So You Know – S. Y. K.

It’s me again! And it’s Monday again… Booooooo! I’m back today with your friendly So You Know series and a little chit chat 🙂

Due to problems beyond my control this post will publish a day later than it was intended

Yesterday in the United States we celebrated Easter. I believe if you are Christian this holiday is universal (don’t quote me on that). Easter is my family’s favorite get together and this year’s events went wonderful! The kids enjoyed their bag’s full of goodies and the food was to die for.

Let’s roll out this week’s questions.

As with each S.Y.K. post, the guidelines first.


I like to keep it pretty simple around here so here are a few things to keep in mind while participating:

  • There are no right or wrong answers… Your answers = Your opinion = Your life
  • Answer a few or one, whatever you are comfortable with
  • Pingback to any S.Y.K. post
  • Use the hashtag #SYK to tag your post
  • Be real. If you feel a certain type of way, say it. You were asked your opinion (double dog dare ya!)

Extra info.

*A number of questions will be asked. At least 1, no more than 5.

*Questions will range in subject from cherries to prostitution.

*Participation will consist of you creating a post on your website, listing the questions and responding.

*Pingback to any SYK post

Don’t know how to create a pingback? Hit me up and I’ll tell ya how. It’s easy and everyone needs a little help here and there


Pretty easy, right? Give your readers a little insight to who you are and participate in S.Y.K every Monday!


Today’s Questions

  1. What is your favorite holiday?
  2. Are there family traditions that you continue each year?
  3. Have you started any new fun things that your family does each year as a tradition? If so, please share! (Family does not have to be by blood – close friends count too!)
  4. Do you remember how old you were when you discovered the holiday mascots (Easter bunny, Santa, etc) weren’t real? Got a story that goes along with this discovery? Share, please!
  5. Which is your least favorite holiday?

Last week’s Q’s and my A’s

  • Do you take responsibility for other people’s problems and/or emotions, unknowingly? I do and am trying to learn how not too. You can’t deny that energy exists and I pick up on people’s emotions through an energy field. This is commonly referred to as an empath. For myself, it is torcher. I cannot discern between mine and others and I go through phases where I can block from feeling others energy and phases where I cannot. As of late, I cannot. This has a bad impact on day to day life and I struggle keeping my head above water. I wake feeling a certain way and by time I have encountered two or three others, I process their feelings and make them my own. I do not feel responsible per se but I do feel it is hard to communicate if the energy is heavy.
  • When did you realize that this behavior was burdening you and stunting your growth? Was it a particular incident or did someone point it out that it isn’t your responsibility? I was told by a counselor that the way others feel about me is none of my business and it is a reflection of them, not of me. I took that and from there realized that I am not responsible for their feelings and also realized that doing so was negatively effecting me. This is when I put together the relation I have with energy and other people. Call me crazy but it isn’t anything I haven’t been called before.
  • Were you raised by giving parents or parents who gave only to throw it in your face later? I don’t think they ever gave only to throw it in my face but when it was/is convenient to apply guilt to a situation, it is definitely the go-to, ” after all I’ve done for you..”
  • Lastly, what are your opinions concerning parents being held responsible for their children’s actions? At what age are children to be held responsible for their own actions? Is this reflective of how you were raised or the opposite? In my opinion, children’s actions reflect that of their parents responses. But there is a responsibility as a parent to teach our children consequence. There is a grey area where teens are concerned because many children act on emotion. I think it is important to hold them responsible for their own actions from the moments they enter this world but as far as crimes are concerned, the laws should never bend to trial a child (17 and under) as an adult. Although the crime may be heinous, they should still be charged in the youth grouping. And as terrible as it would be to see my child suffer at the hands of another child, I am still more understanding of that verses an adult molesting a child.
  • When children act out it is because they seek attention. They find a way to make you respond and albeit negative or not, attention is attention. They are most likely to be experiencing difficult times at home or at school with their peers. Sometimes it’s hard to get kids to talk but if you watch them, you’ll discover what it is and from there it is the adults choice of how to guide them through those times. Children mimic adults and perhaps when they are acting out, we should look within ourselves and see what it is we are showing, not telling, them as their role models. My Ma was adamant when it came to respecting us as people and so I believe this to be a reflection of how I was raised. If you don’t like what you see in your child, maybe you should make some changes in your life. That’s what I had to do and it wasn’t easy but well worth it.

