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Gratitude Journal
January 16, 2003
4:33 pm
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I've been diligently working at getting not depressed and have resurfaced and I've been feeling really actually good for the first time in a long time, I think. I suppose this is why I've been away from the computer, maybe.

The main things I realized, since I have yet to find an antidepressant that does not have bad side effects with me, was getting sunlight and an hour of exercise every day. It was SO hard to get started, now I make sure to do some every day. I also was instructed to start a daily gratitude journal (amongst other things). Writing down 5 things I was grateful for every day was surprisingly difficult at first. Now I'm actually finding it hard to limit it to 5 things! I also had to write a gratitude letter to someone from my past who I have not thanked, which was hard to do as well because it had to be someone unexpected.

I just wanted to pop by and say hello and post what has been helping me most, in case anyone might want to try it out and see if it helps them, too.

I feel very different now. I suppose I was in a very bad patch for a long time, and it's expected that it should change me. I am a lot more calm now, though that may just be the drugs (har har har), and maybe a little more passive. I still get my feathers ruffled but sometimes I find myself quite unexpectedly sitting back and saying, this is not worth getting worried about/upset/depressed/hateful about. I am enjoying the little things, things I have begun to notice through my gratitude journal, things to luxuriate in. Like a sweet hard candy, rolling the moment around in your mouth and understanding it's flavor.

So hello, and be well. 🙂

January 16, 2003
4:51 pm
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Hi Cici,
So good to hear a Positive posting!
I love your attitude.
Thanks for sharing. Hugs

January 16, 2003
6:05 pm
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Yay Cici! So glad to see you, and *very* happy that things are looking up for you.

January 16, 2003
9:20 pm
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Hi Cici, was just wondering about you again today...so glad to hear you are doing well. Good for you kiddo..
((((Cici)))

January 17, 2003
8:38 pm
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It made me angry at first, reading a book about positivistic psychology. It was reactionary, and immature. I've always known that I was the only one ultimately responsible for how I feel about the world I live in, and to put my own happiness and in my hands, to be responsible for myself - it was scarey.

Like I said in therapy...I am afraid to let go. All these years, who will I be without all the burdens, all the endless mulling and self-flagellation and guilt? Who will I be if I am not depressed any more? It's scarey. I don't know. The unknown is scarey. And also, frighful to think on it. I have to choose to focus on my gratitude, to push away from the sinking memories and pain and try to focus more on the richness of the moment.

It's still scarey. I had a moment today, where I was shambling and shuffling again. I was tired, and my back hurt, and my head ached (a usual occurance lately with the Lexapro). I sat down, hunched, and felt my shoulders, which had crept up to my ears. I was tired and I thought, I can get up and do 45 minutes of exercise, or I can sit here and mull and smoke more cigarettes and be upset. So I exercised. I feel better now. Hah! Who woulda thought.

So, I've also been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life. Aaron is encouraging and supportive. Since I've been exercising regularly the last 6 weeks or so I've felt so much better.

You're right, mj - it is nice to hear a positive post. Just keep rollin with the punches!

January 20, 2003
5:35 pm
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Hey Cici,

good to see you back!

Funny, I seem to have browsed past your post several times. Propably because I find the title difficult. The thought of putting good things down in writing ist difficult for me. Maybe I think it would break the spell, and the things to be grateful about would go away and hide - if I come after them whith a pen and paper.

But then I haven't done any journalling, either since I was a young teen. (My grandma found my diary and tsk-tsked over it quite a lot, yuck! That certainly put me off writing personal things down.)

So I do admire your courage. Maybe I should try writing more.

Take care!

January 21, 2003
6:23 pm
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Yeah, eve - you are totally right. It was one of the hardest things in my therapy process to actually just start the journal. At first, the things I was grateful for - well it was half assed. Because there are SO many things to be pissed about, unfair BS, past traumas you never asked to experience. So I was grateful for being able to make it through the day. I was grateful to have food to eat. That kinda thing.

