The Stressful Stress Reliever

The Journal
The Journal

Today, after reading an article online, I got the interesting idea of writing in a journal to relieve stress and develop an all around better well-being.  I love writing and I have loved it ever since I can remember.  I remember in 7th grade I was chosen out of my entire class to meet with an established author and discuss the process of writing and eventually publishing a book.  From then, I was totally inspired and ready to become an author myself.

Like many things in life, my dreams didn’t play out exactly like I wanted them to.  I always dreamed of studying English literature or creative writing in college.  How I ended up in Speech and Hearing Sciences is a long story and I won’t get into that.  Anyway, my point is my writing career never went anywhere, yet.  For the past year, I have been working on a novel.  It’s nearly finished, but I think probably the most difficult part is making it all come together in the end.  It’s very difficult work!

Therefore, I enjoy writing as a hobby because I can finish the story I’m writing, or not, it’s my choice.  It would be nice to get published though.  Anyway, I digress…

Back on track.  After reading the article throughout the day, intermittently with each 15 minute break, I decided that as soon as I left work, I would buy a journal.

Those of you with OCD might understand this next part.  I planned for hours in my head the exact and most strategic route possible.  It stresses me out so much when I have to change up this route.  Then I played over and over in my mind how quickly I could drive there, get the journal, and go home.  It then took me about another hour to debate back and forth if I really wanted to go all the way over to that side of town and buy one.  I clocked out, went to my car, and headed to the store.  It seemed like my body was making the decision for me 🙂

I got to the store and headed straight to where the journals are always kept.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot to choose from, which is usually not the case.  I finally ended up choosing one that I thought was cute, despite the over-enthusiastic sayings on the front.  I feel like I will never live up to what the journal expects of me 😉  It is the one featured in the picture above, obviously.

I chose this particular one out of a number of similar journals because I liked the color scheme.  Everything else was either too bright or had a design, like a shoe, that didn’t appeal to me.  I bought it and went home.

I kept it in it’s plastic wrapper until after I took a shower and settled in for the evening on the sofa.  I unwrapped it and instantly felt disappointed.  I literally felt disappointed because I hated the way the cover felt!  Looking at it now, I still hate it.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I hate particular textures of paper and one like this, where it’s almost like a newspaper texture, really, really irritates me and creeps me out.  As my mom once said because she has the same issue with paper, is that it’s about like nails on a chalkboard for us.

I am now frustrated that I have a journal, which has a texture that I hate.  I might have been able to get over that, except when I opened the cover and looked at the pages, I saw that they were like this:

The Stupid Pages
The Stupid Pages

This reminds me of freshman year geometry.  I have never seen a journal with grid paper before!  That’s truly annoying.  I mean, what the heck is that?  I guess on the bright side, I can improve my handwriting by staying within the boxes as I did in second grade 😦

I would take this journal back, but there are a couple of reasons why.  First, I don’t feel like going all the way to that side of town and exchanging it for another one.  It wasn’t expensive and I don’t want to use my gas.

Second, I need to overcome my anxieties and just use it.

I had to share this story because of the sheer irony.  I bought this journal as a way to relieve stress, but the journal itself is stressful to me.

I have a long life ahead of me, I hope, and there will be other journals, so this too shall pass.

Keep on keepin’ on friends and embrace life’s obstacles 🙂

 

Peace, love, and blessings always,

Megan

 

 

 

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123 thoughts on “The Stressful Stress Reliever

  1. I’ve probably gone through a hundred journels and I definitely have a preference for spiral bound – and yes, a certain kind of paper – actually I like using the art paper journals – I can use markers with that thicker paper and I love some color! You absolutely rock today for getting out there and getting that journal! I’m so impressed. Little steps take us to far places!

    1. That’s actually another point you brought up. This journal has a very tightly bound spine and it’s difficult to open, so I’ll have to fold the pages down 🙂 No fun really. What sort of things do you write about in your journal? I’m thinking about poetry or just thoughts that I might have.

      1. I usually rant in my journals. I doodle sometimes. Poetry – definitely! I think of my journal as a safe place to clear my head. If something is bothering me – that’s where I go. I like to write nice things to myself in my journal too… when I’m feeling low, I can go back to those pages and read things like: Dyan, you are so lovely and helpful. Thank you so much for being you. I also write down quotes that inspire me. I’m looking forward to hearing about what inspires you!