And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!

4.19.19

I am ready to let go of the attachment

that has caused me to quit giving.

I am a giving person

and do so with thought

But

That’s stopped.

I am ready to rid myself of

the idea

I am not good enough.

I am.

I am ready to initiate change in my life

and

trust the outcome.

I have stopped trying to find

me

And now

Allowing it to be.

I am stepping from behind

what everyone expects,

including me;

Me to be.

So You Know

Revenge of Eve

So You Know

It’s that time again! Happy Monday, y’all!

If you are new to these parts, Welcome ❤


Have a look around and while you are at it, subscribe to receive theGarden, a monthly newsletter sent out randomly throughout the month. No spamming, only love.

S.Y.K

So You Know is a series that gives the reader insight to the opinions of their favorite bloggers. Participation is easy. Keep reading and don’t forget that S.Y.K is rolled out most Monday’s.

I like to keep it pretty simple around here and here are a few things to keep in mind while participating:

  • There are no right or wrong answers… Your answers = Your opinion = Your life
  • Answer a few or one, whatever you are comfortable with
  • Pingback to any S.Y.K. post
  • Use the hashtag #SYK to tag your post
  • Be real. If you feel a certain type of way, say it. You were asked your opinion (double dog dare)

Extra info.

  • A number of questions will be asked. At least 1, no more than 5.
  • Questions will range in subject from cherries to prostitution.
  • Participation will consist of you creating a post on your website, listing the questions and responding.
  • Pingback to any SYK post

Don’t know how to create a pingback? Hit me up and I’ll tell ya how. It’s easy and everyone needs a little help here and there

revenge of eve

Ready? On your mark…get set….
GO!!

  • Do you take responsibilty for other peoples problems and/or emotions, unknowingly? If so, move on to question 2, if not…head on to #3.
  • When did you noticed this behavior was burdening you and stunting your growth? Was it a particular incident or did someone verbally tell you that it isn’t your responsibility?
  • Were you raised by giving parents or by parents who gave only to throw it in your face later?
  • Lastly, what are your opinions concerning parents being held responsible for their children’s action? As in – what age is the child when they are held responsible for their own actions? Is this opinion reflective of how your parents raised you or opposite?

Ok I squeezed multiple question under one number, two times (lol), but that’s ok


The questions here on S.Y.K. have had a parenting theme more recently and as I am just noticing this, I can relate it to what I am seeing lately. These questions are also for non-parents – assuming they have opinions about the matters of parenting. Because I mean, damn, they sure have an opinion when a child is screaming and throwing a fit in Wal-Mart!! And the expression on their faces say even more!!


My answers to last weeks questions

  • What is your biggest fear? Besides suffocating, which is my biggest, would have to be that I “check out” because life becomes too hard to handle.
  • When did you recognize it as the biggest? After an episode of psychosis.
  • What happened that caused you to recognize it? I lost control of my mind. More specifically, I wasn’t taught how powerful our brains are and that it can do things without consulting the host.
  • Has it ever happened to you or anyone you love? not that I am aware of.
  • Have you tried to overcome? If so, how and what was the result? I do not remember fighting it but I will say it was scary and out of sorts. I saw myself looking down from above. I was sitting in a chair with my legs crossed and while I was literally doing so, it didn’t make sense to see myself from that perspective. Unfortunately the opposite is true. When life seems to be edging on “too much”, I almost welcome it. It can be related to me giving up, I suppose. I don’t want to give up but sometimes life can be too much and sometimes I feel I am not cut out for it.

