I’ve been meaning to write a new post since Sunday, but Sunday was full on with Canada Day fun so I postponed the task until Monday. By the time Monday rolled around, though, a mild depression had settled in. I was perplexed by its sudden arrival. Silver lining: It was in this sad state that I was reminded of the greatest benefit I get from writing a personal blog.
Writing a personal blog gives me a resource to turn to when I forget just how good my life is.
For those unfamiliar with depression, let me clear something up; there is rarely an answer to the question ‘why?’ This was the case on Monday. My heart had fallen flat and there was no rhyme or reason to it — at least, not one I could lay my fingers on. All the ingredients for happiness were there, but I couldn’t assemble them into anything meaningful.
“You need to read your own blog,” my husband said. Sometimes, he’s a freaking genius.
While I write with the intention of inspiring others to live a happy, joyful life, my writing is also a place to come home to when my heart isn’t quite keeping up with the mind. Looking back at how I’ve dug myself out of past emotional ruts reminds me that this, too, shall pass. And revisiting stories that reflect on times when my heart was full and open remind me of the capacity I have to live with a full and open heart.
If you’re not into writing a personal blog, how about keeping a journal — or perhaps a scorecard?
Like me, and perhaps like you, my daughter is a sensitive soul. Her heartache is my heartache, and it pains me when I see her unable to tap into happiness. So, when I caught her mid-low a few months back, I wanted desperately to find a solution. Not to cure her low but to gain a little insight that may or may not prove helpful.
She’s not one for journaling, so I proposed another strategy that might help her gauge her downs as they relate to her ups — one that would allow her to put her lows in context. I suggested that she keep a scorecard.
Now, at the end of each day, she ranks how she felt on a scale of 1 to 10. On the day we instigated this scorecard, she was running at a zero. On most days since, she’s run anywhere from 5 to 8. That said, I didn’t propose this exercise so that I could smugly say, “see — it’s not as bad as you think.” It is bad. Running at a zero sucks, even if it’s only for one day.
I proposed she keep a scorecard so that she could get a broader sense of how she was feeling. Because when we’re having a bad day, it can be hard to get our heads out of our hearts and all too easy to believe that these feelings are a result of the bigger picture we call life, versus a bad hair day, an unfortunate incident that may have occurred, or a fluctuation in serotonin.
If you were to keep a scorecard, what might it tell you?
Writing a personal blog, keeping a journal or keeping a scorecard may not do for you what it does for me or what it’s done for my daughter. It may do something else. It may indicate that you need help, be it in the form of a friend to lean on, a professional therapist, or a visit to your physician.
A scorecard that fluctuates between zero in 10 is a scorecard that represents a normal life. A scorecard full of zeros — that suggests an unhappy life and you deserve better than that.
So take a page out of my book/journal/blog. Track your feelings in writing and when you’re feeling low, go back and reflect — even if you believe your entries capture one bad day after another. Because sometimes seeing the very things you don’t want to see is what finally prompts you to seek the support you need to turn things around.
Viv for today xo
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