  2. I found for a long time I had to collect a certain amount of stress stamps to paste in my daily stamp book to get through my week so I could redeem them at the “All is Right With Reality” store. The circumstances by which I got my precious stamps changed, but the stress level was always the same, then I realized I could edit the stamps I put in the book. Then I realized how hard it was to change them with all the momentum and identity attachment I had built up. I was the guy who got stress stamps. Not the guy who did this other more constructive thing… So I stressed about not stressing and other such nonsense… after a number of years and a few tears I began getting some more nourishing stamps to fill up my book. Is all perfect now? Do picket fences spring up from the ground and paint themselves? No. But I don;t stress as much about it as I used to. I think I just got me another stamp!

    1. The things we worry ourselves with are sometimes ironic, don’t you think? I’ve never heard of stress stamps before. This sounds interesting. I hope I’m not taking it too literally and you actually are speaking metaphorically about something, but I envision actual postage stamps or ink stamps. Forgive me if I’m wrong! This sounds like a really fun idea and something that I have to think about.

      1. Yea, it’s metaphor. People used to collect stamps (such as s&h green stamps) and be able to redeem them for toasters and such back in the day. I guess I was using a very outdated reference. It kind of works like that though, we tend to get what we expect partly because we expect it, and that is sometimes hard to tell from all the rest of the stuff that happens. If you want to understand the physiology, look up and understand how myelinating glial cells predispose our brain wiring to perceive a certain fine tuning of experience, or read “The Other Brain” by R. Douglas Fields.

        On another note, forgive you? No need for that, I am not qualified to judge anyone. That kind of makes forgiving them unnecessary too. 🙂

  3. I have a travel journal at home, note I have A LOT of notebooks and decided to randomly pick one out of my stash of stationary. I love stationary can you tell yet? ><

    1. I love stationary too 🙂 I wish I had the opportunity to use it a bit more, but unfortunately email dominates my life. I like the idea of a travel journal. I should definitely take one along the next time I travel, which probably won’t happen again for a long time!

  4. For all your struggles, it is amazing that you have (almost) completed a novel. That must have been frustrating….where to start, how many chapters, how to structure, what person to tell it in, title names yeeeoza! Just burn that awful journal. It is horrible. It will just distract you from the joy of journaling. I understand texture, I hate velvet. Creeps me out. Eveything STICKS to it, hair, dust, my fingers and finger goo….I had a velvet journal given as a present once….never touched the icky thing.

    1. I too have an issue with velvet and sometimes fleece. You know that feeling when you have dry hands and your skin sticks to the fabric? That is such an awful sensation! I’m hoping I can get motivated to finish that novel soon. It’s almost finished really. I just need about 20-30,000 more words. I also need to find the right motivation to finish it. It’s been a struggle to get through it all, even though I think it’s quite an interesting crime novel. 🙂

  5. Although I do not struggle with OCD, I, too, write for a stress relief and have sensibilites to textures and smells. I have to test everything (except writing) about my journals at the store before I buy them: how the cover feels, the look of the pages, the width of the lines, the feel of the cover, the general smell of the journal (aromas are one of my migraine triggers). If I’m not completely comfortable while writing, it can’t possibly releive my stress. Right? 🙂

    1. I probably should have just got up the courage and not been so afraid to unwrap the darn thing and just check it out! I was kind of in a rush, so that’s probably why. I probably would have chosen one of the lovelier leather-bound options instead 🙂

  6. I was originally told I had OCD before I was diagnosed as a multiple. I was using the obsessive cycle to deal with the shame I felt from being sexually abused, so once I got treatment for the shame and was able to remember the abuse I have been able to live more normally. I was going to suggest you cover the journal with a cloth cover, but the graph paper pages are really a bummer. Yuk! If it was cheap throw it out, or cut it up and use it for scratch paper, if you can stand to do that! Thanks for stopping by at itsmindbloggleing.

    1. I have never experienced something so traumatizing as that and you have my empathy. You are a strong person to talk about that now and to contemplate how it has affected your life. I think a cloth cover is a fantastic idea. 🙂 I could probably sew one up quickly with some of the fabric I have lying around. Great idea indeed!

