July 4th, 2017

firestick

July 4th, 2017


Introduction

Today has been pretty good for me while also marking my first 4th of July Sober. But I managed to make it through with of too much of an issue. I did not even get my a** to a meeting like I should have. Then again, I also did not get any sleep like I should have… I have not been to bed yet and I tried everything I could think of, besides illegal stuff and drugs and alcohol, to get me to sleep but to no avail. (So, I am hoping the Unisom I took mixed with my Remeron will help me sleep tonight finally.) 

Babygaga.com & Ghostwriting

So, I got some amazing news that I am beyond excited about! That babygaga.com thing did turn out to be a smart move on my part. I got an email response today and they asked me to submit a few more topic ideas, so I did. Then I got a welcome e-mail and that said they were interested in having me join their team! I am on a 6 week trial period, which is understandable, and I would get $20 an article plus $0.40/1,000 views. That is way, way more than I am making now as I ghostwriter.

I emailed her back and thanked you graciously for the opportunity and said that I can’t wait to get started and to let me know where we go from here. As for my ghostwriting job, I may as well spill the beans now… I ghostwrite for someone on babygaga and make a hell of a lot less than they make per article. And while they have 3-4 days to complete their articles for babygaga, they have only been giving me a one-day deadline. However, I have decided that I really don’t want to give the ghostwriting job fully, especially since I am only on a 6 week trial period. I mean, what if, for whatever reason, things don’t work out between me and babygaga and I need something to fall back on at least I will have the ghostwriting.

I emailed the lady that assigns me the articles and explained that I am starting a new job, and will let her know when I find out more, but that I doubt I will be able to take on more than 2-3 articles a week tops. Actually, 3 would even be pushing it. I would have to literally work 7 days a week even just doing the 2 articles a week. It will be worth it though, and I am so ecstatic to see what will come of this babygaga.com website content writer position.

I am hoping that my current position, the ghostwriting, will understand that I needed to take on more work, especially since they pay me so little. (I make like $6.88 an article at most.) I also hope that they don’t decide to hire me over this, especially because I really do need the money and they are good with their pay. Plus, I need them to leave positive feedback for me on my Upwork profile so more people will want to/consider hiring me in the future.

90 Days Clean (3 Months)  & 4th of July

I cannot believe it! Saturday, July 8th, will be my 90 days clean. Or, in-other-words, my 3 months clean. I am definitely going to a meeting Saturday to receive my 3 months sober coin. I cannot believe I have made it this far without using drugs or alcohol. Only God know, how many times I have had the urges or cravings to get drunk. More so, I like the feeling of being drunk and getting out of my own head, even if it’s just for an hour to a few hours.

I don’t miss: the hangovers, the vomiting, the extra calories (even though I have been making that up in food, the heartburn, the feeling like death or like I’m literally dying the next day, the not remembering what I did because I was drunk phases, the arguing with people and forgetting the arguments because I was drunk phases, the excessive thirty, the drunk dialing/texting/social mediaing phases, the suicidal phases, the self-injury phases, the freaking out for no reason phases, the not remember what I did the night before phases, the forgetting things at places phases, the all of the above and more phases.

I do miss: the feeling less awkward, feeling like I fit in, not giving a shit, not caring what people think about phase, the overly confident phase, the more outgoing phase, the language that only your twin could understanding, the general not caring phase, the general boost of self-confidence phase, room service just because I can. There is a requirements list.

The feeling of being drunk without the aftermath and stages of literacy would be really nice. I made it through almost the whole entire holiday without wanting to drink. That is probably because I have kept myself really busy with articles and other little things. Holidays seem to be getting easier to be around without getting sloshed. Then again, I wasn’t really around much alcohol either. If I were to be around alcohol or if it were readily available, that may have been a different story.

My Dad

I got a call from my dad that he’s in the hospital. I guess he has appendicitis. They are keeping him overnight,  giving him IV antibiotics, and then checking in on him in the morning and deciding if he needs his appendix out, which he most likely does. I wish I could go visit him, but he lived down south and I am up north. So I am wishing him a speedy recovery and hoping that he gets better fast. 

