For those of you who have read my blog for some time, you know how important I feel mood charts are, and you can read my series about it. But, what I realized this year was that perhaps I didn't explain the importance of keeping a journal as well.
For more than 25 years, I have used the Day-Timer system to track my life. When I was first diagnosed, I spent six years keeping a daily account of the medication I took, the dosage, how it made me feel, what the side effects where, how much sleep I got, and sometimes what I ate. I also kept track of all my activities, and my freelance writing career.
In those days, I used the 2-Page-Per-Day system. What that meant for me was that I had an extra page that I used as a journal. While it was a great way to organize things and to chart my illness, none of my psychiatrists were ever interested in the system I established. And even though I would come to therapy sessions with a typed page of how things progressed between sessions, they always asked me to read it aloud rather than reviewing it so we could analyze the larger picture.
The only psychiatrist who asked me if I kept a mood chart wanted me to switch over to a system he preferred. And I was furious at his inability to recognize the importance of my system, which was far better than the one he had taken from another shrink.
In fact, as I look back on all this, I am incredulous. First of all, let me state for the record that I feel these records were more valuable than any of the treatment I received (aside from the Adderall, which I actually believe saved my life, and which I'm now trying to wean myself off entirely), and the work I'm doing with a therapist whom I truly believe might help me achieve wellness.
Second, what I didn't realize all those years ago was the importance of the journal. A number of years later when I was no longer very busy each day because I was so ill, I switched to the 1-Page-Per-Day system, and despite its expense, there were years when I barely entered any information. I guess I just didn't see the point anymore.
And when I started blogging five days a week, I mistakenly thought that my blog was fulfilling the same function as my journal had. But it didn't.
Because this is a really important topic, I'm going to continue this series tomorrow. But, I need to let you know that today I am also going to see a psychotherapist who does transformational healing, and hypnosis. I'm reading her book, which I think is terrific, and it's something I'll share with you at a later date.
As always, I welcome your comments. But I'm leaving the house at 10:00 my time and won't be home until about 3:00. So, bear with me if it takes a long time to moderate your comments. I will respond to them after I return home and rest a bit. I hope everyone's day will be as "transformational" as I anticipate mine will be.