Soon to Come… (Apr. 2022)

What’s in store coming this month on RecoverytoWellness??

Journaling THUMB

Let’s seeeeeeee….

  1. “Slow” Book Exploration Station (A BIG UN REVIEW POST)
  2. “Thor” MCU Film Review
  3. Ersatz daily word prompt from Apr. 6th that I really, really want to do but haven’t fully yet (and it would have been today’s post but alas, time…. SO this weekend instead wheeee)
  4. Two or three other word prompts
  5. A life update
  6. Posts about my fanfic/current projects/Youtube videos etc
  7. A post about the NAMI Walk this year (virtual and in person mix)
  8. Gearing up for a mental health awareness motivation month (May) posts
  9. Some fun tags from over the years
  10. Maybe another book review or two
  11. Something else-anything else that pops into my mind and that I can make a blog post out of buahahhaa

Annnnnd that’s all I got. SIMPLE POST BECAUSE FUCK PERFECTIONISM.

That is all.

Go check out my Youtube channel where I’ve been posting extraordinarily soooo. Also let’s hope and dream and plan for more book content in the future.

sending light and love.

💚💚🌈🌈🌻🌸

PS Spring photography ideas? New photo concepts, ideas and whatchamacallit’s? Yesss. Probs vids to come in the future regarding this too!!

Follow my Insta for more posts (same username)

XX

Questioning: When Are Support Groups Helpful vs Harmful?

Let me just say this right from the get go:

I don’t have the answer to this question yet. I’m still trying to figure it out and it’s going kind of rough. A few of the pros and cons I have done over the course of time have been inconclusive: running into the problem of how to quantify and numerically decode when my cons are as long as my pros and whether I should be identifying percentages towards either of them. It’s…. complicated. So, I don’t know the answer yet myself. It’s tricky and difficult.

Secondly, here are some of my boundaries (as I’m finding and being taught that they will have to be more consistent in me reiterating them each and every time I can):

  1. I am not a crisis service, mental health professional or expert in mental health. I like to say I’m an “expert only in my own lived experiences” but I don’t have any licenses or degrees besides a BS in psychology. (I do have some trainings though but nothing like a master’s or PhD.) Basically, I’m not an appropriate person or place for others to reveal crisis information or to get direct professional help from. Of course, if you feel that you’re a danger to yourself and it’s between telling me or no one, I’d rather you tell me, because I will not keep safety information private and will instead link you towards local or national resources or call emergency services etc. So, if you come to me for help, I can get you to the appropriate resources, and you can get help in an indirect way, but either way I’ll point you to where you need to go and practice my own self-care to maintain my own health, wellness and stability.
  2. What can I offer? I can offer peer support in the sense of being non-judgmental, pro-recovery, positivity, hope, what’s helped me and worked for me, providing inspiration (I hope!), the skills or treatments that were most life-changing for me, “I” statements (sometimes I use “we” as well though, I try to limit the “you” statements as much as I can) and empathy, kindness, validation, healthy coping strategies, problem-solving and compassion. Again, if it’s an issue regarding safety, I will do everything in my power to get you the resources and help you need and deserve, and will NOT keep matters regarding safety confidential. I, of course, would prefer to not be in that situation, but if it happens, I know where I can go for help to help you, if that makes sense.
  3. Please do not discuss specific methods of suicidality or self-harm with me. In regards to eating disorders (EDs), please do not discuss specific numerical measurements like weights, calories, and unhealthy behaviors (like tools used for purging or things to that effect). For self-harm you can specify the type of self-harm, for instance I’ll say things like scratching or skin picking, but don’t go into what you use to hurt yourself, how to hurt one’s self, etc. That’s just unhelpful information and unnecessary. (As an example: If you want to say you were thinking about “standing on a ledge” that’s enough general information for me to picture what you mean. If you were to say “heights” that’s a little more specific and not helpful. And if you were to say “this specific building on 34th street at this time etc.” that’s WAY too specific and a more appropriate conversation with a crisis line, a mental health professional, etc. The less specific you can be the better. Think of the too specifics being unhealthy or inappropriate people and places for that information. Essentially, you’ll have to be a little more creative to abide by this boundary of mine.) I also as of July 2021 don’t wish for my space on the Internet to be a how to guide for hurting one’s self, because the Internet is already so much a place of that. This is to keep myself safe, keep you safe and keep others safe as well. So, please respect this as best as you can. If you mess up here and there, that’s okay, but continued misuse will result in me speaking to you directly or blocking you if need be or moderating comments, etc. Whatever is in my power, I will pursue. Thank youuuu for your cooperation!!
  4. I am unavailable for support/guidance between the hours of 10p EST and 9am EST. I am also unavailable the days that I work at Amaryllis which is currently Sat and Sun mornings.
  5. If you happen to have known me before 2018 or in 2018, I would rather you didn’t compare how “bad” things were for me in my life then COMPARED to how well things are for me now. The reasoning for this is because when people compare how “bad” things were for me, I know it’s supposed to make me feel proud of how far I’ve come, however, it has the opposite effect. Instead, my brain makes me think that it was “oh so great” back then and wants me to go back to those very dark times. So, it’s unhelpful. Thanks!!
  6. As for confidentiality, unless broken in the case of safety concerns, I won’t repeat back specific information regarding your identity or who you are with others. If anything, I’d make a pseudonym for you and discuss matters of our conversation, not verbatim, with people like my partner, my Mom, my therapist/psychiatrist, or change certain details of who you are and focus more on how I’m handling or struggling with the information you’ve shared with me. For instance, if I felt dysregulated, I’d discuss what led to that dysregulation but keep my focus on how I can problem solve it and work through it going forwards.
  7. As for what you can share about me with others, I’m okay with a changed name (pseudonym/pronouns) or keeping my name (Raquel) the same. Of course, please don’t doxx me but if you want to share my age, my first name, my experiences, etc. then that’s totally fine by me. I do use she/her pronouns just in case anyone was wondering that! Thanks!! 🤗🙂😘


Honestly, I think that’s about all I’ve got!

Which is definitely, definitely plenty it feels ahaha. For those wondering after all of that, regarding this post:

Trigger Warning: Discussion of self-harm, past suicidal ideation, BPD, depression and OCD.

So, what DID I want to talk about in this piece?

Honestly it’s been SUCH a long time since I’ve blogged. Like, far, far too long. And I wasn’t even necessarily going to do this post but it was definitely gnawing at me and I realized I had enough to say and think and do with this information (I’m between journals at the moment, my routine is severely off lately) than to just keep it to myself with no one else to know about it for weeks.

So, here I am!

Let’s regroup for a moment, shall we?

The question I have for creating this post:

When are Support Groups Helpful vs Harmful?

So let’s talk about some context first.

I started going to an OCD support group for the first time ever in fall 2015 when I spent 5 weeks at the OCD-Institute at Belmont MA. It was not a locked unit and it was actually pretty enjoyable for a treatment type of thing. I live, if you don’t know, with OCD on self-harm and suicide obsessions (not genuine intent; though I do also live with depression, BPD, trichotillomania (hair pulling), dermatillomania (skin picking) and essentially intrusive thoughts of hurting myself and genuine thoughts of hurting myself, though I’m much, much better as of now in 2021!!!). I was diagnosed with OCD by my university’s Counseling Center in fall 2014 for further context. I also had an OCD specialized therapist from about spring 2015 – winter 2016.

I’ve had lots of different treatments over the years since 2014: ERP, CBT, DBT, medications, individual therapy, hospitalizations, OCD-I, ECT, group therapy, short term and long term day programs, family therapy etc.

I’ve also been a prominent mental health advocate since spring 2016 to now, both online and offline. Advocacy is the central part of me and who I am, I think, though I’ve become more recovery based over the last three years, I’d say. To me, advocacy is sharing my story with lived experiences in the field of mental health conditions and sharing what’s helped me most and how I handle myself and my situations. For me, it’s overcoming adversity and getting a leg up over the bullshit my brain comes up with on a daily basis. I am VERY open about my struggles, or at least in the past I certainly was, probably a little too much let’s be honest but yeah, I am open and I talk about them and nowadays I like to focus more on what I can DO about them but overall talking and sharing my story has been an integral part of finding meaning and purpose in my life. (If you’ve been with me since the beginning or if you ever plow through some of my Archived posts, you’ll also see I was an advocate while at university as well, sharing my recovery and my journey through it via newspaper articles, something I’m finding in the last year with this pandemic that I miss and wish I could get back into in some way, even if it’s differently.)

