn’t turn out blurred was a power line with birds on it.
A couple of years later she started to work as a freelance photographer for the local newspaper in her hometown. Ever since then Ramona’s passion became obsession. Documenting everyday life and capturing memories is more than just a job to her. Ramona’s mission in life is to inspire people to see beauty in the little things.
Check out her work here or follow me on

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