Articles & Topics

I am having severe #writersblock already and cannot figure out what to write for my next article. I am just glad that When Love Turns Toxic got published on vocal. If anyone has any suggestions for topic ideas relating to:

  • Mental Health
  • Addiction
  • Love, Relationships & Dating Advice
  • Other Medical Topics
  • Reviews
  • Pregnancy & Parenting
  • Family Issues
  • Eating Disorders
  • Insomnia & Other Sleep Disorders
  • Etc…

Please comment and give me some suggestions. My mind is running on empty and I cannot, for some reason, think of any new topics. That would be greatly appreciated. I have quite a few followers now, so I am sure someone HAS to have an idea on a topic for an article.


Have A Happy, Safe, & Sober

(To all you recoveree’s out there)

4th Of July

∞Samantha♥∞

Keeping A Gratitude Journal

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Keeping A Gratitude Journal


The Dictionary.com definition of Gratitude is: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Keeping a gratitude journal of positive experiences can help us remember the good things that have happened to us on our worst day. Even when we are having a bad day, it is good to be able to pick out what you are thankful for. Try to write between at least 3-5 gratitude journal entries a day. 
Keeping a gratitude journal is linked to being a more positive and happier individual in the long run when continued regularly. Just like anything with mental health, you have to keep at it.  
5 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE JOURNAL Here is an article I found regarding the benefits of creating one. It’s very simple. Just follow this layout and example below;

Samantha’s Gratitude Journal

Monday

  1.  The sunset I got to see last night.
  2. My mom lent me $20 when I needed gas money really bad.
  3. Not getting stuck in traffic.
  4. [your gratitude]
  5. [your gratitude]

Tuesday

  1. The neighbor that held the door open for me when I almost dropped the groceries.
  2. Getting a new follower on my blog.
  3. Getting 8 hours of sleep.
  4. Getting out of the house today.
  5. [your gratitude]

Wednesday

  1. [your gratitude]
  2. [your gratitude]
  3. [your gratitude]
  4. [your gratitude]
  5. [your gratitude]

Thursday

  1. [your gratitude]
  2. [your gratitude]
  3. [your gratitude]
  4. [your gratitude]
  5. [your gratitude]

Friday

  1. [your gratitude]
  2. [your gratitude]
  3. [your gratitude]
  4. [your gratitude]
  5. [your gratitude]

Saturday

  1. [your gratitude]
  2. [your gratitude]
  3. [your gratitude]
  4. [your gratitude]
  5. [your gratitude]

Sunday

  1. The shooting star I saw.
  2. My dog cuddling with me.
  3. My boyfriend talking with me.
  4. [your gratitude]
  5. [your gratitude]

 This is a basic layout of a gratitude journal, and instead of [your gratitude], you would actually fill it out. 

This is one of those simple things in life that could benefit you in the end, so why not give it a try. At least once.

I hope this helps someone out there.

-Samantha♥

 

How To Counter A Negative Automatic Thing

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How To Counter A Negative Automatic Thought

Automatic thoughts are the first things, or thoughts, that come to our mind when something happens. Sometimes, these thoughts happen so quickly we don’t even realize they are happening until the negative thought is stuck in our head, and then we don’t know how to get rid of that negative thought once it’s there.

The easiest thing to do is try to counter it. If you spend a lot of time absorbed in negative thoughts, you are not always going to believe the counter, at first, but with time and practice, you will eventually start to realize the truth in those counters.

I am going to show you very simple counters with examples:

There will be three rows:

  • Trigger

  • Automatic Thought

  • New Thought

Here are the examples below:


  • Trigger: I made a mistake at work.
  • Automatic Thought: I am probably going to be fired. I always mess up. This is it. I am not good at my job.
  • New Thought: I messed up, but mistakes happen. I am going to work through this like I always do.

  • Trigger: I got into a fight with my boyfriend.
  • Automatic Thought: He’s going to leave me, everyone leaves me.
  • New Thought: We have gotten in plenty of fights before. I am catastrophising this. We only fought about who has to put gas in the car, he will not leave me over this.

  • Trigger: I  got a speeding ticket.
  • Automatic Thought: I am going to lose my license.
  • New Thought: It’s only one ticket. It’s seriously not the end of the world. I will make a payment arrangement on the fine tomorrow.

 

That is pretty much all there is too. It is just taking that negative automatic thought, and switching it around, making it logical instead of emotional. It takes a lot of practice. You can even create a notebook, or automatic though log and keep track of your progress.

