Self-help book intro draft 1
You know the number one word people use to describe me is? Interesting. That’s it, that’s the word. And that’s great! I love being known as “interesting”. However, a lot of people who say that will also describe me as “crazy”. I found this out the hard way. Years ago I was working with a newbie at the hotel I worked at. That’s the word he had heard. Crazy.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had mental issues. I’ve always tried my best not to be defined as my mental illness. Which sometimes can be easier said than done. I’ve had major depression and anxiety, as well as other things, most of my life. That doesn’t mean that that is all I am. I’m much more than that. I am a daughter, a friend, a pagan, an animal lover, and a writer. Just to name a few things off the top of my head.
For what I can tell, I have all my mental problems in check at the present time. Though it hasn’t always been that way. For example, I’ve been known to have pretty bad panic attacks and anger issues. Underlying it all is my anxiety.
This past April (2019) I admitted myself to the BHU (Behavioral Health Unit) of our local hospital because of a panic attack. That of which was started by thoughts of harming myself and others. My anger and anxiety was that bad. I’ve been there before, though this time seemed to really help me out. At this point, I had actually already started working on some techniques to help myself out. This was the perfect point to start to learn more about myself and really start putting my techniques to good use. I really wanted to absorb as much information as I could.
The first day at the hospital is always the worst. You don’t know any of the people there; not the nurses, doctors, or the patients. Then there's all the little meetings, talking to the doctor, doing paperwork, blah blah blah. Tedious and no fun at all. But after a couple group sessions, you kind of get used to things a bit more. I used group to my advantage, learning new techniques to add into my everyday life.
One of the things that really helped me was journaling. They gave me a composition book to write. And encourage everyone to do so. I was killing it with my journal! I wrote everything down. Pretty much every day I was writing down three to six pages worth. In the past I’ve tried to journal, but usually that didn’t last long. And now, even after months free from the hospital, I write everyday. Which makes sense, if I really want to become a serious author. I may not be a great writer, but damn do I love it or what!
Another thing that we did, during my stay, was something they called a “Community Meeting”. We had these twice a day. The beginning of the day and the end. They were short little meetings, basically talking about our day. There was even a little chart in the room we could follow. First was your “Mood”. Then on a scale of one to ten, how we were feeling. After that you give your “Feeling Word”. Then we had our goals. Our “Treatment Goals” (your overall treatment), and our “Daily Goal (what you want to accomplish today). I’ll give an example: Mood today is about a 5, Feeling word: Content, Treatment Goal: Anger/Stress Management, and Daily Goal: Work on my blog. Not too hard right? I enjoyed the feel of a simple way of laying out a plan, and see how my feelings change over the day. I took this tool home with me, and I still do this today.
The next thing we worked on, is recognizing and logging any “Cognitive Distortions”. Cognitive distortions are irrational thoughts and beliefs that we have reinforced over time. I’ll explain more of this in a later chapter. You deserve to have all the information for this one.
All these techniques came home with me, and I have been doing my best to keep up with everything. So I figured, while I go through my journey of finding myself and learning about my anger and anxiety, I might as well write it down. Then I thought to myself, “Self, why don’t we journal AND do some writing on these subjects as the side”. And that’s when I decided to create a blog. To help myself and help others at the same time. Now here we are! Not only have I kept up with my blog, it has officially brought me to write this self-help book. I always read them myself and figured it was time to start my own.
Now, follow me on my journey. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoy writing it.