  7. “The time is now, be fearless, find your voice, take chances, make a difference” That is front and center on the cover. Somewhere in your subconscious you must have been trying to challenge yourself to step up a little. You feel intimidated now but as you said, you will overcome, this too will pass. I admit the pages would bug me, I have to have a lined journal but not squared.!? Megan, you can do it, tell yourself, ‘take that silly thing by the pages and write’, and if that is too much… find another one and give that one away to a drafting friend. 😉

    1. I think there is a lot of truth in what you say 🙂 My subconscious was picking up on something yesterday. I am going to do my best to ignore all that, the texture issues and lines I mean, and just use it. The cover and colors are still pretty, even though they kind of are terrible. I can perhaps use the grids to practice my drawing as well. Let’s turn this into something positive 🙂

      1. Can I ask, if they suit your blog, will your share your art here? I like how you spun that negitive around too. You have good style. I hope you would consider posting more often. I’d read, even if you only print a picture of your drawings; a picture paints a thousand words right?

      2. I will definitely try to share some of my art. To be honest, I’ve never taken any art courses and am very amateur, but it’s something I enjoy doing as a hobby. I am thinking about getting a tablet and pen so that I can draw digitally. That’s really something I’d love to try out. If you really would like to see my art, then I will scan some of it onto here 🙂

  8. Wow, the planning of the route thing really rang a bell with me, I strategically plan my next plan all the time..that probably didn’t make too much sense but I know you, my wonderful daughter, will know exactly what I’m talking about. I often thought of writing a journal too, but my old hands just aren’t what they used to be and it would cause me pain to write so for now, I’ll have to stick with wordpress, which is really quite wonderful. Great post honey.

    1. Yeah, I hate that I plan routes. It’s nonstop. When I was at school and I had to walk to classes, I had to go the shortest possible route, which was usually diagonal in some way. So weird.

  9. I think you are very brave indeed to attempt a paper journal! I understand what you mean about the texture, and those little grid boxes would just infuriate me……. I found the only kind of paper journal I could use was one with loose leaves so that I could throw away the ‘imperfect’ drafts. Better still is wordpress, because I can edit and correct as needed. Maybe throw away the paper monster and make yourself a nice password protected blog with a theme that you love? As for ‘my writing career never went anywhere yet…’ you are already a writer lovely….just look at all the wonderful posts you have made (and others have read) on here 🙂 xx Sarah

    1. That is very sweet of you. I can only hope that others enjoy my writing as much as I do. I feel a bit old school using a paper journal, but it’s kind of a way to express the more private things on my mind. I love WordPress and the anonymity of it all. I am thinking about trying my hand at poetry. That was one of my bigger aims with this journal, but who knows. It’s a good place to write down random thoughts as well. Perhaps one day I will post a few if I think they are decent enough 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness! I love that you reblogged this. I feel very proud of the fact that someone thought it good enough to post on their own blog 🙂 Thank you so much for making my day. I like the comment as well 🙂 Very cute and so true.

  10. Okay, I do believe you deserve a journal of your choosing and you don’t have to use the one recently purchased unless you think it do-able.

    I’ve yet to key in on this feel of paper that you speak of but the grid paper not being acceptable is understandable.

    I personally see your journal book with a beautiful cover of, perhaps, fabric and pages lined. I’ve seen many nice journals at Target or maybe even Kohls. You can always use the current one for random thoughts…..just a thought (smile)!

    Have you thought of your first book being what you are blogging? Think about it and then your title, book cover and pictures.

    As for your planning your route, I can only relate how I planned a quick trip to the grocery store tonight where I spent a small fortune due to putting off going for a period of time. I really didn’t need a list because of mapping it out in my mind prior to going. I’ve never done that before with such confidence of remembering everything (so laughing) ~ it’s probably not the same.

    You’re definitely on the right track!!

    Many blessings for the greatest week ever . . . .

    1. Target does have a good selection of journals and I actually live less than a mile from one. Thinking about it now, I’m not sure why I went to the other store. You’re lucky you don’t have paper issues 🙂 I’m quirky, I know.

