Since my diagnosis of bipolar I in 2008 I have invested a lot of time and energy into trying to understand my cycles of depression, anxiety, and mania. I have worked hard to reach the level of wellness that I currently enjoy. At times, my level of well-being feels tenuous at best. However, most of the time I am confident that I finally have gained the tools and the skills that I need in order to lead a high quality, balanced and meaningful life.
I began studying psychology in earnest in 2006 and I attained a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008. Even when I was studying library science, my focus was on psychology as I wrote research papers about topics such as bibliotherapy (book therapy). In my free time I also frequently look for more information about bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety and I have experimented with various natural remedies to try in addition to traditional medication.
I have found that a sense of well-being is best attained through the combination of various activities. I believe that having a psychiatrist and a therapist on your team is critical if you have a long-term mental health issue. However, one must not limit their support environment to sporadic appointments with traditional professionals. It is important to build up a support system that also includes family and friends, in order to do that one must be able to communicate without fear of judgment.
I am hoping to fulfill one my life’s most important goals through the products that I sell in my Etsy shop – Old School Jenny. That goal is for me to pass on the knowledge that I have gained about my illness and how to change my patterns of negative thinking and to improve my life so much that I doubt I could have ever been this well if I had not at some point been so utterly depressed.
I have learned that positive affirmations are capable of changing one’s life completely. Especially when it comes to changing long held patterns of negative thinking that have lead to paralyzing levels of anxiety and depression. I greatly admire Loise Hay. She is the author of You Can Heal Your Life and many other self-help books that guide people to change their life by changing the way that they think.
This is why I put positive affirmations in all of my custom keepsake wellness journals. I started with the junk planner that I made for Kristen’s daughter who suffers from anxiety and OCD. The second custom junk journal that I made also went to a teen that suffers from depression and anxiety. I feel blessed and I believe that I am truly achieving my life’s purpose when my journals with positive affirmations become hopefully a source of positive thoughts for young women.
The Promise Journal that I listed on Etsy this week is the first keepsake wellness journal that I have made without having it pre-ordered. I am hoping that it finds its way to the right person. I kept the journal somewhat simple yet beautiful. I made the cover from a vintage book titled the Promise. I was inspired to make the journal a transition from winter to spring to represent the promise of growth and light at the end of a time of cold and dark. I made the analogy of this transition as being similar to the transition from the depths of depression to the joy and light that waits for those who suffer. I want everyone to know that as bad as one feels when they are depressed, they are never alone and that I promise there is a better life ahead of you if you can try to think positive, and keep writing in your journal.
The Promise Journal is 74 two-sided pages (so 148 writing or drawing areas) and measures 4.5” x 7”. It is bound by 3 rings and has a key bookmark. It includes several types of paper including drawing paper, lined paper, engineering paper, original book pages, catalog order sheets, and beautifully designed scrapbook paper. The colored pages at the beginning of the book are all dark, black, and grey mostly. Then towards the middle of the journal there are some yellow pages meant to represent sunlight, and colorful pages at the end that are reminiscent of spring flowers.