I made it into a nightly ritual. I keep a little spiral bound notebook and pen by the bed, and all it is, page after page, is just that list of 5 things to be grateful for, day after day. No other words, or mulling. Just the gratitude. It is a scarey thing, though.

It made me angry. I cried a few days ago for 2 days straight. My eyes were so swollen, and Aaron said he'd never seen someone with such swollen eyes not due to being hit in the face!!! I dunno still why I cried...

But, I am still in the process of changing my perspective. No one can un-do the habitual ways of coping and perceiving that you've relied on for 20+ years...but somehow, little things come over me and encourage me.

Like the exercising thing. So hard to get started, now I look forward to it every day. And today I rollerbladed for the first time since I was about 16! I fell a lot! AND, since I couldn't find Aaron's elbow pads, I jammed my poor elbow.

But by the end of the 2 miles I skated, I looked back and realized something...I would never had finished this before. Not since the last time I was victimized, anyways. I would have turned back, or more likely never even have attempted this new thing...I would have been too scared of getting hurt.

But this time, I just laughed when I fell, and got up and kept going. I hurt now, OUCH!, and it may seem like something so little, yet....it's goin' in the gratitude journal tonight!

I dunno...it is scarey. I'm still finding out an identity I had suppressed, while in survival mode, for so long. Who is this girl who is laughing so much now? How did she hide for so long? Who is she now, without so much depression, pain, and guilt? It's scarey to change old habits, and old habits die so freakin' hard.....

January 21, 2003
6:41 pm
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Cici!
Way to go!
You are emulating such positive energy and modeling healthy behavior for all of us.
Thank You for Sharing.
I am grateful for your influence.

January 22, 2003
12:36 am
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This was cool. It's been almost 4 years since I kept a gratitude journal. They work. I remember crying when I was first getting into them. They bring back feeling memories of the safe, carefree, adventurous, and innocent moments of childhood. I don't know about you, but I cried because I longed for them. After a while of writing in my gratitude journal, they came. Then I quit writing in it, kuz it just seemed so silly. Old habits might die hard, but they come back so easily! How, I'm not sure, but they do. I've been employing old coping strategies over the past few months, but I forgot about this one! I'm gonna start a new gratitude journal again. Tonight. Thanks. this was way cool.

January 22, 2003
2:29 pm
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Cici~

Maybe you've stumbled upon a great thread for AAC. I think a graditude thread would be great!!!

We'll let you start if you want.

One thing that has really helped me to release all the negative thoughts about my life was meditation. I have a specific tape I use, I found it when I was an aerobics instructor. It's by a guy named Scott Cole, he is a big fitness guru guy....but of course I can't think of the name of the tape...I'll have to get back to you on the name once I get home.

Anyway, you lie down on the ground, letting the earth carry your weight, you raise your knees up so that your feet are flat on the ground. You visualize a white light coming in thru your scalp, the white light surrounds your entire body, every organ, every muscles, every bone. Once you have gone thru your whole body, the white light flushes thru you like a water fall, from the top of your head to your heals and releases all the negativity inside you into the earth.

It can be pretty powerful, I've done it at times and woke up crying from the release of all the negativity. It helps me a lot.

I guess you could say I'm thankful for my meditations.

I'm so glad to hear you doing so well and being so positive. We are all responsible for our own life and our own happiness. When I stopped being the victim, I started living my life!!

Good for you!! Be well.

January 22, 2003
6:59 pm
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Hah! Gratitude, a very obvious but much ignored way of coping with hard times. I am grateful to be alive, to have food to eat. I am grateful for red nail polish and the way you feel when you take a shower after sweating a lot - perfectly clean. I am grateful for the smell of clean sheets, and I am grateful for scarves because they're so damned multi-purpose! I am grateful for those icy hot patches that they sell now for sore muscles! The swelling around my elbow is starting to go down.

