Reframing thought patterns

#36 Self Talk, Divine Guidance Oracle Deck by Cheryl Lee Harnish
#36 Self Talk, Divine Guidance Oracle Deck by Cheryl Lee Harnish

Hello dear friend,

I hope you are doing well and that your weekend is off to a good start.

I think I’ve already mentioned my recent interest in tarot and oracle readings, yes? I’ve been doing relatively frequent readings to just check in and get some guidance on what I need to work through, particularly in terms of keeping my mental and emotional health on the up and up. In my readings lately, this card has turned up quite frequently. I know I have some negative thought patterns I am working on breaking…and I suspect you have your fair share of ones you would like to break, too. Let’s chat about that for a bit today, shall we? While I can only speak for myself, I hope the rest of this post is of some use or relevance to you, too.

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Carrying Guilt

Cartoon depicting stick figure hauling a weight labeled "Guilt"
ID 121202141 © Zdenek Sasek | Dreamstime.com

Hello dear friend,

I’m not sure what to write today. What I had planned to share, upon discussing it further with the person involved, well – permission to share was rescinded to preserve their mental health. And that’s absolutely okay – it is their story to share if and when they are ready and while I think it offers an important perspective in terms of mental health journeys, I’m not willing to jeopardize their journey in favor of clarifying my own. I’m…well, I’m sad and worried and regretful that my mental health journey is still such a pain point for them when I am doing so much better. So I guess what I want to talk about today is guilt.

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Little reminders

Photo of two bracelets on a wrist. The first says "You never walk alone" and the second shows the text "I slay the beast".
My reminder bracelets

Hello dear friend,

Today I want to talk about two bracelets I wear daily.

The first says “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and is based on a song with the same name by BTS. Susie gave it to me for Christmas. I wear it as a small but shiny reminder that even in my darkest moments, I am never alone. Regardless of how isolated I may feel, there are always people in my corner, whether I can sense them there or not. I am always being supported and loved – and wow, what a mindset shift from last spring. I hope you know, my friend, that you are never alone in your journey either. If you are feeling isolated right now, though, I want you to know it is okay to feel that way. I also want you to know that it is absolutely worth it to reach out for help. ❤

The other bracelet I wear came with my donor gifts from donating to The Office of Letters and Light last November, in support of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The rubber bracelet includes a small sword graphic and the text “The sword with with I slay the beast called doubt.” Now don’t get me wrong, I know the bracelet is meant to refer to the doubt that can cause a writer to stop writing, but I’ve taken it to mean so much more. Given the text is on a bracelet, it serves as a reminder to me that I wield the sword that slays my doubts and fears simply by continuing to actively use my mind and body to chase the reality I want to create for myself. I have the power to choose to defeat my doubts.

Between these bracelets, the tattoo on my wrist that affirms “Every Mile Will Be Worth My While“, and the many, many positive affirmations I have saved to my phone to refer to as often as needed, I have many little reminders that keep me going on days when life seems just a little harder than usual. What about you? What little reminders do you rely on to help you through?

I’ve decided to save the Lessons Learned post for Saturday.

Okay, that’s all for today, my friend. I hope the rest of your day is lovely.

Until next time, and with love always,

Katie

Out of the Chamber – this battle has been won.

Wide angle top view of the Initiation Well with no tourists in Sintra, Portugal
ID 115038471 © Saaaaa | Dreamstime.com 

Hello dear friend, 

As mentioned at the close of yesterday’s post, the remainder of my recovery journey to now had a few other bumps. I’ll be discussing those moments of backtracking before continuing with how positive things have been. As with previous heavy topic posts, please note that this one may be a painful read, at least for the first few paragraphs – if you want to skip it, I understand. The post does include mentions of suicide, so if that is a trigger for you, please go ahead and avoid this post, or proceed with caution. Okay? Okay. ❤ 

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Stronger, better, happier…Me.

Wide angle bottom-up view of the Initiation Well in Sintra, Portugal
ID 115125398 © Saaaaa | Dreamstime.com 

Hello dear friend, 

As promised at the end of yesterday’s post, today I’ll be discussing how things got better for me – how I went from panic attacks daily to happier than I’ve been in over a decade.  

If you want to listen to Champion (Remix)It Gets Better, and Happy while reading this one, they are the songs I think about when looking back at last year. 

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Not in my blood…

Selfie with bulldog
March 2018 – Depression – when even cuddling with Gunnyroo failed to draw a real smile…

Hello dear friend, I hope you are well. 

I’ve decided to split the discussion of 2018 into two posts – this first one will deal with what is arguably the worse months of my life to date and the second will deal with going from utter and complete darkness to fully believing the universe has my back.  As with yesterday’s post, I know this one is a hard read, so feel free to skip it if you worry it will trigger you in any way, or proceed with caution. Okay? ❤

As I think back on the first half of 2018, I can’t help but think of the Shawn Mendes song “In My Blood” – I don’t think there is another song that better encapsulates my mindset from October 2017-July 2018.  

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The Me that Isn’t Me – Nox

Black smoke billows out of open doorway
ID 23707842 © Dale Stork | Dreamstime.com 

Hello dear friend, I hope you are doing well.  

Whew, okay. Today’s post is going to be…yeah. I’m hoping cathartic for me and somehow useful for you. Note that I will be discussing the onset and persistence of suicidal thoughts in this post, so if that is a trigger for you, please skip this one or proceed with caution. As always, if you or someone you love needs help, please reach out for help – https://psychcentral.com/lib/common-hotline-phone-numbers/.
Let’s go. 

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Duct tape and a prayer…

rusted car held together by duct tape
ID 131752207 © Konstantin Kolosov | Dreamstime.com 

Hello again, dear friend. 

We left off yesterday with Susie and I both shattered.  

I mentioned yesterday that Susie and I found ourselves saying over and over again “We can’t handle this. It’s too much. It’s too much. Something’s gotta give. We can’t take any more than this.” As we limped our way through 2013-2015, we often found ourselves discussing how we were making it through only because we were somehow held together with duct tape and a prayer. There was more than one occasion where one or the other of us actually placed a piece of duct tape on our skin as a reminder to keep going. Hah, I actually remember taking a trip to Target specifically to buy fun colored duct tape for that purpose.  Silly of us, but cute, no? There were many things that acted as duct tape for us, helping to hold us together as we stumbled our way through trying to heal. 

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