Gratitude and Other Things: Sh*t I Did Last Week (Weekly Blog Series)

Gratitude and Other Things


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Wednesday

Wednesday

Getting a Gratitude Journal

You may have guessed by now that Wednesday is my default therapy day (although next week it’ll be Thursday).

So today I had yet another session with Shamyla and we talked a lot about adjustment and separating myself from that critical voice in my head.

I now know that my happiness will be dependent upon the separation of my Self from the impulsive thoughts that pop into my brain.

You can’t always control your brain, but you can control how you choose to react to it.

And so… I’ve bought myself a Gratitude Journal.

Yes. Finally. I’m in on the trend.

Shamyla suggested I take the plunge and start documenting, in an organized fashion, some of the good things I have in my life…

Normally I’m not one to try and force positivity out of shitty feelings, but there is something to this ‘positive thinking’ thing.

9 times outta 10, there’s probably something great that you’re missing out on as a result of focusing on the awful stuff. Or worse…said stuff is only semi-awful and your focus is turning it into something 10 times worse.

So yes… Gratitude Journal it is.

The one I got is by Pretty Simple Books (@prettysimplebooks on Instagram). Once it arrives, I’ll link it here.

Thursday

Thursday

Weird Day, Weird Mood

Today, I woke up at about 12:40 p.m. and have just been off all day.

I did meditate for 20 minutes, so that was probably good.

Right now, I don’t feel particularly happy or sad… just here.

It’s not great, but it’s not the worst thing in the world, either.

Thursday Night/Friday Morning

Thursday Night Friday Morning

I Can’t Sleep

I feel really bad right now. Almost like there’s no point to anything I do.

I’m laying here hating myself… feeling like I’m the worst person on the face of this earth. Like I’d be doing everyone a favor if I disappeared.

I don’t want to die, I just want to sleep. And not be. Like, not exist.

I want to be where it doesn’t hurt and I can’t hurt anyone else.

Those are just my thoughts right now, but I know I shouldn’t trust them.

Edit: I am seeking treatment for my suicidal thoughts, and I have a lot of tools that I utilize regularly if I don’t think I can cope with them alone. If you’re feeling a similar way, PLEASE call the your local Crisis or Suicide Prevention Hotline and TALK TO SOMEONE. The link will be at the end of the post, too. CALL IMMEDIATELY if you think you’re in danger right now.

Friday

Friday

Restarting An Old Book

I’m a little ashamed of how I was feeling last night and debating taking that part out.

Edit: I’m not going to. You should read it and know that you are NOT alone, and you are NOT a failure even if you’re seeking help (like me) and still have trouble. Progress, not perfection.

In the same token, I feel like it’s important to share that (lol- see above edit). So people can understand that recovery and therapy aren’t a smooth climb to the top.

You will still have nights where you feel like crap, even 10 years into your recovery.

What get better are your coping skills and your ability to tell yourself that none of it is true. It’s your brain firing off thoughts… you don’t have to act on them.

Anyway, I had to leave the house early today, so the Gratitude Journal hadn’t arrived yet. But it’ll be here tomorrow, most likely. Or later today.

Also, I picked up an old self-help book that I started but never finished. (I guess I wasn’t ready at the time.) And I’ve decided to start from the beginning.

It’s called The Motivation Manifesto (9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power) by Brendon Burchard, who you can follow on instagram right here.

You can grab it on Amazon through my link (if you just want the book) OR you can get it for free with a 12 week course & FB group with Brendon.

(The latter is how I got my own copy of the book.)

I’m more open to receiving this kind of information now, thanks to meditation.

It’s really started to resonate with me that I am in control of my own destiny. And also that ‘the rest of my life’ is a long time (thanks, GaryVee 😉 ).

I’ll let you know how I like it… maybe I’ll make a book review post!

Saturday

Saturday

Underwhelming Start to the Day

Yeah… today didn’t start out the way I had hoped.

I guess you can blame it on expectation. Next to comparison, expectation is the biggest killer of happiness.

When expectations go unmet, it leaves a void in you. Leaves you feeling like you’ve been slighted by the universe. Or that ‘somebody up there hates you’… you know the feeling.

Anyway, I was hoping to continue with my meditations, make it a daily habit. But I haven’t figured out how to work it into my routine yet. In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t really have a set routine

I’m not sure, do you think that would be helpful? To give my morning routine more structure? It’s always felt restricting or limiting when I did it before, but maybe I wasn’t doing it well.

Please comment below if you have suggestions!

Sunday

Sunday

Staring At The Ceiling, Layin’ In Bed…’. – The World Is Over, Bif Naked.

I spend a good 1-2 hours laying in bed after waking up.

Definitely not one of those people who can pop right up out of bed… never have been.

And it gives me a lot of time to think about random shit that others probably don’t spend much time on. Or maybe they do and just don’t talk about it. But I’m sure as hell gonna write about it.

I was thinking about when I was in Cape Verde… and the value of money.

