I stumbled upon this in a video and I think it is something many people can benefit from. Because it is not only about getting better, is about getting motivated. And we all have times where we do not feel motivated and a source of motivation of positivity can be so helpful in those situations.
A Recovery Journal the way I was introduced to is a place that is entirely positive and contains two parts:
- A section for quotes
- A section for reasons to recover
The first one is just a collection of quotes that speak to our hearts. Quotes that touch us. Move us. Motivate us.
The second is broader than just “quotes”. When we think about it, there are a ton of reasons to recover:
- We want to own a pet
- We want to publish a book
- We want to graduate
- We want to marry
- We want to eat our favorite cake
- We want to see a close friend again
- We want to own a fancy dress
Anything can go on that list, as long as it is positive. It reminds me a little of a positive bucket-list, that contains everything we want to do and become, the little things and the big things. There is no limit as long as it is positive.
I personally added a Gratitude Section. This is not a substitute for a Gratitude Log but it is a place to write down all the great things in our lives that we are grateful for. Things like:
- Our friends and family
- Our hobbies
- Our passions
I find that adding a list titled: “Where my worth comes from” or “The Value I add to this world” it is something I have spoken about before on this blog and it is really just about remembering the good that is in us, that we so easily tend to forget, when we are in a dark place.
Another thing that might be helpful to keep in a Recovery Journal is a list of triggers. And what helps avoiding them or dealing with them. Yes, the Recovery Journal is supposed to be a place of positivity. But there are two reasons for such a list: The first is that we cannot fight something that we cannot name. And knowing what triggers us is therefore crucial. And the other point simply is: this page can show us, how often we actually managed to get out of a triggering situation, or deal with a trigger. Therefore I think it has the right for a page in the Journal.
But what do we do next? What do we do, when we have a few quotes and reasons to recover, identified and put down a few triggers?
We keep going. We come back to these lists and read them, when we are not so well, we keep those lists growing, whenever we see the opportunity. Whenever we see a good quote, we write it down. Whenever someone tells us, what helps them, and we want to try that to deal with a trigger, we write it down and see if it helps. Whenever we think of a new thing we want to do, we write it down.
And as for all of these things writing it down on actual paper makes a lot of sense, because what we have written down we remember better. I like to keep my Recovery Journal in my Book of Lists, to always have it on me. But you could totally have a designated journal for it or just use sheets of paper and file them. You can go crazy and decorate it, if you feel like it, or you can keep it to the bare minimum. Your choice. Just remember that it should never be a source of pressure. You should like to go back to your journal and read through those lists and remember the good things.
I think the Recovery Journal is a step in the right direction, because it helps having a more positive mindset. And maintaining one, is an act of the will showing that we want to get better, even if we struggle to feel like that in our everyday lives.