I’ve only ever been to OCD support groups over the course of my treatment. I’ve never been to a DBSA group or a NAMI based group either (NAMI being the National Alliance on Mental Illness where I do my advocacy work from).

I started going pretty regularly to the Belmont support group while I was at the OCD-I until about fall of 2017, if I had to guess.

In 2018 I don’t think I really went at all, maybe once or twice over the course of the year?

2019, I think I went a couple of times. I was at my long term day program Passages which was giving me PLENTY of mental health topics and surroundings that I didn’t need something like a support group to go to (same as well for the blogosphere.)

2020, the pandemic hit and by June I was definitely starting to return to more of them. Naturally, all the support groups went virtual on Zoom and I started to attend ones like Cambridge and eventually Worcester alongside the Belmont here and there.

Now is when we get to the meat of this post (or, with the gif added above, the slicing of the cake portion of things). I’ve been going to support groups decently regularly over the last year and I’m no closer to answering this big, big question I’ve surrounded this blog post about. Which is super frustrating–and exactly the emotion I feel when I’m at a support group.

It’s so frustrating.

I honestly don’t know what I live with mental health conditions-wise anymore. I mean, for YEARS, I’ve blamed it on OCD but the more I’m at these support groups, the more I realize what I’m “defining” as OCD may NOT be that at all. And then of course, though, me trying to figure out if it IS OCD, is OCD itself. Trying to find that certainty and conclusion and all.

Personally, I definitely view knowledge as power. And I know that the purpose of diagnostics is to guide treatment and for insurance purposes. So it frustrates me to no end that I can’t pinpoint or understand if what I am feeling and dealing with is even this big bad OCD monster I’ve always said it is but may not actually be all along. Then of course, WHAT AM I dealing with if it’s NOT OCD? Oooof.

To me, I blame these things on OCD, what I’ve identified as OCD and what’s consistent up until today:

And if you don’t know anything about OCD and have somehow found this post, OCD obsessions are the persistent and intrusive thoughts regarding whatever topic that gives the survivor distress. It questions and is often called the doubting disease because it makes a person wonder and question if they’re truly wanting to act on a thought or that they might lose control just by having the thought even if they do not want to act on it, etc. So, there’s all sorts of OCD topics out there, as long as it gives the survivor distress, it will cling to it tightly. For instance, moral questioning like if you’re a good person; harm OCD if you have thoughts of hurting others or yourself; contamination; having to count or check things (mentally or physically); did I just run over someone while I was driving? etc.

Compulsions are the behavioral or mental things a survivor does to cancel out, however momentary and temporary the relief is, the distress or anxiety that they are feeling. So, if it was a contamination thing, maybe one compulsion could be hand washing; or if it was a car thing, going back to check to see if there was any evidence for having run someone or something over; or for harm OCD to others, checking that all the eating utensils are still there or checking memories for any indication you’d want that person harmed etc.

Here’s what I’ve always blamed OCD on that might not even BE OCD but that I can’t find is anything else either (and the act of trying to figure it out is OCD in disguise, as it were, so I’m kinda fucked lmao 😂😅🙄😶) ((I’ll start with the classics from years ago and go more into later years/current struggles))

  • Intrusive comments/loop tapes; for me in the beginning it was hearing my brain say “Kill Yourself” or “You should just kill yourself” on repeat for hours at a time.
  • More currently, and I haven’t had a new phrase in over 4+ years, but now it’s “Just do it” in terms of acting on an intrusive image of harm, so, gee, thanks OCD! Ugh. ((I will say it’s a little alarming that in the last month the OCD has come up with and attached itself to a brand new phrase, and so maybe that is some of the anxiety? I don’t know.))
  • Memory checking for any intention to act on the thoughts (way back in the beginning).
  • Now it’s more of the thought action fusion involved so like when I have an intrusive image of harm it’s increasingly more difficult, whenever I am struggling (which isn’t as often, let’s be clear) for me to separate the fact that what is happening inside my HEAD is NOT happening truly in reality. It’s probably as close to hallucinating as I can get. It’s just so hard to center myself and remember that it’s not actually happening
  • Also, trauma memories. I’ve only experienced trauma at the hands of my mental health conditions and what feels like a crisis where there’s a lot of trauma memories in truth is really just OCD and intrusive images of things that I’ve NEVER truly acted on. Trauma memories definitely come up the most often in support groups I find. I went to one last night and there was talk of police officers and all my encounters with them in the past was something I got sidetracked by
  • Avoidance: and this is a behavioral pattern I am STILL struggling with today and have for years and years. In terms of OCD I’ll avoid things like certain places with ledges or certain drives home etc. I’ll avoid my feelings most often by over-distracting with content etc. I’ll avoid, potentially, with support groups. I’m rarely ever in the actual moment, I’m usually doing other things like playing with thinking putty or having music going etc. I honestly don’t know the difference between when is it avoiding and when is it self-soothing. Because when I’m spoken about self-soothing in therapy, my therapist thinks it’s actually avoidance. So, I have no idea on this tactic that’s for sure
  • I don’t, this isn’t really OCD but it kind of is, like to admit when I’m anxious. Anxiety is just an emotion for me that I HATE to admit when I am, so instead of noticing my bodily cues, I just plow forwards until I’m behaviorally acting on the anxiety so like hair pulling or skin picking. It’s something I really have to continue working on. Gwah For skin picking itself it’s definitely an inconsistency feeling on the skin that gets me to start going at it. Bleh
  • Reassurance seeking: A BIG one, from the beginning to now, I’ll wonder if these ‘thought commands’ (Just do it) is really OCD or if it’s something else like psychosis and then I’m researching it and uncovering, AHA it’s OCD in disguise!! So yeah, even reassurance seeking with validation from others and such. Ooof.
  • Rumination: fixating on the OCD, talking about the OCD, thinking about the OCD etc. Wanting to think of old memories, old habits, old behaviors, old stuff. Spending hours and hours doing so (luckily I stop this a lot better now over the last 3 years)
  • Glorification of harm and death. This is the biggest one. My brain likes to be like “Oh hey, you know this [suicide] plan? That would be awessssssome. We should totally go do that. It’ll be so relieving and so much fun. It’ll be great. Let’s go do that.” etc. It’s like this “oh so magical and sparkly thing will be so great and wonderful, you’re missing out on experiencing it by not doing it, etc.” It’s also like this “it would be so ironic/poetic/symbolic thing” or “it’s your destiny to die this way”.
  • Alongside this is the glorification of near death experiences in particular. There’s something so tantalizing to me about a near death experience. Or actual death then coming back to life. And definitely the case if there are NO ill physical effects from it. I remember someone at Passages said there IS a name for this that people with substance use disorders can relate to but I can’t remember or they also couldn’t remember what the word was so I’ve never known
  • Fixation continued: thinking of the OCD and harm, taking up more and more of my time etc. Again, hasn’t happened in ages luckily. If it came out in artwork that was also a compulsion too. I think I’m better at this but honestly I’m not sure.
  • Little things that might become problems: rereading a book, is this OCD or is this me genuinely not paying attention while I read? etc. And the stubbornness that arises when I refuse to let my brain win over me not reading a book etc (I love books so much). Doing certain things in matters of three, so like three heart emoticons etc. Keeping things like price tags for a bit or lots of hand sanitizers, is it hoarding? Eh. Maybe not.
  • Distress: I really can only relate to the distress that these OCD or “OCD” things cause. If it is anxiety, and I’m sure some of it is, I refuse to acknowledge it. But so many more people have the anxiety as the prime and only emotion involved and I just can’t relate.

So, I mean, I hope that all makes sense.