Before you go…. if you moseyed around and liked what you saw, I was anonymously nominated for a blogging award and if I did not promote voting, I would be doing the nominator a disservice – so, if you liked- vote here for Revenge of Eve. And, as always, Thank You for your support 🙂

Revenge of Eve

The Process of Journaling and Its Benefits

The Process of Journaling and its Benefits

“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.” – Robin S. Sharma

Some may easily confuse the concepts of diary writing and journaling.  Diary writing is when you record the events of the day whereas journaling can lend itself as a therapeutic tool that explores the thoughts and feelings surrounding the events in your life.  Like any habit, journaling has to become routine in order to reap the benefits.

It takes patience and practice to establish a rhythm. In order for it to be productive, in striving for mental balance, it must be effective journaling.  What is effective journaling?  It is journaling that helps you meet your goals or improves your quality of life.  Writing down your feelings helps you to connect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and it acts as a buffer for reducing the symptoms of mental illness.

We will explore the benefits of journaling for mental health, tailoring the process to get the most from journaling, ending with referenced statements from those of authority.

Tailor the process

Keep in mind there is no right or wrong method of journaling.  It is an individual process meant to connect oneself with their emotions.  While some can journal on the go, others may require a quiet, soothing environment.  Journaling is a personal preference experience that you must tailor to fit your needs.  It may take time to discover your journaling style but once you find it, you feel it. The ways of journaling are limitless!

 If you cannot think of what to write about you can scour the internet for prompts, you can use your journal as a creative space to explore your feelings or do a mixture of the two.  It is all up to you on how the process looks but it is important to allow it to be a healthy way of self-expression.

Journaling, for me, is a setting.  In order for me to lose myself in my journal, I must achieve a level of comfort which I find in seclusion.  My surrounding must be relaxing and quiet with no distractions. It is also a mood for me. I find I best describe my experiences with depression.  I do not prefer this to be my mood but it is when writing my feelings becomes most effective in a healing aspect.

The most difficult idea to surpass is the invasion of privacy.  Writing your most intimate thoughts down leaves you vulnerable and the fear of someone discovering our deepest thoughts is paralyzing.  While I cannot guarantee privacy I can guarantee you will benefit from the practice of journaling.

From my own traumatic experience, I will say this… reading someone else’s personal writings is disrespectful and none of your business.  There is always a debatable reason when it comes to the privacy of your child but this is not the case today. Reading the raw emotions of another without their permission should be prohibited as a common human law.  Doing so crosses boundaries and ruins trust and with me, friendships.  The only time it is ok is when the person is deceased.

How do you tailor it?

You may not know where to begin in your journaling journey and thank goodness I came prepared.  

  • I recommend first purchasing a book that you designate as your journal.  This can be a notebook or a journal book that you buy from the book store.
  • Second I choose a pen or pencil depending on my mood. Ideally, this would be the only tool I use but it never works out that way.
  • Next is the part you must figure out.  Your setting. I recommend trying all different kinds of places.  The library, the park, in the woods, on the bus on your way to work or in your room.  Do you allow yourself to be free with music? If so, play music.

For myself, I carry a travel notebook with an insert dedicated to thoughts.  Throughout the day, if I am needing to get things out of my head, I will jot down words that reference what I am dealing with at the moment and later I use these words to guide a journal entry.

 This works well for me and enables me to remember what I was feeling in the moment otherwise I may forget. It took me a while to figure out what works best for me. I am easily distracted and find it difficult to think in depth when the environment is noisy.  Using the travel notebook allows me to document on the go yet journal at home.

  • Finally, decide the direction you desire and remember you can change it up at any time because it is your space.  I recommend following prompts until you reach a point when you feel you get the gist of choosing a topic.
  • Last, write.  Make sure to take note of how the process makes you feel.

Take note of how the process makes you feel.  If you do not feel confident, that comes with practice but if you do not feel comfortable evaluate your environment.  Change whatever it is that doesn’t suit your needs.

