Starting over

After several years of not blogging, I have decided that it’s time to start writing on a regular basis again.  On the recommendation of my therapist, I have tried using a paper journal, but while I find writing on paper to be quite satisfying, it can be a little time consuming and I have trouble sticking with it.

And thus I am blogging again and I have some grand plans.  For the past few years I have taken an interest in self-improvement and self-actualization.  I’ve tried out a lot of different things like tarot readings, goal setting, journals, wellness wheels, watching lifestyle videos on Youtube, planning, all to varying levels of success.  I have found wellness wheels to be particularly useful, as they provide me with an overview of which areas of my life need work.

Every year I do two particular wellness wheels, both of which have an interesting crop of categories.  I tend to do well in areas such as fun and leisure, personal growth and learning, romance (because right now I am in a good relationship), spirituality and intellectual health.  None of this is surprising as I generally excel at pushing myself up steep learning curves in my spare time and I have a lot of interesting hobbies that I enjoy.

My lower scores are almost always in the friendship, physical/mental health, career and money categories.  This is also not particularly surprising, as my main career choice has been a huge flop, I have been unemployed for long stretches, I have been diagnosed with several chronic illnesses, I suffer from depression, and I have been in significant debt for the past few years.

I have been making positive changes, particularly with regards to my finances.  I have nearly paid off my credit card (which was maxed out at about $8000), which has carried a balance for about 17 years.  I have also made a responsible budget and, while it is a little complicated, I have confidence that I can stick with it.  When I do my wheels again in January of 2017, I know that this score will improve a great deal.

I am proud of myself, but I feel like there is more that I can be doing to make improvements in other areas of my life that need attention.  I had a significant falling out with an old friend this week and, while I think he was being a tremendous asshole, he made a few points about me that were accurate.  This was a significant wake-up call for me and I spent most of my day yesterday thinking about (and writing down) the main aspects of my life that need the most attention:

  1. I have isolated myself and almost completely withdrawn from all of my friends.
  2. It is likely that I have been in a depressive episode since mid-2014. I have felt better at times, but I suspect that I have never fully snapped out of it.
  3. I have not been managing my chronic medical conditions as well as I could and, due to my depression and various other issues, my emotional binge eating has reached a level that is extremely damaging.
  4. My previous career path is not working and I need to embark on a complete career change.

In order to work through these issues, I am going to do my best to go to counseling once per month.  I am also considering medication to assist me, but I will discuss that with the counselor.  Sometimes I think that counselors think I am doing quite well, because I am good at assessing and analyzing my issues; however, I am not good at dealing with them.

I will also be blogging.  Writing has always been a hobby that I enjoy and I believe that it can help me with a number of the issues that I discussed above.  My plan, for now, is to primarily write about my journey through a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) workbook, my feelings around depression and taking medication and how I do with counseling.

And finances, I will probably write about finances.  I purchased an interesting book about finances that has weekly exercises for improving and adding to your knowledge about  money.  I have become a lot more interested in personal finance, and I think it will help to keep me honest and on track with my budget.

Here’s to hoping I stick with it!

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