The big thing I’m uncovering in these OCD Support groups I have been returning to is they are immensely triggering for me. And I wonder, is this a trigger that’s healthy (like an ERP opportunity) or is it risking my stability unnecessarily? A question to which I STILL cannot begin to answer, aggravatingly enough.

The biggest thing I’ve been trying on my own, without an OCD specialized therapist (and with little indication I’ll get one any time soon) is that I’m taking some charge in some ERPs myself, I’ve started a new video series on my Youtube channel called “Trudging Through Trauma” where I’ll use an ERP exposure during the filming process and another in the video editing process. I’d like to talk about some of my trauma experiences and name them and think them over and then do the opposite of them, so with the OCD I’d want to fixate and be consumed by them, when in reality I’ll just go self soothe or do something else for a bit etc. I don’t know, it could be self-exploitative I suppose but yeah, and I obviously wouldn’t go into unnecessary detail but for my own head it’d be there, I just wouldn’t vocalize it officially.

My Mom was also suggesting we do ERPs together too. Having someone be there could be safety ensuring and all. So I have that to mull over.

But overall, why I wanted to make this post is for this reason:

When is it helpful and when is it harmful? When is focusing on it vs distracting from it an exposure or just unhealthy?

Another thing, there’s no professional support or, as far as I know, guidance or trainings involved and that makes me wonder two things:

When is peer support bordering on playing therapist? and

What qualifications, if any, are expected in these group settings?

Now, specifically, I have my friend Gretchen (naturally not their true identity of course 💜). I’ve known Gretchen for, well, since the beginning of my support groups history. Gretchen has some … good and kind intentions but none of the boundaries in place to achieve them. Gretchen tends to bite off far more than she can chew.

And I never really mention in support groups my history with mental health advocacy (something I’ve decided to change actually going forwards, if for however long I may still attend them) but something that really bothered me in yesterday’s support group was this ongoing pressure or resistance to talking openly about the struggles with OCD with non-OCD individuals.

Personally, this just rubbed me in all the wrong ways. Like, is it supposed to be shameful? Should we really be encouraging the beginning types of co-dependency? Should it really be US vs THEM?

Also, what do we do about the pissing contests of whose experiences are worse? And what about how draining and depressing they can be on top of that? It just makes me wonder–at what point is ‘teaching’ skills or ‘experimenting with ideas’ playing therapist and overstepping what peer support is about? Should there be someone, a professional, around to navigate the waters of these groups better? Because it makes me wonder for sure….

Also sometimes they end on such depressing or retraumatizing states that it’s bewildering.

The other thing I struggle with is the line between reigniting my old behavioral pathways (getting attention for unhealthy purposes; i.e. holding a crisis session) and focusing on who I am today and getting help in the most helpful and healthy way today than/as opposed to how I once received it. Which means I’m really just a lot more guarded now and less likely to open up and be honest upfront. It’s very confusing.

(My apologies for how direct of an attack there is on Gretchen down below; she really does mean well. She has the best intentions in mind. Her boundaries and adhering to them is just troublesome.)

Overall, there’s just some things that Gretchen has done or said that makes me feel super uncomfortable, mainly breaking my boundaries, not intentionally but pretty often as is. I wonder if it’s possible to get a professional to sit in on a support group or two and see what their assessment is of the matter. Maybe that’s something worth exploring. I feel like Gretchen needs to (as horrible as this phrasing is) get her shit together to figure out what she can reasonably offer and when she’s overstepping. Like, Gretchen, you’re awesome, you’re great, a little less pissing contest would be best though. I get it was to be empathetic and ‘I’ve been there too’ but a minute of that would have sufficed, not fifteen. (And of course I’m going to be bringing this up to Gretchen herself too, because she’s the only person who can change these behaviors or be aware of them and adjust from there. I’m really not mad at her, I guess I just feel frustrated in general with where I sit on support groups and I REALLY want to be done with this blog post, it’s been sooo long)

My partner did suggest that maybe I’ve outgrown support groups as well. Which, could be very valid and true. They asked if there were different groups for OCD support for different stages of recovery, which I’m not sure exists, but is definitely worth looking into.

Well, I’m done complaining and typing and talking now. My wrists hurt, my words are being misspelled and I’m tired. I’ve been at this for almost two hours. That’s… exhausting.

So what do you think? After all this has been said, what do you think? Do my thoughts and experiences sound like maybe I should take a break from the support groups for a while and do some extra soul searching or could they be okay for me to attend and experiment more with in the future?

I’d love to know what you guys think. If you have the time and willingness to offer it to me. 💚💛🤍😁😙

Now I just have to go back and reread this post, edit and then upload. Maybe add another gif or two.

Thank you soooo much for reading. I hope something out of all of this was helpful or interesting or captivating if possible. I feel a strange crux between relief and unfinished. But, I’m going to go eat lunch and get ready to visit a phone store today, hopeful that I can get upgraded soon. So yeah. Maybe I’ll actually try to read that book of mine too. I was going to before I decided to do this post ahaha. Any who, more to come soon.

Let me know if you got this far with a cookie emoticon.

Thanks so much. xxx

Stay safe everybody!!!

🍪🍪🍪💜💜🌈🌞🌊☔

Just a Temporary Post

Hi hi!

Besides being sweaty right now and feeling far too hot, I’m doing rather well! I have to go brush my teeth because I just ate some mini Heath bars and they are soooo sugary, gwah!!

I’m jumping on here just to make a super quick, fast post and then I’m gonna challenge myself to take just 20 mins to read a book, my current graphic novel I’m calling IYF because that’s the abbreviations of its name, and then I’m going to go to bed and fall asleep. I’ll probably have to take a melatonin to help with sleep because I didn’t last night and didn’t fall asleep until 1a!! 😱😨 I napped for only an hour or so today which, hell, I’ll take.

Gah, so hot. Tomorrow I really want to spend some time blogging a more standard post, edit a couple of videos, upload a video and film one for what will later be released next Tuesday. I also want to read for a couple of hours or at least one and shave my legs and take another shower. I also want to do the dishes as a chore and maybe go out and shop a little tiny bit. I also want to continue to answer my social media and phone texting messages, as that’s important to me and either engage in some adult coloring, creative writing fanfics version or even some work based creative writing and preparing for the weekend ahead with work. (Leadership, leading routine and things to that effect)

I am taking up a morning shift on Wed next week so that should be interesting. It’ll only be two kids plus it’s a school day so it shouldn’t be too bad and if anything probably uneventful. It will be interesting to see how it’s run (first shift) on a school day and I’ll get to work with someone I’ve only met before in trainings so that’s nice.

But yeah, my dating friend is back home now and we spoke today so that was lovely! I also watched Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy tonight, hooray. Well, I should go. I need a fan like DESPERATELY. Ahaha I got like EIGHT bug bites last night when I forgo my shirt sooooo that was FUN to wake up to this morning, haaah, not.

Any who, I hope you guys are well. I will be shutting down my laptop for the day and getting on top of a few other things soon after.

May we all sleep well and keep on creating and making fun things that this life has to offer!

Stay safe!!

xxx

💜💚💛

One of Those Days | #ItsOkayToBeUnproductive


Hi,

So I realized I could make a last minute blog post today since it’s still Mon, even if it’s closer to 11p EST. So, here I am.

Today was an odd day. Off, mostly.

I struggled to wake up today and didn’t really get up until about noon. I also fell asleep last night by about 11p. I really had to pry my eyes open multiple times in the morning, but they never really wanted to be. By 2p I was drifting into sleepy states again while I was watching some Youtube videos. I finally got myself up to watch over and re-classify some old videos footage but I didn’t feel up to video editing, not really. I also thought about and was planning on appropriately answering messages online (a blog comment, a Youtube comment, an email, etc.) but I just couldn’t get myself together to do so.

It just felt insurmountable and exhausting, you know?

So I resorted to what I normally do and started looking at some videos on Youtube on my laptop.

I then searched for Athena’s stuff and watched some videos about her, her life and current happenings and did that guiltily for the next couple of hours, so that sucked.