Journaling And Mental Illness

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Journaling & Mental Illness


Journaling can be an important and beneficial factor in mental illness. It can help improve your overall mental well-being because it can create a healthy outlet to express your emotions. A lot of people that struggle with any type of mental illness, or addiction, tend to stuff their emotions deep down inside of themselves, or they try to release them or cope with them, in unhealthy manners.

I’ve been there, and every now and then I still resort to unhealthy means to release my emotions, but journaling is what has been one of the best coping mechanisms that have ever been suggested to me. Everyone is different, and different things work for different people, but journaling is something that has worked for so many people that I have come into contact with, and I highly recommend it to people that struggle with getting their feelings and emotions out and suggest that it should be tried at least once. What could it hurt, right? It’s literally just putting a pen to a piece of paper, or even your hands to your keyboard.

When a person journals, they can let out their innermost thoughts that they wouldn’t dare share with another soul. You can be your true genuine self, and never feel judged by anyone because you are not writing for anyone else’s enjoyment. You are solely writing to be able to get out whatever it is that you are holding inside. Whatever you are writing doesn’t even have to make sense. It could be incomplete thoughts or just random words. It’s whatever you are feeling at that particular moment in time.

I have heard people say that they don’t want to journal because they are worried that someone else in their household may find their journal and read their private thoughts. I get that. When you write something that is meant for your eyes only, you want to keep it that way. There are a few different forms or means of journaling that can be done if you are worried about the traditional diary style due to lack of privacy.

Here are some options to try instead:


Online Diary/Journals:

If you fear that prying eyes might see a traditional journal you can always sign up for an online account somewhere. This is one I have used in the past, and they even have an app you can download on your smartphone.PrivateDiary.net and with this one, it is username and password protected so no one but you can access it. You can even sync the app and the online site so you can create entries either way and never lose track of anything. It also allows you to upload pictures to your entries as well. If you decide you really don’t like the way this journal is set up, just type in “online diary” into a search engine and tons of results will pop up. Just keep searching until something catches your eye.


Word Documents/Processers:

If your computer is password protected, and you never have to worry about anyone going through your files, you can always create your own journal using something like Google Docs, MS Word, etc… and just saving the files right to your computer. Maybe create a specific folder like, “My Journal” or “My Thoughts” and saving your entries in there.


Create & Trash:

If you are severely worried about someone seeing what your private thoughts are, then you can always physically write out all your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Then after you are done just rip up the paper and throw it away, burn it, shred it, or discard it however you see fit.


Smartphones:

If you have a smartphone then you automatically have a journal or diary at your fingertips. If you have an Android device, all you have to do is go to the Google Play Store and search for “Diary Apps” and hundreds of them will come up. Just look for one you will like. Another option is just to create journal entries using your memo or notepad within your phone.


Email:

You could always create a folder and label it “My Journal” or something of the sorts, and create journal entries in your personal email account, send them to yourself and then save them in your designated saved folder.


There are obviously lots of creative ways to create and manage a journal without having to keep a physical copy in today’s day and age. Almost everything is digital now. As for myself, I still love to have a physical copy because I enjoy putting a pen to a piece of paper.

Every means of mental health and addictions treatment that I have ever come across, since 2001, has suggested that I journal, and I have been doing it ever since. I go through phases where I will journal rigorously every day for chunks of time, then I will go periods of time where I won’t journal at all, then I will journal in moderation. And what I have come to the realization of, is that during the periods of time when I am the most routinely active in my journaling, is when my emotions are the most manageable. I seem to have less frequent crying spells because I am not bottling up as much inside of me.

Now, what I mean by routinely active, is that I am not obsessively writing, but I am also not infrequently writing either. When I am not at either extreme is when I am at my best, which at times that gets hard to come by since I am bipolar, and what is bipolar other than polar opposites.

So, if you have never tried journaling as a way to get your emotions out, give it a try. Just one time. Learning a new coping skill mechanism is always a thing of great value because you never know when life may throw something new your way that your current coping skill may not be suitable for. What works for you one day, may not work for you the next. That’s the thing about mental illness, it’s not always predictable and neither is life.


Hope This Helps 😀 -Samantha ♥

Creating a Daily Mood Journal

Creating a Daily Mood Journal
By: Samantha Steiner


For those of you who are anal about keeping track of all things mental health like, how you have felt during the day, what symptoms you had and so on… a mood journal is for you. All you need is a notebook and pen, both your pick. You can keep track of as much as you want or of as little as you want. Think is YOUR mood journal. You don’t even have to show it to anyone unless you feel like you. Sometimes it is best to let your therapist glance at it once in awhile so they can see you where you at.