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Journaling Guide

Journaling for mental health benefits looks different from “just journaling”.  The subject of mental health encompasses a wide range of disorders. These disorders are accompanied by symptoms that hinder the way we approach life while some debilitate us.  Journaling to receive benefits works best when following a specific method. Many times your counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist may recommend a particular method of journaling to enhance your results.

Now let’s break it down further to discuss more specific areas that effective journaling can act as a therapeutic tool.  Depression, anxiety, stress management, PTSD, and substance abuse recovery have shown impressive results from writing your thoughts regarding current or past events.  

This is not a substitute for receiving professional help.  It is merely a tool used to help alleviate the symptoms experienced from mental illness often suggested by a professional.  

Below you will find statements in regard to specific mental instabilities and how journaling can be used as an effective tool.  

Depression

  • Expressive writing can reduce symptoms of depression in women who are struggling with the aftermath of intimate partner violence (Koopman, Ismailji, Holmes, Classen, Palesh, & Wales, 2005).
  • Writing in a journal may also be as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for reducing symptoms of depression in high-risk adolescents (Stice, Burton, Bearman, & Rohde, 2006).
  • Expressive journaling may not reduce the frequency of intrusive thoughts in depressed individuals, but it moderates their impact on depressive symptoms, leading to a reduction in symptoms (Lepore, 1997).
  • Journaling can help college students who are vulnerable to depression reduce their brooding and rumination, two contributing factors of depressive symptoms (Gortner, Rude, & Pennebaker, 2006).
  • In general, people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder reported significantly lower depression scores after three days of expressive writing, 20 minutes per day (Krpan, Kross, Berman, Deldin, Askren, & Jonides, 2013).

Anxiety

Writing in a journal can positively impact your anxiety through:

  • Calming and clearing your mind.
  • Releasing pent-up feelings and everyday stress.
  • Letting go of negative thoughts.
  • Exploring your experiences with anxiety.
  • Writing about your struggles and your successes.
  • Enhancing your self-awareness and teaching you about your triggers.
  • Track your progress as you undergo treatment (Star, 2018).

Through mechanisms like those listed above, journaling has been shown to:

  • Reduce anxiety in patients with multiple sclerosis (Hasanzadeh, Khoshknab, & Norozi, 2012).
  • Reduce physical symptoms, health problems, and anxiety in women (LaClaire, 2008).
  • Help students manage their stress and anxiety and improve their engagement and enhance meaning found in the classroom (Flinchbaugh, Moore, Chang, & May 2012).

Stress Management

Keeping a journal can help you fully explore your emotions, release tension, and fully integrate your experiences into your mind (Scott, 2018). Further, it can help you work on reducing specific sources of stress or aid you in reaching an important goal (perhaps reducing your overall stress?).

  • Decreasing symptoms of various health conditions
  • Improving your cognitive functioning.
  • Strengthening your immune system.
  • Examining your thoughts and shifting your perspective.
  • Reducing rumination and promoting action.
  • Planning out your options and considering multiple outcomes of a situation (Scott, 2018).

PTSD

It’s hypothesized that writing works to enhance our mental health through guiding us towards confronting previously inhibited emotions (reducing the stress from inhibition), helping us process difficult events and compose a coherent narrative about our experiences, and possibly even through repeated exposure to the negative emotions associated with traumatic memories (i.e., “extinction” of these negative emotions; Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005).

In order for it to have a positive effect on our mental health, we must journal with purpose.  Baikie & Wilhelm suggest the following:

  1. Write in a private and personalized space that is free from distractions.
  2. Write at least three or four times, and aim for writing consecutively (i.e., at least once each day).
  3. Give yourself some time to reflect and balance yourself after writing.
  4. If you’re writing to overcome trauma, don’t feel obligated to write about a specific traumatic event—journal about what feels right in the moment.
  5. Structure the writing, however, feels right to you.
  6. Keep your journal private; it’s for your eyes only—not your spouse, not your family, not your friends, not even your therapist (although you can discuss your experience with your therapist, of course!).
Revenge of Eve
Kate Spade – mental health awareness

Another good set of guidelines on effective journaling can be found on the Center for Journal Therapy website. When you journal, remember the simple acronym: WRITE!