I definitely could have used that time to either:

  • read a book
  • edit a video
  • spend time offline
  • watch Thor
  • write fan fiction
  • color or make art
  • film a video
  • listen to music
  • answer messages or challenge myself to answer with a starting sentence (breaking it down)

You get the idea. *insert a grim smiling emoticon here*

But I didn’t really do any of the above and just wallowed and got swallowed up. Luckily I wasn’t pulling too much so that’s a silver lining to the day.

I did find myself enthralled and shocked while watching near death experiences videos during dinner (a lovely meal my Mom made, thank goodness) and then was very into and captivated by tsunami videos–normally if I were watching like an angry people compilation, I’ll revert inwards and retreat via self-soothing techniques which pretty much always means I’ll be hair pulling–but I didn’t do that with the tsunami videos so I think I may have found something so horrific and fascinating to watch that will deter me from pulling when I have those urges, so, er, that’s interesting?

I was particularly intrigued by the information on whirlpools and then the miraculous event where no one was killed in the 1980 whirlpool incident with the salt and oil mining company (I can link a video at the bottom, actually, no, I’ll just do it here):

So, that was something.

I was doing that by about 9p and by 10p I was watching other little videos here and there. I managed to brush my teeth for the day, and the night, let’s be honest, and also just take care of some other bodily care things–like my meds! I didn’t take them all day but I finally got myself to do so so that’s good at least.

Now I’m just winding down with email alerts, music and writing this post. It occurred to me when I decided I could answer one last message before bed that I could write a little something here, even if it’s not all that much. For anyone who has been reading, thank you immensely, and I hope this post serves as a type of an update and just a ‘Hey, how are you?’ post from me. 🙂

But yeah, I’ll be off to address that one Youtube comment and pack up for the night. I honestly never filled out my planner for the weekend so I have to pencil that in right now. And then I’ll be listening to some creepy stories for sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. I look forward to it.

Also, my schedule at work may be changing soon but that’s a discussion for another day. I’m gonna probably brainstorm some of the posts I still want to achieve for this month tomorrow, so that should be fun. Some fun ones and ones taking a bit more work and all that jazz.

Here’s hoping tomorrow will shape up to be a better and more productive day (and I have to remind myself that these ‘less productive/unproductive’ days are okay to have sometimes too!!!).

Until then, my friends.

Sending light. ❤ xxx

When the Writing Vibes Strike | Fanfic Work

Hi hi,

Short post!!

I am:

  • In the process of finishing watching the Thor movie, I have about 55 mins left and it already took me about 2 hours because I kept pausing every few seconds to write down notes on Loki for later regurgitation in my review ahaha
  • I watched Station 19 & Grey’s Anatomy last night, hooray!! Emotional but hooray. 🙂
  • I have continued the rereading process of my fanfic CeC but today I decided to reread and print TAaBBT and then I started on the next (the second) chapter for that soooo I’m pretty happy
  • I made some additional progress notes for D&D’s sequel so that is fun
  • My Mom and I went shopping a bit today so that was nice. Note: I really, really want to get Urban Decay’s “goldmine” lip gloss one day, it’s legit $20 but it’s soooo bold and pretty and shiny. I’d love to save up some money for that next
  • I still want to get closer and closer to dyeing my hair and I think besides a phone, some bills and other payments, that I may be entering that avenue within the next two months or so!! I haven’t really let anyone know about it, yet, though. Haha Baby steps!
  • I spoke to my dating friend yesterday! They are doing as okay as can be and they let me know something I found really, really funny in a tragically absurd kind of way and that was interesting. I can’t wait until they’re out again, but have to wait for sure for a while still
  • I have to go to bed very soon because I have work tomorrow and Sun but I’m actually looking forward to it a bit!! I’m hoping to do one of the art based activities with the kids tomorrow, if I’m in the right cottage. It’s supposed to be gloriously wonderful and hot on Sun, yay! Tomorrow, mainly cloudy but still warm. I have to pick out my clothing for this very soon actually

So yeah, that’s a little bit of what’s been up and going on today!

I will need to edit another video to get done for next week but maybe I’ll do that tomorrow evening or Sun. I’d like to be a couple of videos ahead and I can probably start doing two videos a week for an upload schedule, which would be SO nice!!!

Yeah, that’s all I got for now ahaha

I’m feeling a bit tired so maybe that’s good news as well.

Welp, I’ll see you either tomorrow, Sun or on Mon.

Stay safe!!

XXX

When I Can No Longer Avoid the Confrontations Before Me | #mhblogger


It should come as no surprise that I cannot stand confrontation.

It makes me anxious, angry people with passion so deep in their veins that they yell and make noise. It makes me feel unsettled. It makes me feel shaky and nervous, uncertain and on edge.

It makes me wonder what it is exactly that I’m supposed to do…

I’m being confronted lately by the by-products of my avoidance. Avoidance runs with so much depth in all aspects of my life that it’s making me feel unsettled and uncertain as to where I can possibly turn. I try to make progress in addressing it, but there’s just SO much of it, so much that I’m drowning in daily, and just when I can manage it a little bit better, a little bit more, everything else builds and builds and builds and again I am left with the choice, the confrontation of invisible forces: do I take the time to look into it and approach cautiously or do I freeze in my steps, turn the other way and run from it? Essentially, do I continue to avoid the avoidable?

Unfortunately, it always seems to be the latter.

And I’m paying for it now.

The Loki Disney+ series is going to be coming out in about 3 weeks and I’m still as far behind in re-watching the MCU as ever before.

I wanted to be through the entire thing months ago but here I am now, still in Phase One and no closer to getting into it. Unless, maybe, I abandon the process entirely, which I don’t think is likely.

I just get so caught up in the fact that I make simple processes into such large, complicated and complex tasks that I inevitably wind up avoiding because there’s TOO much expectation going hand in hand with them. Which translates into just never getting anything substantial done or really making a nice big check mark off something that I appropriately accomplished.

It’s exhausting.

And not everyone else is like this, I’m finding. And so that’s odd, too.

And on top of that, I’ve thought of myself as one thing and more and more I’m being confronted with the idea that maybe I’m not even that thing at all–and if that’s the case, than who am I really?

I guess, the point is, that I do something towards the things I’m avoiding. I’m gearing up from wanting to edit videos today to then changing my Youtube channel banner art instead, to then moving away from editing videos after I scheduled my next video for release tomorrow and then even further to just writing this post (which I’ll be ending soon because my attention span is already waning a lot) to then just watching a movie, working on my film review TIH blog post and reading a book IYF and watching Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy tonight.

I’m tired, I’m anxious and I’m just deadpan.

I hate that I cannot output as much as I would like or expect of myself, but, I guess it is what it is. I still want to comb my hair today and brush my teeth, because I haven’t quite done that just yet. Then I will watch Thor and also take stock of an estimated updated timeline for the MCU rewatching parties.

I guess what matters is that I keep trying.

And maybe, here I am hoping, that maybe one day that’ll be enough.

Well, I have to go make these things into reality now.

I’ll see you all tomorrow.

🖤🖤🖤

Post written May 20th 2021 at 2:45p; then again at 3:30p. Posted by 3:45p EST

PS Another way my avoidance behaviors are impacting all areas of my life include: the time I waste every day on Youtube binges, the avoidance impacting my work at Amaryllis, the avoidance impacting what I actually get done in a day (my productivity), my avoiding MCU and regular movies, my avoiding my fan fiction, my avoiding reading books, my avoiding blog posts, my avoiding (or this relationship in particular is a little trickier) editing videos, my avoiding news related information (so like what’s happening currently in the world like at Hamas; usually I’m about 2 – 3 years late on current events) etc.

Challenging Myself | A Mental Health Awareness Month (2021) Day #2 Entry

It may no longer be 2018 but that doesn’t mean this thumbnail died or it cannot be revived into the present day. 💜❤💙

Honestly, there HAS to be a better hashtag for this entry that I’m just so unaware of and out of the loop about that I cannot, or don’t have the time right now, to find out about more thoroughly.

