I apologize for the quality of the pics. Best I can do for the moment.
I’ll admit it. I’m obsessed with this bullet journaling thing. It is a wonderful distraction to make and decorate the pages, but when I started using it to track my mental health…..whoa.
I hit the jackpot.
I showed my therapist what I had done and she loved it. She wanted me to put it on Pinterest because it might help other people. I rejected that idea, mostly because I still don’t want my name attached to anything mental health related. But I thought I’d put it up here, on the off chance it might help someone.
So here we go.
I started out with a calendar.
The calendar I’m using to track things like work, hanging out with friends, dinner with family, etc. No details, just that it happened. On the opposite page I have a running journal of sorts that I add to throughout the day. Just a couple words about how I’m feeling or how my mood changed. On days where big things happen (like when I left work in tears after only an hour) I record those as well.
After that I have some blank pages to journal. Actually I screwed up about 6 pages because I changed my mind what I was going to do with it, so I covered it with washi tape (love that stuff) and I’m slowly turning them into quote pages. Quotes I like are surprisingly hard to find. Ones like “my struggle makes me stronger” or “I’m more empathetic because of my struggle” irritate the hell out of me. Bipolar doesn’t make me who I am. It made me prove it. Hence the quote.
These pages I’m quite proud of, and the whole reason I started to do this in the first place. It’s my tracker page, tracking everything I can think of. It helps me see where I’m at, and how often I have mood changes. It also means I don’t have to try and remember everything.
These next pages came about mostly because I was looking for something else to put in, but also because I want to keep this thing as positive as possible. (I have a “Daily Answers” page late in the journal to answer the questions.)
I like this next page. Sometimes, when I have a string of bad days, I get super excited and am proud of myself for doing things like the dishes or a load of laundry. So I thought I’d make a page for it! It gives me an outlet for times when I feel accomplished. It also lets me see how much time I waste being unproductive and its an incentive to do more because I want to fill out the page.
Why I like it?
- I don’t have to try and remember everything to tell my therapist. I can just hand her the book every week and she gets a snapshot of what I’ve been feeling, what symptoms I’ve been dealing with and how often.
- I’m not stressing about whether or not I really experienced a symptom because its fleeting. I recorded it in the moment and there it is on the page, I don’t have to think about it anymore.
- This thing is an excellent distraction. I know I have been putting an inordinate amount of time into this, and my regular bullet journal. And after seeing a ton of pretty spreads with pretty handwriting, I’ve decided to learn brush lettering (which is what you see behind the journal in all of those pictures.) That’s because, right now, if I give myself more than 30 seconds to think, my brain goes in bad, bad directions. I prefer to not think about suicide thankyouverymuch.
So there you have it. My bullet journal (which honestly doesn’t really have the main components of bullet journals, namely to-do lists, but whatever. I have a second journal for that.)