      I have not thought about writing a book about what I’m blogging about. I’m not sure why though. It might be very interesting and easy to write the peculiar and sometimes interesting occurrences. I think that’s a fabulous idea for another book. Do you have any other suggestions for what it might include? I’d love to hear more. It’s inspiring me.

      That’s something I do too! I take a mental inventory of everything we need and I never take a list to the store. PS I hate grocery stores! There are usually too many people and I hate touching grocery carts. Another oddity about me 🙂

      You are an awesome person and I appreciate your thoughts so much!

      1. Megan, I just read a comment come through on this post where it indicated that you do art work, drawings, etc. I do believe you have many of your stories illustrated with photography but maybe not all personal. However, if you do decide to publish a book of your ongoing blog writes, then I would recommend your book cover be illustrated with your art together with each story being illustrated however you see fit. I do know a publisher personally and his name is Ken Cowle of Soul Asylum Poetry and Publishing
        Soul Asylum Poetry is Proud to be a part of another amazing CD! Bullying can happen to anyone. Together we can create a safe school environment &
        http://www.soulasylumpoetry.com – Cached

        With your experience, I would think you could self-publish with illustrations of your own art work. Have a great rest of the week!!

      2. That would be amazingly fun 🙂 I was actually thinking about getting a tablet and pen to start doing digital illustrations. Nothing too serious, but perhaps funny cartoons that illustrate my stories. I think illustrations are a bit more personal and can add a little humor to my posts 🙂 I would love to discuss opportunities such as this with a publisher, but I would never know where to start. I’m roaming in the dark on this one! Very great suggestions, though. I appreciate that.

  11. Ah, Megan, you struck such a note with me! I began daily journaling because of the suggestion of morning pages from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” I always journaled but only in the stressed times, which meant I had a collection of stressful life experiences – nothing wrong with that, but I didn’t have the happy times. Too busy being happy to write, eh? I’ve done it every day since 1999 and it’s a joy and a very big reliever of stress because I vent all my thoughts first thing and then I’m free for the day! That is quite simply not the journal for you – throw it out or pass it forward – I never could write in the pretty books – and friends who knew gave me gorgeous ones. I’m an 8 x 11 college ruled paper. The act of handwriting vs. typing really does something for me that I never thought it would – with the additional bonus that people now think I have lovely handwriting! Hah! The criticisms I used to get. But, the pens have to be a certain type – Uniball and they are at least $16. bucks a box! A friend of mine is unable to buy clothes online because she absolutely must feel the texture. The gifts she has given me over the years are treasures of texture. Love ’em! Start again and be kind to yourself! Best ~ HuntMode at http://www.chasingrabbitholes.com

    1. It’s actually much easier to write in a notebook! I just don’t want the ugly things cluttering up my pristine bookshelf (yes, it’s an OCD thing)! You must be very skilled at journaling, having done it for over a decade. I admire that and wish I had that kind of stamina to stick with any of my hobbies/past times.

      I understand about the pens though. I have to have fountain pens or really dark pens. If they are ballpoint and have a weak color, I don’t like to write with them. I like to write in cursive as well. I don’t know, it looks more whimsical? If that makes sense. I’m a bit strange I know. 🙂

      1. Then I must be strange, too! 🙂 Although… what I heard all the time was, “You are different…” never a compliment. S’okay. I’m still here. Grin. Oh, as to the notebooks on my shelf – I go thru one about every two months – I have a box specifically set aside for ’em.

    1. I’m at work and I will respond to your other posts when I get home, but I just wanted to quickly say that you are almost right! My dad’s farm is actually in Southern Indiana 🙂 It’s very beautiful in the spring and early fall, which is what’s pictured there.

    2. Another p.s. …..I did remember how I feel when i run my fingers across taffeta and/or silk . . .it’s an edgy feeling for me or was in the past. Yep, I can think of a few southern Indiana places as John Mellencamp is from that area. Nappanee is very far north but was right about the picture being Indiana (laugh).

      1. Another p.s. …… I did remember to say that mapping the grocery list in my mind so meticulously is a first for me. ,,,, Do you suppose my OCD preferences are presently waxing? I really do not care as if I can take a lesson in being better organized from my OCD persona, then so-be-it. I make it okay!! I’m on Facebook and Twitter but don’t see you have available links.