I thought I’d challenge myself with a continued post via the daily blogging I’ll be doing for this entire month of May (or at least 6 times a week, giving myself forgiveness if I can’t manage to make it on Tu’s because I’ll be working nights then) all about recovery, positivity, hope, mental health, returning to my roots and other fun things like tags, challenges, blurbs, creative writing (or otherwise art forms) and just getting back to that really public version of journaling that I do. I mean, it has to count for something to be written SOMEWHERE, right? Like, is my not writing in my journal physically in real life but doing so with a trail online a little better? Is it not some form of improvement?

It matters, right?

Doesn’t it.

I’d like to think so.

Is it all the way towards wise? Probably not. But it hasn’t gotten me into trouble yet, so, onward I shall plow!!

Any who, today’s post is more of just a blurb. I think one of the things I can manage to do this month is to “return to my roots.” Why did I start this blog? What branched off from my first entry into blogging (at least with a formal blog like this one on WordPress (so, not counting my deviantART days (which I still plan to return to someday))) and how has that goal and that focus changed from today?

Who am I exactly now that I wasn’t back in 2016?

Because, I’m pretty sure it’s a good chunk. Not a complete transformation but definitely a metamorphosis.

And I’d like to return to sharing that.

Also, with the fact that I explored into some creative writing original work–I seem to have found myself stuck in writing the woe is me Loki stuff (which, I mean, let’s be honest, it’s accurate) but also it’s pigeon-holed me into doing that across all mediums of creative writing (except, okay, maybe not poetry!! Which I STILL have old entries for from last year, ehehe) and that’s probably somewhat problematic. At least, when I want to write to write and not be writing in a particular fanfic mode. I think and imagine that some retraining and readjusting will be in order. Maybe I can find or facilitate a writing group… Hmm. Not a bad idea.

I started to look at crochet (one of the last times I spelled this I accidentally wrote “crotchet” and that’s not the same thing 🙄😨😰🤒) blogs and entries and I’ve always toyed with the idea of getting into that hobby (or at least discovering if I liked it or not) for about a year and I’ve finally decided I’m going to try it. So, likely tomorrow (I’ve got work again on Tu, out on Fri and now I’ll be hanging out with my significant other on Fri) I’m going to go to Michael’s arts and crafts store to buy my OWN set of hooks (just two max; my Mom is adamant that we have some old supplies of hooks at home but it’s the principle of the thing for me) and then some yarn, probably two or three max. I’ve heard/learned that dish cloths are good beginner stuff and there are some of those cute animals you can make that are beginner level too, so that’s what I’m gonna be trying out!!!

Work went well today, by the way. I actually started to write Chp 2 of my new story OWP but stopped legitimately in the middle of a sentence haha.

Ooof, I’m starting to feel tired, the day is starting to wear me down. I will say, lastly, that I was able to watch a couple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy both yesterday and today, I watched Shazam on TV with my Mom, I ate really well–eh, mostly–and I can’t wait for having ice cream tomorrow ahaha. I’m honestly already falling asleep so having more of a life update kind of post and short for my standards nowadays is enough of a challenge for one night. I definitely have a lot of work ahead cut out for me via this whole blogging re-acquaintance but I think it’ll be okay. I have faith in the process. And now, I sleep.

Good night!! And thank you for reading. Sending you all light and love and good movie nights ahead. 🤗🥰😛

🖤🤍💙

Written: 5/2/2021, 10:50-11:15pm EST

PS If you have an idea of current year’s hashtags for the mental health awareness month that is May, leave them down below!! And feel free to network or hop into the conversation as the month progresses forwards. XXX

One Woman’s Persistence (An Original Story) | Chapter 1

Hello!

Welcome to May and it’s Mental Health Awareness Month (alongside borderline personality disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable personality disorder (EUPD) awareness month as well). For the month of May, my goal is to return to the world of blogging each day (if not five or maybe six times a week) with some sort of blog post along the topic of mental health conditions awareness, some fun stuff and recovery oriented endeavors.

As today is the first, I will be sharing a fresh new story that I’m apparently embarking on. It’s actually an original story (so, not fan fiction) with original characters and a timeline that I have no idea will be explored. I’d say the chapters will probably act more as one-shots but that may change at the same time too.** (**If you’d be interested to see my character description for our main character, let me know in a comment and I’ll do a dedicated post to that in the future!! Or you could just wait until I describe it more naturally as the story goes on. Either way 😁😊)

I basically needed to vent from work today so this is what I came up with to do just that. All the names and characters and true inspiration has been changed for confidentiality purposes and so I won’t be discussing so much what happened to me in real life but rather through the bits and pieces of what really happened and how I’m going to handle my reactions towards those things.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle either being disrespected or teenagers, thaaaaaat’d be great. Leave them in a comment down below!!! Teenagers are definitely pretty ruthless so any feedback on how to not take their scathing replies personally or how to leave work stuff behind at work and not take it home with you would be SO helpful for me!! I’d love your feedback in any way that I can gobbler it in.

My plan with the rest of today (as I do have work again tomorrow morning): is to reread and edit this first chapter, place it into this post without further much ado, watch maybe a Grey’s Anatomy episode on Netflix, brainstorm ideas for tomorrow’s post (whether that’s a tag, an old film review, watching a new MCU movie, etc.), reading a book, gaming with Animal Crossing and then just going to sleep early is well, erm, that’s it, that’s my plan. 😁😅🤗

So, here is my story and let me know in the comments what you think!! I’ll be back tomorrow to see you all again. I’ve honestly been trying to write a couple of blog posts behind the scenes but this is the first time it’s really gotten further than just rewriting the same sentence or working only a little on a MCU movie review.

Any ways, that’s it. Thanks for reading!!!


“One Woman’s Persistence”

Chapter 1

It wasn’t exactly the type of job she’d ever imagined for herself.

 

Sure, she’d worked with kids before.

 

Okay, they were her siblings. No surprise there.

 

But she didn’t realize, didn’t think, couldn’t have imagined that she’d be where she is now, scrubbing running mascara off her face in the bathroom, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably as hot tears rolled down her white highlighted cheeks.

 

“Damn,” she croaked, her voice breaking between her sobs.

 

I really thought I was stronger than this.

 

And, naturally of course, following that was:

 

If I knew I’d be crying today, I wouldn’t have worn so much makeup.

 

She couldn’t help but let out an airy chuckle bitterly.

 

This wasn’t exactly the way she thought her job would go. She was working at a trauma informed residential for youth where they were placed to protect their safety and to stabilize their moods before they went through either adoption or foster care.

 

They were rambunctious little five-year old’s up to twelve-year old’s that needed a hefty amount of redirection but it wasn’t them she had trouble with. Rather, this crying spell was because of the cruelty in words the older teens had unleashed.

 

Sure, she understood it wasn’t (necessarily) personal. They were going through hell and abandonment themselves, lashing out at anyone not just because they could but because, maybe, they thought these other adults could take it?

 

But Jazz would be kidding herself and making a mockery of her tear-stained face if she ever dared to think she could have taken it—because, obviously, she couldn’t.

 

And it was more than just the disrespect that stung. It was more than the power struggle, the embarrassment that sizzled on her skin for having other teens present to witness her humiliation, it was more than all of that and had everything to do with the frequent verbal leadup that eclipsed the entire event, pushing Jazz past her breaking point.

 

“Go back to your fucking little kids house where you belong.” The teen, red-faced and blue eyes narrowed in a glare had growled. “Who do you think you are? Telling me what to do?” the teen, Pez, spat, because his words slid out like the candied pieces of a Pez machine, his white skin, freckled and red, resembling more of a caricature than a real human being. “I ain’t some three-year-old you can boss around. I’m seventeen. I’m human. You can’t tell me what to do.” Pez looked down for a moment, hairs bristled. “You ain’t my Momma.”

 

Hate sliced through him again, “Get the fuck outta here.”

 

He leaned back in his chair, the wood smacking the wall as it angled.

 

Jazz had wanted so much to have a clever retort, a witty comeback, a swift end of discussion maneuver, a challenge to return even if it was only verbal.