Basically, all you have to do is at the margin at the top of the page you write the date that you want to start at. And then under that you are basically just going to be asking yourself questions about how you felt for that day, what were major events that happened, did you have any appointments, etc… Below I am going to give you a bunch of examples that you can pick and choose from. Remember to keep up with your mood journal every day because this is going to help you figure out patterns, triggers, and sometimes you may even be able to predict when you are about to switch into an episode by looking at past entries. It sounds totally weird, I know, but it really does help. When you remember to complete it that is.

Here are some examples of prompts you can use:

  1. Overall, how was your day on a scale from 1 – 10?
  2. What types of emotions and feelings to you deal with the most today?
  3. Did you face any triggers today? If so, what and how did you cope with the triggers?
  4. Are you working on any coping skills? If so, which ones?
  5. Were there any major events today? If so, what?
  6. Did you have any appointments today?  If yes, what kind and with who?
  7. Did you take all your meds as prescribed today?
  8. Did you have any side effects from your meds? If so, what?
  9. Did you start any new meds today, even OTC?
  10. What if your positive affirmations for today?
  11. What are your gratitudes today?
  12. Did you use drugs or alcohol today?
  13. Did you self-harm today?
  14. Did you isolate today?
  15. What was your goal for today?
  16. What is your goal for tomorrow?
  17. Did you have any suicidal thoughts today?
  18. What was the best part of your day?
  19. (If you are a recovering alcoholic/addict) Did you attend an AA/NA meeting today?
  20. How many hours did you sleep last night?
  21. What time did you wake up?
  22. What time did you go to bed?
  23. (Females Only) Did you have a period?
  24. How would you rate your anxiety today on a scale from 1 – 10?
  25. Did you have any panic attacks today?
  26. How would you rate your depression today on a scale from 1 – 10?
  27. How many meals did you eat today?

There are so many other things that you can add to a personalized mood journal. Add whatever you would like and whatever is more relevant to you.I find that the best time to complete a mood journal is at night before bed because then you will be able to rate your entire day and it will be more accurate.

Creating an Impulse Control Log in Place of Self-Injury

You can create an Impulse Control Log notebook if your goal is to try to distract yourself from self-injury, or you want to limit it, or even try to stop it all together. You can even create one on the notepad on your smartphone or tablet if you are on the go. Do whatever is going to be best for you. Self-injury is a highly judged and misunderstood coping mechanism that many people resort to when dealing with their feelings, emotional pain and trauma for many different reasons. It was a very addictive behavior and can be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol.

The whole topic of self-injury is for another day, but here are the steps to create an Impulse Control Log. It really does help and I know from personal experiences. I have been using the Impulse Control Log of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally i) Alternatives App that I purchased for $0.99 on Google Play awhile back.I was skeptical at first, but I found it distracts me long enough, a good majority of the time, for the urge to pass.

All you need is one page at a time for one entry. I am going to put the question that you need to answer in bold along with the examples that the app uses (and my example answers in parentheses.).

So here it goes:

  • Time & Date: (6:18am 5/30/17)
  • ACTING OUT/SELF INJURY THOUGHT: (e.g. cutting, running away) (cutting, drinking, getting high)
  • LOCATION: (livingroom @ home)
  • SITUATION: (e.g. Got into a fight with my best friend) (got into a big fight with my boyfriend and I threw the microwave at him)
  • FEELING: (angry, scared, crazy, frustrated)
  • WHAT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF SELF-INJURY: (e.g. more scars, loss of trust of family and friends) (more scars, feeling relieved, having to explain how I got hurt again.)
  • ACTION TAKEN: How were your thoughts/feelings communicated or coped with? (I journaled, I tried deep breathing, I did my impulse control log, I called a friend)
  • OUTCOME: (I noticed my urges decreased, I still wanted to cut but didn’t. Or if you don’t know the outcome will play out you can always come back to it later and log in like this: “@6:31am I Cut / @6:31am I feel better…etc..)

 

 

**Please Note: Like I mentioned earlier. The Impulse Control Log is Technique I found through S.A.F.E. Alternatives. You can check out more information about them on their website HERE.**