      2. I don’t have a Facebook account for WordPress, but I do have a personal one. Perhaps I will make one tonight, or if you’d like, I wouldn’t mind adding you to my personal account 🙂 I do have a twitter account as well and it is only for WordPress. It is @megan_messmer

        Let me know what you think 🙂

      3. I actually live in the same city as John Mellencamp 🙂 His lake home is BEAUTIFUL! It’s a great place to live and probably the cultural, liberal hub of Indiana. It’s honestly a great little place to visit.

        Yuck about the taffeta and silk thing. It sticks to my dry skin! Hate that 😦

  12. Thanks for the like. I saw you also write about mental disorders so I thought I would check your page out. Very cool what you’re doing. While OCD is not my main issue, it is a small contributor to my problems. I get it. Mine manifests itself in symmetry. (If I touch one side of my body up against something I must touch the same part of my body on the opposite side). I know how frustrating it can be and I commend you for giving your notebook a go. Those pages would drive me crazy too! Good work. Keep it up!
    Anna Wild
    Xx

    1. Symmetry issues are a definite OCD tendency. I have that as well, but to a lesser extent than some of my other overwhelming compulsions. I often feel the need to touch things with my right hand and then my left. When I kiss my boyfriend’s cheek, I have to kiss both sides, or if I’m giving him a peck on the lips and it’s not perfectly lined up, then I have to keep doing it until it is. It can be frustrating to say the least 🙂 I’m glad you have some commonalities. Very interesting.

  13. It bothers me when bookstores don’t keep unwrapped sample journals out for exactly that reason! I HATE those little grid boxes, I don’t know what manufacturers are thinking! Kudos to you for deciding to stick with it and overcome your anxiety. I wish you much luck in doing so!

    Up until this year, I kept a written journal every year since I was 18, at the advice of my therapist. This year I decided to stop because I didn’t write in it often (which completely defeated the purpose of keeping it, since I was supposed to use it to track my mood shifts) and when I did, I didn’t review it to look for patterns in my mood like I was supposed to. Keeping a physical journal felt more like a chore to me than anything, and I’d be overwhelmingly disappointed in myself whenever I’d go to write in it after leaving it abandoned for two months. It’s not that I wasn’t writing, it’s just that I wrote in my blog online, which was much more convenient and just as (if not more so) cathartic for me as the physical journal. This year I decided to forgo the paper altogether and just keep using a blog.

    I hope your journaling experience goes better than mine have!

    1. They should keep them unwrapped! Crappy store planning I believe 🙂

      I know what you mean about it being a chore. I used to journal when I was younger and it got to the point that doing so everyday was becoming too much for me and I eventually began to loath it. That’s not what it’s all about though, so I stayed away for quite some time. It wasn’t until recently that the idea struck my mind to pick it up again. I want to write in a place where I can privately recollect on the things that run through my head, whether they are interesting to others or not. I hope it doesn’t become a chore again! If so, I can always just quit 🙂

      Blessings
      Megan

  14. Megan
    I knew that there was something that had me spending a lot of time reading and writing to your postings, besides being good friends. I now also know what your next journal might be about? You have native American ancestors and the area you are from, more than likely Shawnee blood? Take a good look at your hand on that journal?

    1. Hello dear friend,

      We definitely have a spiritual connection. Do you believe that I do have native American ancestors? What a blessing and honor that would be. I am from Southern Indiana, one of the many locations of past Shawnee settlements. How do my hands appear to you? I’m very interested in this, please tell me more.

      Love and peace always,
      Megan

      1. OK a little teaching
        🙂
        Because of a missing enzyme on our people we all in one way or another fit into what you are going through.
        One of the many ways of telling if someone has the blood as we call it is, this shows up mostly on females, your pinky finger tends to bend back towards the rest of your fingers.
        I can see this on the hand on that book. Yes,, this is one of the reasons why you and I do have an ancestor to ancestor connection.
        P.S. Your hair color is this your color? If so, blonde is another, Shawnee trait.
        They were hidden for many years by the Amish during the trail of tears!