 

But instead, all she felt were the tears coming. And she was alone.

 

No other staff on this side of the house within the facility of five other houses and she couldn’t just run away, either.

 

Instead, she just bit her lip taunt, teeth clamping onto hot pink, like she was doing now, between the hiccups of pain and the scars of a fresh wound.

 

When she did manage to get away, about twenty minutes after the air had returned to cool and she could see the lashing fading from the teen’s body, and cast a glimmer of pain at her none the wiser co-worker (save me, please) she drifted away to the bathroom where she was bawling in now.

 

Jazzelle hadn’t had it easy growing up in her dysfunctional household: with parents that split on each other in a nasty divorce, her mother ending up taking her own life and her father drowning in his guilt as he remarried—Jazzelle often had to be the parent for herself and even more so later when her two younger siblings came into the picture, at least twelve years younger than her, by which Jazz was then sixteen.

 

By the time Jazz was a junior in high school, she had to lay herself down to the grass and give up: the trauma had been too much to bear alone and she realized she could no longer keep up in school (what was the point anyhow? She’d never make it to college) and had to drop out.

 

She got small jobs here and there, not much to help in rent or fun excursions, but it was better than nothing which was what she would have had without them.

 

Yeah, most nights she went hungry, but her sisters Margarette and Janese got to eat and that’s all that really counted.

 

By eighteen, Jazz was on her feet better than ever, or at least for the time being, as she moved out and got her own apartment with two roommates and assisted state living, succeeding in getting her GED and beginning cosmetology school.

 

Two and a half years after and thrust in the workforce, she found that while still passionate for her own self-expression and handling jobs on the side focused on hair and makeup, it wasn’t her main source of fulfillment anymore and the thought of doing it for the rest of her life was both nauseating and choke holding.

 

She had to crawl her way out of that existential crisis alone, too, but once she managed, she found her growing love for photography was maybe something worth pursuing professionally.

 

So, that’s what she had done.

 

She applied to a school in the city, packed up her bags and dove right in.

 

Four years into it after taking one year off, she was still working for her degree when she landed the position, part-time, at the residential.

 

While toying with the idea of wandering into a sociology degree, in the spare time that Jazzelle never had, she’d be entering into her forty-second week working before she was introduced to the older teens facilities upon her work’s campus. Sure, she’d have covered breaks before or arrived at the very end of the night or given out medications, but this time was her first time really thrown to the wolves as in being alone working on that side of the house with the teenage boys.

 

So, while things hadn’t exactly gone to plan: between her muffled cries, the snot and all the tears; the disrespect; the incessant tomfoolery; the blaming herself like when she did after her mother’s passing and the high natural order that she’d have to be back to work tomorrow morning—between all of that…maybe Jazz could have done more to prevent this from happening.

 

She was still slowly getting used to the fact that she didn’t work in a vacuum of space: she and her co-workers were a team and they protected one another, laying upon each other when they needed it, supporting, not always agreeing, and definitely offering feedback and posing the necessary questions.

 

…Jazz knew this.

 

She did.

 

It was just hard, still, to ask for help. To not just be the independent, strong woman she had needed to always be for herself, and to finally say, ‘Hey, maybe I can’t and don’t have to handle this alone.’

 

It was help that totally would have, if supplied right and given at the most opportune moment, completely prevented this sob story for having played out.

 

Jazz couldn’t have been crying for more than ten minutes but it felt like a forever sense of eternal damnation that she just wasn’t and couldn’t have properly prepared for.

 

But one small knock on the door, a tapping really, and she was reeling herself back in.

 

Forget what she could have done, what she could have said, what should or shouldn’t have happened, it was done and over with and while her voice was still hoarse and shaky as she mentioned, “Just a second,” her blue-green eyes fixed their stare at her reflection. She could see the lines on her face, the wrinkles like the Grand Canyon upon her forehead, her face battered from wearing the storm and when she scrunched up her pink lips, half crumpled with gloss and still half in place, she let out a long sigh and put that game face of hers back into play.

 

She’d handle the rest of the shift.

 

If she was lucky: away from Pez.

 

If not, tolerating him would have to be enough.

 

And while she may have a shake in her step or the hypervigilance to be aware of Pez and where his arms were at, she knew she’d be okay.

 

She knew she’d make it in tomorrow.

 

Because that’s just what Jazz did.

 

In the face of adversity, she persisted.

 


Written: May 1st 2021 between 4:45p – 6p; typed at 6:15p, edited by 7p, uploaded by 7:30p EST.

Thank you all so much once more, and let’s all hail for tomorrow’s upcoming return!!!

When you’re stressed out, how do you manage your emotions? Is there something you can turn to pretty easily to self-soothe and practice self-care? What could you do to challenge yourself in one small way going forwards?

All the best,

— xxx

💚💙🖤

I’m So Done. (Vent)

Honestly, I could have used this already in my last post–which has been an unbelievable 2 months ago–but I don’t care and I’m going to use it here anyways.

Hi.

It’s… been a while.

I’ve worked on a few book reviews in the months of Nov. mostly but it’s January 2021, a whole new year now, and I just need to find a place to write out my thoughts and work through my feelings and since a fanfic chapter wouldn’t work, here I am.

Returning to my roots.

I just need some space. That’s all.

And then I’ll try and handle everything else.

So, it’s been a while.

I don’t remember what my last post was. I don’t even really care right now either. I’ve had a helluva day and I’d like it to be over very soon. I’ve been more active on my Youtube channel, I attempted a Vlogmas 2020 but that kinda fell flat although I have plenty of footage from trying so that’s something. I posted a video last like two weeks ago, I think. I have more to work on and edit and handle soon. But as with everything in my life these days: I tackle one small thing and thirty others that I’ve been avoiding reappear and pop back up and I’m in a sliding scale of trying to maintain my sanity and my head on a level front and I just… I can’t.

And I don’t know where to go from here.

I’m just so lost, and lazy, and sad, and confused. My headphones jack wasn’t working on my new laptop so that was a hell of a 15 mins of trying to reconfigure that. I tried to install my second–third? Does having Windows Movie Maker built into my old laptop count?–video editing software back on Sun (or was it Sat?) and that blew up in my face and didn’t work because I’ve lost the serial number somewhere and I can’t work with the program. So, that sucked. I’m still only able to edit on WMM on my old laptop. And if that stops working? I’m basically fucked. I haven’t tried Pinnacle yet so I will do that next. But not today. I can’t handle one more letdown.

I managed to do some laundry which I’m glad about. I just have to toss them into the dryer now. I was trying to fix my bed because my Mom’s been complaining about it and made me aware of how much I’ve been avoiding it the past few months but somewhere in the middle of trying to fix it, I lost 1/4 of the space I had due to my pillows, (I almost said planets, ahaha), blankets, pajamas and toys. So that REALLY pissed me off. I tried to listen to music and the washer has been having problems. My ankle hurts today, I don’t know why, it didn’t before, but since 4:45p it was hurting and it hasn’t stopped. Maybe I twirled it wrong trying to crack it. It still hurts. But I was SO close to kicking with a socked foot the washer machine ’cause I was angry and all but I managed to not do that, luckily. Probably would have broken something. I listened to music instead and then I used opposite action and rubbed and talked to my doggo, Mokeys. That helped a lot.

Then the headphone jack happened. That was annoying. Luckily I managed to fix it (the sound was only coming out of the laptop’s speakers and not on my connected headphones)–I fiddled with it from a Google search and then default and disabling functions from speaker to headphones. Luckily it’s okay again. There is some hope yet that it won’t be a further issue in the future.

I fell asleep at 7:30p last night. I woke up at 4:30a today. I was up for two hours. I got together my laundry clothes and played Animal Crossing on the Switch. I woke again at 10a and tried to uncover the reasons for why my memory is so shit now and why and how I can be so distracted and all the things I had to do, spoke to my Mom and felt more overwhelmed and somewhat invalidated here and there and just worried about work and how I’ve been struggling in that realm even–mixing up rules and being too lazy there to do certain things, my difficulties with it, how to fix it or where to even start–and then I fell asleep a little again and was a little late to my saliva COVID-19 test. But I got there and it was okay. I got more gas for my car and the check engine light is permanently on but apparently it’s just from a misfiring connection from under the seat so it’s okay for now. I had work on Sun (as well as Th and Fri for the holidays) and it was a HARD shift. I had a day off and now tomorrow I have another work night. I hope it will go better. I don’t really believe in it that strongly though.