They have their own currency there, but no other country uses it, so they accepted the European Euro from tourists.

There was a particular moment when Bush and I were walking down the beach and saw a man selling handmade jewelry. He told us he lived on one of the other islands (we were on Boa Vista) and could only get to this one by boat.

He’d then spend all day sitting on the beach- with his SUPER cute pet monkey, btw-  waiting for people to pass.

We bought a few of his pieces, and although I could tell I was running out, the Euros had no value to me. No real value, anyway.

In fact, if I had any left when I got back to the UK, I’d probably just keep them as souvenirs. Or even leave them on a shelf, like a penny.

They’re just little pieces of metal and paper. And yet to  this man on the beach, they were the difference between his next meal and going to bed hungry.

Of course, I feel the same way about USD. I need it to survive.

It’s so funny… these little pieces of metal and paper represent the value of life to us, however indirectly.

Other than that, money is a man-made object and we can always make more. It has no value beyond the importance we give it.

Is that progression or regression? I don’t really know.

Naïveté or Evolution

Naïveté or Evolution?

Speaking of evolution, I just had a thought…

So, we all know that Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) is leaving Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital- I know… *sad face* :(.

But I can’t help but think back to the time when she and Alex Karev were first getting to know each other. They’re sitting on an airplane, right? And one of their patients had just died.

If you’re familiar with the show, you know that Arizona is a pediatric surgeon, so this is particularly heart wrenching.

Arizona keeps talking about her plans for the future, and Karev snaps on her… asks her what the hell is wrong with her, ‘talking about rainbows and crap’ when a kid just died.

Arizona gets real serious, then basically tells Karev that she knows EXACTLY what just happened, knows all about ‘the tiny coffins’. But that you still have to make plans for the future and move on to the next kid.

Basically, the tragedy at present shouldn’t take away the joy of the future, and the joy of the future shouldn’t take anything from the tragedy at present.

They’re two separate things.

But this came to mind because I JUST got my Gratitude Journal in the mail, and the thought came about how some people don’t believe in this practice. They think it’s a waste, or silly.

There’s this assumption that people who choose to see the best in the world aren’t aware of ‘what really goes on.

Basically, people who find happiness are ‘dreamers’ with no concept of reality.

Ummm… yeah, I call bullshit on that.

First of all, I know a few negative people who still have no concept of ‘what really goes on’ in the world. They’re too negative to look beyond what they perceive. So at best, they’re just ignorant assholes.

Second, knowing that there’s some awful shit happening in the world and still being able to see the good in it? I think that’s an entirely new level of intelligence.

Some might go so far as to call it ‘enlightenment’.

That should be fucking goals, in my humble opinion.

But I don’t know… what do you think? Drop a comment.

Monday

Monday

Man, I love the rain…

It’s so beautiful and relaxing.

The sound of heavy falling rain is more relaxing than a bubble bath for me. It makes me feel at peace… not always “better”, but definitely at peace.

If I were dressed for it- meaning not wearing a dress and swede peep-toe pumps- I’d be outside letting it fall on my head. Letting it wash away my stress, my negative feelings. Anything that’s still inside my head and my heart that isn’t serving me right now.

There’s a decision (or a thought) that I’ve been rolling around in my head for a few weeks, and I can’t figure out what my next move is. I can’t tell yet whether it’s an instinct or my anxiety acting up. I’m hoping that continuing with my daily meditations will bring some clarity.

Tuesday

Tuesday

Being Comfortable With Discomfort

So I’m being treated for anxiety, right? And it’s really, really hard for me to sit still or be bored in general.

I’m always fidgeting, or some part of my body is tingling or itching, and it’s hard for me to stay in the moment.

For these reasons, long meditations can be uncomfortable. Do you know how hard  it is to sit there with your eyes closed, trying to focus on your breathing when your back’s itching and your foot’s falling asleep?

Really fucking hard.

But I think it’s important to breathe through it, and try to resist the impulse to scratch as often as possible. Because the reality is that the itch doesn’t always need to be scratched. Sometimes you shouldn’t scratch it at all.

Your impulses aren’t always serving you, so it’s not always great to act on them.

Plus, whenever I make it through an entire Headspace meditation without stopping, I feel so good about it. Like I’ve accomplished something.

So I think my continuing goal into this next week will be to resist the urge to do something just because an impulse tells me to do it.

Maybe we should all take note that thoughts and feelings are valid, but not based in fact. Just because it’s the first you want to do doesn’t mean you’re meant to do it.

Let’s all try to separate ourselves from our thoughts this upcoming week, and try to become aware of patterns that may not be serving us anymore.

List of International Suicide Hotlines (courtesy of the International Bipolar Foundation)

Please, please, PLEASE do NOT hesitate to find your hotline and call if you think you need it. You are NOT alone <3 .

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Thanks for reading!!!! Happy Living!!!

Gratitude and Other Things_ Journal Entries by Ada Raven

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