      2. My pinky finger does curve toward the other fingers a bit. 🙂 I never thought about that before. Yes, my hair is naturally blonde. I am going to look more into Shawnee history. This is very interesting to me! Please share more. I think you know much more than the internet 😉

        Your friend,
        Megan

      3. I read today a bit about this and am definitely surprised by what I’ve found. Dutch and German Amish or Quakers hid Swanee people in the early 1800s. What’s interesting is that there is a gap in my family history on my father’s side, the side in which I get my extra long second toe and curved pinky finger. You have inspired me so much that I am seriously considering getting a sample of my DNA processed by the dnaproject in order to trace my exact lineage. I think it would be amazing 🙂

      4. When you have questions just ask, yes I have been to the Shawnee tribe a few times, I think that there are now two or three tribes? my partner has Shawnee blood, she didn’t know this until I also saw her hand in a photo. It is like walking into a town of Blondes. 🙂

      5. The history behind the Shawnee tribe is fascinating, yet a bit heartbreaking. It’s terrible how many people were pushed into hiding and treated as sub-human. This is the biggest flaw with humanity.

  15. Hey Megan,
    I think you are on the right track. Don’t sweat the notebook, find one you like and then try again. It’s good that your doing a blog, because it does help to write stuff out. I used to write my frustration out on paper every day and now have over 1,600 pages of notebooks full of writing. Which I now have to type with two fingers. I have PTSD, and am also afflicted with anxiety attacks, panic attacks and mood swings on occasion, and writing sometimes takes me away. Keep at it. Find the right notebook.

    1. That’s very inspirational 🙂 I have started to write in the journal, even though it’s a bit annoying. Life’s daily frustrations, i.e. the journal, can sometimes be a little humorous 🙂 That’s amazing how you have written so frequently over the years. It definitely does help to release some of that pinned up frustration and anxiety. You are a stronger person than me.

      Blessings,
      Megan

  16. Hmmm. I like the idea of giving the journal away. Or, just maybe, you could color the squares and make your own pixel designs? Make it fun. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me. Congratulations on nearing the end of writing your first novel. It takes great courage and stamina and sheer guts to follow through on long writing projects. (((Hugs)))

    1. I definitely hope I can make it to the end. It’s a struggle much of the time to get the courage and will to write, but I find it really inspiring when I do get another 1,000 words down. I also like the idea of giving the journal away. I just have to think of someone first 🙂

  17. WOW!
    You are much stronger than you give yourself credit!! Well done on the journey and overcoming the cover and paper problem!
    Such simple things for other people and such hardship that otrhers would give up1 not you. Inspirational!

    1. You are too kind 🙂 I am just trying to take everything one step at a time and even if it’s something as silly as a texture issue, I am trying to force myself to have the courage to take it on!

  18. The journal idea for a stress reliever is excellent. I can imagine your disappointment with the journal though. Two of my favorite things to buy are pens and journals, which I have multiple stacks of. This one that you pictured though would probably end up becoming my journal for note taking and nothing more. So, seeing as how you’re going to try to use it regardless of it’s non-journalistic qualities is commendable.

    1. It might just become a place for not taking! It’s cute to look at, but awful to actually use, which is what I believe it was intended for haha. I love really good pens, mostly fountain pens. I also love to write in cursive when I can. It looks pretty terrible, but it feels a bit like I’m writing as so many wonderful, inspiring authors did in the past 🙂 I hope that all makes sense. Sounds kind of weird now that I’m looking at it!

      1. That makes complete sense. There’s definitely a difference between typing and writing. Same goes for reading a story from an actual book rather than on an electronic device.

  19. Hi, I landed on your blog, because you liked my post on complaints. I can’t stop thinking that maybe in some way that post also partly inspired you to keep a journal. I strongly believe in fate. The fact that I’m here already says something about that, because I usually don’t check on the people that like my posts. But now I had this urge to click the link to your blog, and here I am.

    I never met someone with OCD (as far as I know) or any other form of compulsiveness. I sometimes have compulsive symmetric organizing and counting (which I think really strange, as I also have light dyscalculia) when I am stressed, even without directly noticing the stress. I might just follow your blog to see how you handle it; I might learn from it.

    Anyway, good luck with the writing, wether it be in your journal, on your blog, or following your dream to write a book!