I’m just tired. I’m so tired of my bullshit and I’m just disappointed. I just want to coast by on my little irreparable boat and not have to worry about one thing or another. Like, why can’t I just coast for a while? I’m so tired. I just want it all to stop, for a little while. A break. Something nice. A reprieve. A small vacation.

I’m supposed to be working up to 3 days a week soon and I’m kinda dreading it right now. I’m just so burntout in life and I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve been sad, I’ve been worried, I’ve been rage-induced the last two days, I’d like to just be okay. That’s all I’m asking for.

Someone on third shift tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday evening so the whole cottage (there’s only 5 kids right now though) is under quarantine. Which means we can’t be bringing the kids to the gym or the computer lab so they’re all kinda cooped up in the cottage and we can only be outside the front if no one else is. The kids all have to get tested too. It’s kinda a mess. We’re gonna be in that for at least 10 days, I think that’s the new–next?–quarantine mission.

I feel a little better now. Listening to music and just getting it out somewhere. I really do have posts I can work on and everything, I just have been severely avoiding it all and procrastinating with Youtube a lot, filming or editing some videos here and there, being busy in general, picking up more holidays for Amaryllis, managing to write for SOME fanfic here and there and just rinse and repeat for the last two months.

I don’t know what I need exactly. I would like to listen to “Hold On” by Chord Overstreet but it’s not on the laptop. Maybe I will plop it in….

Ooop, I discovered some extra level bullshit: my headphones are in use and the music on Youtube just played through my speakers instead. Fuuuuuuuck. Maybe my whole “fixing” things didn’t actually. Great. Awesome. Wonderful. Why would it? 😫😣😑

I’ve listened to music so much today that now it all feels stale and boring. 🤔

I have been painting a lot more lately. I’ve been using those glitter explosion paints and really falling in love with them. I’ve done some wood and some coloring pages from my hygge book actually. I’ve had some photos up on Twitter. Honestly, I think that’s about all from me for now. I have to just slingshot my way into (that JUST reminded me: I have to get a new slingshot in ACNH but I think the store closes at 8p, Nook’s Cranny, unless it might be 10p…hmm) other tasks, as per usual. I’m tired but keep getting back up anyways. It’s a never ending cycle.

But I guess that’s life.

So here’s hoping I can write some more fanfic soon. Reread things. Read some BOOKS. Do some reviews. Watch some movies and MCU movies. Write more fanfic. Challenge avoidances and procrastination. Go to work. Manage my moods. Do all my therapy homework. Enjoy my massage. Practice for my presentation. And enjoy a few more days off.

We’ll see.

I’ll try not to be gone for two months again. 😊

Thank you for reading what I wrote. I’ll try my best. That’s all I can manage right now. Say hello or tell me how you’re doing (really doing) in the comments and I’ll answer them as soon as I’m able to. Stay safe and take care during this whole pandemic thing.

xxxx

💜💙💚🤍🖤💖

PS I am safe by the way. Other than a few instances where I could have self-harmed, thought about it, considered it, saw it in my mind (the washer and scratching) I did not do them. I won’t do them either. I know where to get help when I need it. I just needed a place to spew it all out for now. And this served its function. I genuinely do feel better now, at least better than when I began, which is a whole other thing I could talk about (mixed signals, not getting satisfying amounts of help, interpersonal effectiveness, friends who are actually there when I need them and not just when they say they will be and just vanish otherwise etc.) but for now it has to be enough. I need to move on. So, I’m going to. Safe, safe, safe. Just don’t always feel that way. 💔🤍🖤

Welcome to My Tracking Systems Reception! | Part 1

Tracking THUMB = 5.7.20


Why hello there young Reader, and don’t you worry by the title because you don’t have to go very far!! I am bringing this special reception to YOU on this post, on my blog. My hope is that this post will inspire you in some manner or give you some further insight into how I do things to help track my moods, thoughts and behaviors many times daily, and some weekly, or at least to get some kind of daily/weekly blend that turns monthly, even, too.

So, sit back and enjoy the sights because this is the first time I’ve done photography in a very long time and it’s to show you guys all of my tracking objects with some examples tossed into the mix, too. A beautiful blend of narration (so to speak!) and photo visualization. Welcome aboard!! And, if you’re so kind, please leave me a comment at  the end of what step was YOUR favorite or what you’d like to see from me next or what type of tracking and engagement you do in your own life!

Let’s begin!!

**As of working on this post into the evening of May 7th, I’ve decided to section it off into 3 parts because there are 9 tracking systems so this will end the first part today and over the next two weeks I’ll write up and publish the last two parts. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you enjoy this read! 😀 I’ll see you at the end. ❤


OBJECT #1:

Calm the Chaos Journal

IMG_4177

Photo taken by me on May 7th 2020. ❤ I used my new large origami paper for the background. I tried to be fancy for these photos and got to use/share my paper stars, too!! Something to feast your eyes and look forwards to ahead from here! 🙂

Began: January 2020

From: My individual therapist from my day program, Passages. She wrote this note at the start of it:

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Contents & Set-Up: This journal begins with a necessary and optimistic promise of what the reasoning and meaning and purpose is lay hidden behind the idea and notoriety of this particular form of journaling. It’s a great journal to set about self-care goals and an assessment of the present day through a multitude of factors, with well-fitting spaces to write in, and a goal section for the following day ahead. The prompts are scattered well enough that it never becomes monotonous in the daily grind.

For instance, I will have photos in the visualization section for you all to get a sense of the journal, as well as laying it out deliberately and expertly here in written form.

On the “Today…” section there are questions regarding how self-care was performed by the Writer: sleep, bodily movement, something fun or pleasurable just for the Writer, taking time for meditation or reflection, ate nourishing food, went outside for fresh air and other.

Continuing on this section, is an act of kindness performed for someone else, the most memorable moment of the day for the Writer, and a small gratitude for the day.

On the “Tomorrow…” section there are 15 varying prompts that change every 5 days. Some of this variety may be seen in the photographs below. They are different little sections prompting: what goals you have for the day ahead, courageous conversations that need to be had, things to let go of, priorities, intentions, to-do’s, the day’s purpose, guiding mantras, etc.

Visualization Examples:

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Snapshot from early January 2020.

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Mid-February.

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Most recent, from last night.

 

How Much is Left: 1 Week’s worth of entries

This journal is made by: Nicola Ries Taggart

Estimated Price: $15.00

My Pitfalls: As with this object and many of my other Tracking Systems, I fell off tracking between the entirety of March, half of February and some of April 2020. I was able to restart from the present day rather than trying to go back and fill in old entries (meaning, if my last entry was 2/27, and I fell off until March 8th, I began again just onwards from March 8th). Sometimes if I was only a day behind I made the notation: “nd for next day” and carried on from there. So with my falling behind I wrote in it for the months of Jan (almost each day completely save for 3 days I missed), half of Feb, the end of March, half of April and all of May.

My Recommendation Score:

If you’re someone who wants to improve their level of self-care practices and be motivated and inspired to handle this level of tracking, I’d highly recommend it, if for little else than prioritizing the day ahead, embracing the successes of the day itself, and for a reference point/snapshot of the past to look back on and improve or replicate into the future.

My score?

7/10


OBJECT #2:

“Stay Magical” ~Daily Goal System

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A great sized stationery pad of goal setting wizardry!