And I kept up my exercise, even with the bum elbow, I sat on an ancient exercise bike I found in the garage and peddled with my right arm in a sling. Aaron laughed when he saw me when he got home from work.

Oh, I am grateful for this new job I got! It's part-time, for a non-profit company that offers tutoring and life-skills classes for learning disabled college students. I'm tutoring now, a psych class and a reading class for one student. It's my dream job for now, low key, good pay, flexible hours...

Here's to looking up instead of down all the time!

January 23, 2003
1:04 pm
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Beautiful Cici~

I am grateful for the blue, sunny sky today, haven't seen it in a while and the temp outside is -9 right now so the sun is quite welcomed.

I am grateful for my friends, my sisters and my children.

I am grateful that I got to spend 15 long years with my precious dog before she had to go.

I am grateful for coffee and diet coke.

I am grateful for my laptop...so I can work at home on days like today when my son is home sick with the flu.

January 23, 2003
1:50 pm
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I've never heard of this but I'll try it.

*************************************

* I'm grateful I found this website where I don't have to be perfect, I can unload and get valuable input.

* I'm grateful I .....

(this is hard!)

* I'm grateful I have a family who loves me.

* I'm grateful I have found a lady to buy one of my horses because the extra money will be nice to save.

* I'm grateful my aunt in sunny Florida has invited me for a stay in March because I can use some mindless beach time away from all stress.

(that's four? This must be an acquired skill. I'm really not ungrateful but just having a hard time thinking here!)

* I'm grateful Cici shared this idea because something this thoughtprovoking has just GOT to be good for me/ all of us here.

*************************************

DID IT!! 🙂

January 23, 2003
2:20 pm
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Koudos SFB!!!

It's not easy. But you can be thankful for even the tinyest of things. Like Cici being thankful for red nail polish and I diet coke.

I've heard that you should do it at the end of each day. Sit down on your bed with a notebook and write 5 things you were thankful for that day. It really does help you start to look at the more positive things in your life.

I am thankful that I have met a whole bunch of friends of AAC!!!!!

January 23, 2003
2:34 pm
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Got it. Can always find junk food to be thankful for in case of very bad day.

🙂

January 24, 2003
8:51 pm
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Yeah, it works best if you do it right before you turn out the light to go to sleep. That way, the last thing you actively ponder is something positive and thought-provoking.

My job is slightly frustrating. The Progress Notes, Assessment sheets and activity logs are endless, but I get paid to help out with creating the necessary forms.

January 25, 2003
4:31 pm
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I'm grateful for this "safe" place to vent and get some valuable advice and support

I'm grateful that I can share my deepest fears here and no-one will tell me I'm a terrible person.

I'm grateful that people here have the courage to admit that they have these fears/thoughts too

I'm grateful that during my day, when I meet people who act like they are so much better than me, then I read these threads and I realise that EVERYONE has their demons/insecurities, and that the people I met are just very good at covering up

January 27, 2003
12:20 pm
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Cici you inspire me.

I have never heard of the greatful journal but I want to start a journal for myself.

I am greatful because I like my hair. I can braid my own hair and I like it.

I am greatful that I can pay extra money in my car payments.

I am greatful that I just dropped a big bum out of my life.

I am a single woman, educated and proud of most of my accomplishments!!

Wooopee!! THanks guys, this has put a smile on my face. Love you all!!!

January 27, 2003
1:56 pm
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I was watching "She's Having a Baby" overthe weekend on TV - with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Montgomery, I think....anyways, there's this scene where his wife is giving birth and there are complications and he's all upset because he thinks back on all the little moments in their lives together that he enjoyed.

It made me think...it really isn't the big,huge events that can make you truely satisfied with you life - it's learning to enjoy and savor the little moments. Pulling those out of your head and focusing on that. It's harder, I think, because we're so used to focusing on the negative - and there is much more of that to go around!