  • W – What do you want to write about? Think about what is going on in your life, your current thoughts and feelings, what you’re striving towards or trying to avoid right now. Give it a name and put it all on paper.
  • R – Review or reflect on it. Take a few moments to be still, calm your breath, and focus. A little mindfulness or meditation could help in this step. Try to start sentences with “I” statements like “I feel…”, “I want…”, and “I think…” Also, try to keep them in the present tense, with sentence stems like “Today…”, “Right now…”, or “In this moment…”
  • I – Investigate your thoughts and feelings through your writing. Just keep going! If you feel you have run out of things to write or your mind starts to wander, take a moment to refocus (another opportunity for mindfulness meditation!), read over what you have just written, and continue on.
  • T – Time yourself to ensure that you write for at least 5 minutes (or whatever your current goal is). Write down your start time and the projected end time based on your goal at the top of your page. Set a timer or alarm to go off when the time period you have set it up.
  • E – Exit strategically and with introspection. Read what you have written and take a moment to reflect on it. Sum up your takeaway in one or two sentences, starting with statements like “As I read this, I notice…”, “I’m aware of…”, or “I feel…” If you have any action items or steps you would like to take next, write them down now (Adams, n.d.).

The above is a great way to guide yourself through the act of journaling.  It eliminates any doubts you may have about the process.

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” – Natalie Goldberg

Recovery

Last but not least, what effects does journaling have on recovery?

If you are suffering in the aftermath of a traumatic event, journaling can help you find the good in life. It can even help you see the positive side of experiencing the trauma, which helps reduce the severe symptoms that can accompany trauma (Ullrich & Lutgendorf, 2002).

If you are grappling with an eating disorder, journal writing can be a huge source of relief and healing. Keeping a journal can help you stop distancing yourself from your issues, encourage you to confront your problems head-on, and reduce the obsessive component of your disorder (Rabinor, 1991).

If you are struggling with a debilitating psychiatric condition, journaling can help you get your thoughts down on paper and stop ruminating and worrying over them. This can free up your mind to manage your emotions and cope with stress that could trigger a relapse (Provencher, Gregg, Mead, & Mueser, 2002).

If the recovery you seek is for the death of a loved one, one of the most traumatic and heartbreaking events of all, journaling can help with that as well. Writing can give you a chance to process your enormous loss and reduce the most severe symptoms of grief. This has been proven to be especially effective for children dealing with bereavement (Kalantari, Yule, Dyregrov, Neshat Doost, & Ahmadi, 2012).

However, the recovery that journaling can have the biggest impact on is recovery from addiction. If you’re struggling to overcome an addiction, journaling can help you record your struggles and your accomplishments, hold yourself accountable and allow you an opportunity to work through difficult thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner (Milios, 2015).

Writing our thoughts, feelings, and actions down in a journal allows us to craft and maintain our sense of self and solidifies our identity. It helps us reflect on our experiences and discover our authentic self. Keeping a journal can give you a chance to create and consider the narrative of your life, with all of the choices you have made and the memories that make you who you are today. In a word, the benefits of journaling on recovery is “cathartic” (New Roads Treatment, 2017).  


Revenge of Eve

I found Positive Psychology Program a great resource for all things motivational to living a well -balanced life.  I garnered a lot of useful information from this one source and highly recommend this site to anyone who is in search of practical tools to implement in their daily lives.

What the future has in store for us is unknown but what we can do is choose healthy coping mechanisms to deal with current and past events.  Doing so increases our chances of having carved our own path towards a better future. We cannot change our past from bad decisions or involuntary acts but we do have some control over how our future looks.