Began: ~April 20th 2020

(A couple sheets covered multiple days for reading goals)

From: TJ Maxx

Setup: So at the very top of the pad of paper is the phrase “Stay Magical” with stars in a silvery rainbow surrounding it. At the middle of the bottom edge of the page is a white unicorn with rainbow hair (always nice). The first left box says “Your Dream Goal”, the bottom left says “Reach for the Stars” and the whole lined with boxes right side says “Make your wishes come true” with the ability for you to effectively check off steps as they are accomplished. 😀

Visualization Examples:

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This is today’s goal which is a lot more complicated and multi-faceted than most of my others. Some of the ones I’ve had include reading goals with set measurements (say 1/2 way through or read 20 pages) or have a good day at work by X means.

In this example I have said that I wanted to interact with blogging as well as do blogging which is a check for having been done. Read a book (not yet), and complete laundry (which I forgot about again).

In the other two sections I wrote little reminders to myself to help ease the transition of all the work I needed to do today or at least tried to do today and then on the right I added a general intention for my to-do’s.

How Much is Left: Just began; 80 sheets total, about 70 left.

Estimated Price: $5.00

Why Utilized? I began to utilize this new function when I created or recreated my Motivational Binder. In it I have a bunch of other tracking systems and it helped me to get my mind around factors I was trying to get back into, probably not surprisingly was returning and, in many ways, revamping my Tracking Processes. I started to do it the night before for the day ahead as a way to pronounce what I’d like to do the next day as per the encouragement and idea from my therapist, June. So, that’s what I’ve relatively been regularly doing, with some missed days here and there or goals that cannot quite be completed all at once or require a few extra days and ongoing maintenance to accomplish. 🙂

Pitfalls: Making more than one goal on it is a lot trickier to manage. I think I temporarily lost the reading one I had, that specific sheet, somewhere and now I can’t find it or figure out if it was the same one I found in the binder jacket or if it was an additional reading one. Damn. Also, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming or I miss tracking in other ways particularly on nights where I return home from work at Amaryllis. That is hard, too. I like to hand them up onto my whiteboard to pull it down again when I start my day and this helps, mentally, a bit, too.

Adding them to my Motivational Binder gets a little backlogged too because I have to hole punch them so I have a bunch at the moment that are loose and not yet inside my binder. 😛 However, it’s also the first working list/stationery pad that I’m utilizing more often than letting them sit in a box somewhere else in my room, ahaha.

My Recommendation Score:

7/10


OBJECT #3: (Final piece for today’s post, see adjusted title as this is now a 3 part series!!)

My Journal

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This is my current journal, it has a sparkly, glitter-y mess with bokeh and the phrase “Sparkle On” in script font. It took me forever to decide if I wanted to start the year with this one or a space panda or another journal from the stack I have in my room, ahaha.

Began: January 30th 2020

From: 120 sheet journal from Michael’s

Set-Up: This is a blank lined journal with a gray bookmark page holder. This is my first complete journal for the year 2020, with part of last year, maybe about 6 months worth fitted into my last journal. I do my best to complete this journal’s entries daily.

I write my therapy notes in this journal, I write my group notes from program in it, any time I need to make a little pro’s/con’s sheet, visualize something I need to work on and most often, about my day.

So I have this system within my systems of SotD’s which are Scores of the Day. On a scale of 0 to 10 I rate if my day was really shit and pants as a 0 (barely ever happens) and 10 being like upscale amazing, so good that I’m seeing rainbows and unicorns everywhere (which I have made a few times!!).

On average, I score an 8.

I decide these numbers based on my gut reaction to the question of how my day went. If the number 7 shows up more than 8, I write 7, or if I’m conflicted I’ll do a decimal point system (7.5 etc.).

Additionally, I hallmark this type of tracking the most in my planner–something I actually don’t think I’ve shared in a blog post before, at least the one that I’ve been using for 2019-2020. I have my 2020-2021 that will also be in a video soon but yeah, maybe I’ll include either a link or a photo to it when I get to that part of this blog post series (which is not today).

Anywho, back to the journal! I, OFFICIALLY, begin my journal with the day of the week, the month, day and year and then the time that I began writing. Then I move down and do my SotD and then I use these notations: TA for Today’s Accomplishments (sometimes, if I’ve fallen behind I’ll use YA for Yesterday’s Accomplishments or if it’s been a significantly long time from having fallen behind then I’ll just put the date of that day near it) and proceed in number format to write out my accomplishments and sometimes, although I’ve mostly discontinued it for the time being, I wrote out TN for Today’s Notes, like other thoughts or things to remind myself of from that day that don’t fit in as accomplishments. Phew! That was a lot, right?

Visualization Examples:

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Photo taken in May of 2020 of a day from April 2020.

And another little glimpse of me just saying stuff at the very end of the journal entry:

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I was particularly chatty at the end of this entry and feeling high maintenance for my tracking is just top-notch and a very me thing to happen. Ahaha.

How Much is Left: More than half.

Estimated Price: $5.00

Why Utilized? The best reason I have for doing this system is to keep and maintain, ideally daily, weekly then turning into monthly, a record of how I am doing. There’s something nice about quantifying an experience and getting out thoughts and feelings and, hell, sometimes behaviors, by tracking it down and looking back on it later.

True, I haven’t gotten to the part where I can look back on my journals and my writings and the things that come out of my skull and into my fingers and onto ink on paper, but, the biggest motivation I have behind it is to learn from what I wrote, have the power of perspective and to eventually, one day I SWEAR, make weekly catalogued video posts about them all. I don’t know, I just find it so fascinating to have a daily catalogue of my thoughts and how things were going and I think it really helps to mold my day together because if I don’t it’s almost like it didn’t happen, you know?

I want to film videos about them in the future, I still haven’t done it YET but I look forward to it. I wonder how I would structure that… hmm, I’d have to fiddle with it first,  I think. Maybe I’ll journal about it tonight, ahaha.

And in a lot of ways, this is like my handwritten journal that I can take stock of what I did that day, from the little accomplishments to the big ones, and it creates a record of some kind, maybe a little monotonous and needless to some people’s eyes but still a record all the same (although I don’t know how it would help anyone else out there, unless they wanted to visit my mind and what I valued in that day, ahaha). And in that record I can utilize all the things that I did even online that day that go into the log. 😀

Pitfalls: High-maintenance. It requires daily entries, me setting aside that time to do so, looking at my planner and my day and how/what I did hour by hour, scanned hour by hour more so, and what I’m thinking in that moment and just cataloguing my thoughts. Then if I get behind for a few days I have to go back and either skip them (which I hate doing) or just list them late and fill them in (which I try to do instead and will have to do over multiple mediums for this week). I personally like to start new days as new headings at the top and won’t fudge the timing very much if at all. Besides being somewhat high-maintenance though it does rely quite a bit on other tracking forms being completed so if I haven’t done that in multiple objects, then things get even shakier. Luckily this doesn’t happen TOO frequently.*

My Recommendation Score:

9/10


*To be honest, I’ve gotten so used to my tracking systems, some that I’ve been doing for over 2 years, that it really is just part of my regimen before I go to sleep at night. Some things will come and go, that’s for sure, journals especially, but overall it helps me. If not in the present moment then definitely as a reference point back in time or a future video or content creation later on, hence this blog post, to be honest.

So what do my other tracking objects consist of?

Well, you’ll have to wait and see…

 

 

Nah, I’ll tell ya!

But I’ll tell you in CODE! :O (If you know my tweets you may know these answers sooner)

P, ST, DC, 5YJ, H., M., RB: this last one is only weekly–so it only slightly counts and doesn’t make up the main 9 that I use (it’s also new!).

Above all though, thank you SO MUCH for reading.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and got some further insight into my mind and if nothing else, what works for ME! Going forwards I do see myself incorporating new tasks into my regimen or daily/weekly cataloguing. (Think bullet journal and I’m Awesome, Here’s Why journal, which I JUST got).

Thanks again!!!!

What do you do for tracking, if anything at all? How does it make you feel and what works best in your system? Has this post at all encouraged or inspired you in creating or adding to your system? Let me know! 😀

 

xxx ❤ ❤ ❤

PS Who wants to bet that Twitter fucks up my main image for this post? XD

PPS You can also bet that tonight I’ll be jotting down the way I structured this post for future reference into the next week’s parts! ^_^