Like, sometimes I put on a slow song when Aaron comes home from work and we slow dance together in the living room. It's soooooo cheesy, I pull out some really klunkers like Pat Benatar, har har har. Sometimes we joke about it and lipsynch, sometimes it's very sweet and quiet and tender. But how very little I think on those moments, and how much I think on all the arguments, instead. Hrmmm......

January 27, 2003
2:54 pm
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I'm grateful that my nieces will come visit me in March.

I'm grateful that I finally finished this paper I was writing and got an encouraging response from the editor today.

I'm grateful for my fat grrumpy cat, he's a treat

I'm grateful that I didn't have to work this morning, and that I really got some things done.

I'm grateful that my Feldenkrais-gym course will start again this week - my back is impatiently waiting for it.

Hm, that wasn't too difficult. Didn't even hurt ;-). I think I'll give it a try at home.

January 27, 2003
5:10 pm
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Cici~

How true, I've had to do that in my relationship with bf lately.....taking assesment and thinking about all the little things, special memories, that just make us click.....

Lately it's been big fights and huge ego's and I like to think back on the walks on the beach, the mountain biking, the poems and songs that he writes me and the really great little things.

Today, dispite all that he and I are going thru......I am grateful for those memories.

I am also grateful for my warm cloths. (deep freeze is still here)

I am grateful for my intuition.

I am grateful for Kung Poa Chicken (yummmm)

I am grateful for my job.

I am grateful that I know how to get back in shape when I need to. (yes that would be now)

But then...I am also grateful for Reese's.

February 3, 2003
1:11 pm
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I am grateful for the 7 astronauts on the Columbia who had dreams, weren't afraid to dream, who died doing what they loved. I am grateful for their families who endure their losses with such courage. I am grateful that their example reflects such unconditional love.

I am grateful today, because I still have choices.

I am grateful today, because I can still dream.

I am grateful today because I still can love.

February 3, 2003
2:21 pm
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I am grateful for my kitty who loves me unconditionally and is so good at allowing himself to show that love without any human restraints.

I am grateful for the deepening friendship I'm developing with my mother.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people who I know, and the opportunities I have to learn from them, and hopefully to help them in return in some way.

I am grateful for the self-awareness and ambition I possess, and pray for the strength to follow thru with contribution to reach my EMS goals.

I am grateful I know how to love and be loved, and that I have the luxury of that love in my life. Some never find that love.

February 3, 2003
4:14 pm
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I am grateful for this website because it is a place that I can come to when I am feeling lonely, and I can find friends here. 🙂

February 6, 2003
4:35 pm
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I am grateful my cute little sports car is finally paid for and all mine!!

I am grateful that I wasn't flying into my parking spot today like I usually do because I would be the new owner of a Chevy Avalanche instead of my trusty little paid for sports car.

I am grateful today went quickly at work. Had vague feeling of guilt all day. (hysterical laughter) (do not normally laugh at car accidents -- it was just SO SLOW it was funny) (try to tell someone you hit their vehicle while snorting, trying not to laugh because really, it ISN'T FUNNY!!)(more hysterical laughter)

I am grateful it is Thurs because it is a good TV night (I have no kids)(therefore all kinds of time for mindnumbing things on TV)

I am grateful my coworker whose vehicle I hit this morning was still nice enough to give me her lunch hour next week so I can get a touchup on my highlights. (is that shallow? I'm still fighting this urge to laugh, it's similar to when your best friend gets beaned in the face in gym class with a ball and while everyone else is rushing over concerned about the blood, you're lying on the floor trying to breathe, wiping your eyes and trying to stop laughing but every time you do, you just see her expression the nanosecond before the ball collided)(ok, am I sick or does anyone know what I mean here?)

I feel vaguely irreverent. I'm sorry, I just am very hyper this afternoon. Hope everyone has a good night!!

Careful in them parking lots! (collapses in howls)

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