Journaling is a process that familiarizes us with who we are.  When we know who we are we can successfully share our wisdom with younger generations.  The benefits of journaling far outweigh the possibility of failure. Self-awareness holds you responsible and accountable and gaining this through journaling will improve your decision-making skills, overall mental wellness and assist in your recovery.  


So? What are you waiting for?? Grab a journal today!!

Do you journal? How has it impacted your mental health?

Using Stationery to Change My Relationship with April (the month)

It is no secret that April is a difficult month for me and has been as far back as I can remember. The tragic death, by suicide, of my boyfriend happened in April, my Aunt’s death anniversary is also in April…I’d rather stop there but if there were no more, those two are enough (there is more). My mental health has taken a turn for the worst with the arrival of Spring for the past four or five consecutive years adding to the depth of sadness already present.

Last year I prepared myself for April but there are things out of my control. The month wasn’t as bad, from what I can remember, except I cannot remember what it was I did to prepare. Needless to say, April didn’t start off good this year, at all. We are exactly a week in and I would rather turn my focus to what I love for the remainder of the month. It just so happens to be the month stationery lovers celebrate…. their love of stationery!! And guess who lllooooovvvvvessssssssss stationery????

ME!!!

Yup, that’s right, April is when the hashtags #natstatweek and #writingmatters invade social media. If you aren’t a fan of pretty paper or matching desk accessories, never fear, Candace is here!!!

Let me offer some basic information for those interested.

Stationery Lover’s Delight

use the following hashtags on Twitter or Instagram

National Stationery Week

#NatStatWeek falls the week of April 29-May 5th this year (2019). #worldstationeryday falls on May 1st this year and the day is boasted with the London Stationery Show. #Natstatweek was started in the UK for all of those who love stationery and the art of letter writing to celebrate all that is stationery…the hashtag was created to market the trend which caught on like wildfire! The week is planned with days of stationery related tasks that you can participate in and share across your social media platforms using the appropriate hashtags

Stationery Fun: hashtags & links

below are the related hashtags with links describing the days tasks. *denotes sponsored days

#natstatweek

*Day One: #paperchaseloveslists

*Day Two: #penandpencilday

Day Three: #stationerytheworldover

Day Four: #takeanoteday

*Day Five: #feelgoodfriday

Day Six: #stationeryshopsaturday

Day Seven: #sendaletterday

The campaign also promotes the importance of essential handwriting skills.

Revenge of Eve

With that being said, I will introduce to you all of the things that I love about stationery as well as some boring information to go along with it. From this day forward, I will approach the month of April as the month I can celebrate my love of designer paper, vintage paper, cute binders, pens…o.m.g….I love it all!!!–Instead of the month of tragedy as I see it now.


Below are the details of the day that plays over and over in my head, proceed with caution. As of today, I will no longer think of these details rather do something I am passionate about on his behalf.


Today, April 8th, is the anniversary of my boyfriends suicide and his honor I will change my perspective. It has been 24 years today. You would think having been so long ago that it would be easier and while the pain has lessened significantly, I can’t help to wonder where he’d be in the world today. It’s a sad situation because he reached out for help on Easter Sunday, at church, and was doubted for his ability or will to stop behaving “badly”. He was acting like an average teenager, drinking and smoking weed. That has had a huge impact on my opinion of the church ever since. He called me after leaving Sunday school in total disarray. He was hurt. Sad. He wanted to see me and I couldn’t because my parents were coming home from their vacation in Arkansas. Later that evening he met up with a friend, got shit faced drunk, went home and sat in the chair I had sat in the evening before eating dinner with him and his Ma (his mother was specific about that detail – she said because he had never sat there), argued with his mom because he was drunk, and when she went to her room – he shot himself in the head.

He truly loved me and only knew me a week. He asked me if I believed in love at first sight – I laughed and he said I was his love at first sight. I believed him. R.I.P Dusty Ard I love you

Revenge of Eve