    1. I too have discalculia! Not always, but there are times when it is evident. I work a lot with numbers and constantly find myself writing them or saying them in reverse order or some other RANDOM order. It’s not too debilitating though. Symmetry compulsions are definitely an OCD tendency. I do this all the time. (e.g. touching something with my right hand and then feeling a need to touch it with my left). If it doesn’t interfere much with daily living, I wouldn’t worry much.

      I think that my blog does inspire me to write more. I enjoy sharing stories with others, even if they are generally for my own enjoyment. It is so humbling when others say that they benefit from my writing. There’s nothing more inspiring to a writer.

      Blessings,
      Megan

  20. Hi Megan, Might the spirit in you stress you in your life as you find your way? I state this about spirit because this is what I feel, we have a spirit who can cause us stress in our life as we make choices. Might I point out that you have a journal, that is not paper. You wrote in it, or typed in it. You also shared your stresses, which may help others A journal becomes a journal out of even a scrap piece of paper, a binder filled with paper you love, a texture you love. You can even design your journal with pictures you love, flowers you love. You also force upon yourself and write in the journal you don’t love.
    Choosing love in ones life brings more peace inside.
    Love Billie

    1. That couldn’t be truer 🙂 Those are true words of wisdom. I think that my blog is somewhat of a journal. It’s definitely easier to share what I’m feeling and share my life and experiences a bit in hopes that others might benefit from something I write. It’s quite a humbling feeling when someone recognizes what I’ve written and says that they were helped in some way by it. In truth, I write for myself, so any time someone likes it or whatnot, I am genuinely surprised and elated 🙂 You are a beautiful spirit!

  21. Why don’t you just trash the journal? Rather than use it to write in, use it to get your anger/frustration out instead. Use it as a tool to become less involved with the book. Get crayons, anything that you are not able to make precise marks with, and just make marks. Then perhaps write over your marks. Not in any comprehensive way, but in a stream of conscious, emotional way. Try writing, or making marks, with your less dominant hand, or with your eyes closed, etc. Choosing colours randomly with no thought, all the time expecting this to be difficult, but knowing that is the objective. That it’s just an exercise.
    I used to be very ocd about my (reading) books, to the point where it was beginning to become a problem. I couldn’t lend them out in case a page was turned, or creased, etc. It was a constant worry and my stomach would turn if anyone even mentioned that they hadn’t read a particular book in case they would ask to read mine. Sometimes I would lie that I hadn’t got a copy. I decided to change it and took the book I was reading, which happened to be the Lord of the Rings, one of my favourites, and deliberately tore the front page from the spine. I taped it back on, and then proceeded to break the spine in many other places. That was thirty years ago and I still love to hold it and feel how ‘used’ it is.
    I’m not diminishing your ocd. Absolutely not. I have it somewhat and my daughter has it worse. It is very debilitating. But, it could be a fun experiment. I was always, and still am to a degree, reluctant to even make a mark in one of my journals or sketchbooks because of fear I will mess up, so this is a great exercise for me also.

    1. I don’t think you are diminishing it at all, but instead are offering me a way to cope 🙂 I like the idea of trashing it. I have lied to people when they ask me if I have a pen to borrow. I can’t stand the thought of their hand touching something that is mine and then possible chewing on it. I would probably have the same issues with books as you, but luckily I don’t have many friends or at least many who would want to borrow them 🙂
      How are you coping at present with OCD? I would love to hear some other strategies that you have honed in on over time. It seems like you are a strong person 🙂

  22. If I like something, I like it right away! It is actually taking me a bit to read, though. Work place realism 🙂 I would write about what I do, but I’d best stay away from that. The bit about telemarketers couldn’t be truer!

  23. Oh I love notebooks and stationary! It was quite depressing last September when I didn’t have to buy anything for uni. I saw loads of beautiful notebooks on holiday last year and they all had square paper. Who uses that?! After 3 years of maths at uni I never needed one piece! I share your hatred 😛 xxx

    1. Did you graduate recently? My last semester was May 2012. It was very exciting, but a little bit bittersweet. I’m so glad to be living on my own now, making my own money. 🙂 Besides the graph paper, I love most journals and stationary 😀 Barnes and Noble have some great ones.

