Keeping A Progress Journal

Image representing Penzu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Keeping a progress journal is not “AA approved work” but it helped me.  As a writer, journaling has always been my go-to for jotting down ideas, writing my dreams and aspirations and detailing my day-to-day events. Journaling does not always have to be writing.  It can be doodling, drawing, cutting and pasting pictures from magazines and even using stickers.

There was a period of about a year in my early sobriety that I would cut out a meditation from “Meditations For Women” and tape it in my journal.  I would then reflect on the passage by writing my own ideas and finish it up with cute stickers on the page. It worked for me and when I went back and re-read my entries years later, it gave me hope that change is possible.

For example: on May 26, 2008 I celebrated two years of sobriety yet was still feeling insecure and helpless in a sense.  On May 26, 2010, after four years of sobriety, I could see that I was making concrete changes to the way I thought, which in turn changed the way I felt.  I had let go of old ideals and notions, replacing them with healthier ways of thinking (and living). On May 26, 2012, I celebrated six years of sobriety and still on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance of truth in my life.

Journaling allowed me to express myself without fear of being judged.  It allowed me to express ideas that may or may not be accepted by society.  Today I use Penzu, which is an online password protected website where I write my heart out.  Of course in the beginning (when it was all new and shiny) I was journaling in Penzu everyday, but like anything else in my life, the shininess dulled and I started journaling when the mood struck or I was really pissed off. I also journal when I feel elated (like when I met my new boyfriend).

Through journaling, which is really just a way of being blatantly honest with myself, I learned what I want in life, what mattered, what didn’t matter, what pissed me off, what made me happy, what I thoroughly enjoyed, what personality traits in myself (and others) I liked and disliked.  I learned that I always have the option of changing and adapting. The way I think can always be re-arranged until I am able to think in a way that leaves me feeling peaceful and full of love.

Do you keep a journal? If so, what kind?

Advertisements

ROW80 Update – I Tumbled When I Should Have ROWed

You know how some people are physical creatures (running, water-skiing, dirt bike riding, quadding) and others are slightly more intellectual and then there are those who are some of both? Well, I was once the “both creature” but somewhere along the way I lost my physical edge.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went up to Ashland, PA for an exciting adventure into trail riding.  I had not ridden a quad (four-wheeler) in almost ten years.  I was given a speedy lesson on how to operate the controls, how to steer, yadda yadda.

I lasted seven whole minutes before I could not steer the darn thing to the left away from the hill (and the tree).  I screamed (yes!  I could not believe it either) as I tumbled down the hill, the quad staying with me as the handle bar drove into my pelvic area and I almost hit a tree.  The quad landed on top of me as Andy (my BF) and our friend Steve ran to my rescue.

I broke no bones, I did not go to the hospital and I did not bleed!  So it was a good day.  I did almost throw up from the adrenalin rush as I gingerly walked up the steps to the bedroom to lie down.  I still cannot really move my left shoulder well and my left leg is not moving the way I want.

These are the moments I know someone is watching over me.  I could have broken my collar-bone and my pelvis simultaneously. These are also the moments as I realize I am a writer first and foremost.  My daredevil days of flying down highways (and dirt trails) and risking my life for the “rush” are over.

It was still an amazing day as I snapped pictures of birds, flowers and other oddball things.

Now onto the ROW:

  • continue to edit WIP
  • continue to write in Penzu each day
  • read/comment blogs
  • Triberr at least three times a week
  • AA meeting this week
  • start looking at publishers.

That’s my ROW list of goals.  How is your ROW coming along?  Did you have a good week/weekend?

Row80: When Life Gets in the Way – Push It Aside

I thought life was supposed to get more simplistic as age came along… no? Not in my life.  I am sure there is still hope.

I digress.

My life is more amazing these days than it was this time last year and the year before that, and so on.  Who knows what is in store?  Only God knows.

Exciting.

In writing news, I started back up with my Friday Flash Fiction segments.  I posted the first one last Friday.  It kind of pales in comparison to some of my earlier work, but it turned out just the way I hoped.  If you want to check it out, you can do so by clicking here.

In sobriety news, I will be hooking back up with my sponsor at some point this week.  I hit a meeting last week and will hit one this week. My six-year anniversary is in two weeks.

In life news, I am really doing some soul-searching as to what this life holds for me and where I can tweak it to maximize my usefulness and potential.

I am faced with interesting dilemmas and decisions as far as living arrangements and mental health.  Funny how the two seem to be coinciding.

I was excited to finally get back into editing my WIP today.  I had the whole day to myself, Saturday!  It was great.

So… for this week:

  • continue to edit WIP.
  • walk 20-30 minutes a day.
  • get to an al-anon meeting.
  • continue to look for a reasonably priced car (my car is dying).
  • journal, journal, journal.  I have been doing this a lot and it is really helping me find out about who I am and what I want.

I hope everyone had a great week and that this coming week will be even better than the last.