      1. I finished May 2012 as well! I was glad for the stress to be over but now I miss it. Well done for getting your own place, I’m still living with my parents. I don’t know if we have Barnes and Noble in England but I’ll Google it 🙂

      2. Haha, I didn’t even think about that 🙂 Like many Americans, I assume every place in the world is exactly like here. It’s a large bookstore and they sell a lot of neat journals (if you do indeed know what B & N is, many apologies)! What are some major bookstores in England?

        I’ve been there once and loved it. The countryside looks remarkably like Indiana 🙂

  24. Well, that’s just too funny. That’s the only kind of journal I like to write in now, one with the grids! I buy them at Barnes & Noble. I like them because the pages are so big and I can use the pages for more than just journaling. I keep word lists, grocery lists, lists of errands, and Bible verses on mine. That is usually where I write the rough draft for This Very Day. I really would like to get journals with rough texture paper, but they are very expensive as the paper is handmade.

    1. I’ve actually grown to tolerate it 🙂 Like you said, it allows for more than just writing. I have found it a bit fun to sketch as well. The grids are great for that actually 🙂 The texture paper is amazing. Have you ever tried to make it yourself?

  25. The texture of things is a big deal. I have a collection of novels by J.R.R. Tolkien and one of them being The Silmarillion. I could not touch the book for the longest time. I so desperately wanted to read it but not going to happen. I just could not stand the feel of the cover on my fingers. I had to have gloves on to touch it. In the end I finally got out some wax paper and made a dust jacket for it so I could still see the cover it could no longer effect me the way it did. The book sits in it’s place on the shelf for the past 20 some years still with the wax paper over the cover. I have never run into another cover with the same texture and for that I am overly thankful for.
    There as far as I know only one other texture that makes me ill and that is Riced Potatoes, and as much as they are just potatoes I can not stand to put them in my mouth as they will and do cause me to be sick to my stomach. It is not the taste as I love potato, it is purely the texture.
    Texture is a huge thing!!!

    1. Definitely true! As you know, I have many texture issues and I can relate to the issue with the Tolkien novel. Good idea to make the dust cover. I’ve often thought of doing this myself, but have usually just avoided the book altogether. 🙂
      I didn’t know what riced potatoes were, so I actually had to google them and I can honestly say that just by the looks of them, I totally understand why you might have an issue with that texture 😉

  26. I’d didn’t read the comments because I’m lazy so forgive me if I say what has already been said…. And I know how some people with ocd are(not saying your like that… i’m not like that in this case specifically… random things i’m ocded out on)… So forgive my informal typing habits(i have obsessive compulsive disorder mixed with obsessive compulsive personality disorder which in my opinion are the same darn thing on opposite sides of the spectrum). Of course I saw the perfect solution and it’s also because I’m a separate person. The solution would be to faces both fears. Go to the store over and over again 1000 times(i’m not being literal you don’t want gather a new compulsion. i know the dynamics of how phobias work when you have ocd. Your mind doesn’t overcome your visceral irrational feelings like pathological doubt in our case) without buying a book just to get over the whole planning your way there fear/problem but keep the horrific journal to fight your perfectionism. Of course I’m an asshole because it just occured to me that there is a link between autism, intelligence and ocd(your not autistic but the way you think about specific isolate things is autistic autistic children have trouble planning out there days… the high functioning ones anyways) so i know it already occured to you…. But I had to assume the worst because I’m not a genius I’m just human. Yes….. I know I understand my disorder better than any jack of all trades run of the mill md or do. only an ocd specialist thats a good doctor would understand the dynamics of ocd like i do. I really have an awareness of my somesthic senses and a strong awareness of the inner workings of my mind(which might be an unknown symptom of this disorder…. drd3 gene in males). I’ll try not to read over this 10 times I wont proooofred this for spelng errors I’ll fight it a little bit. Reading this is making me closer to being 100% sure that I have ocd(i’m not sure because i have it if you get the jist of what i’m saying). Seeing it someone else makes me more sure of it though some doctors say i have it and some don’t. pathological doubt is a symptom of ocd.. I remember when my brain worked and I didn’t have to check things. There is a way to beat it though and changing your habits like the way your trying is the most effective way to beat it.

    1. I agree. Only I really know the true nature of my OCD. When you say the thing about autism, I can’t say you aren’t right. I have taken an assessment and I am at high risk for being on the autism spectrum. All my life I have had feelings of grandiosity, meaning that I feel like I’m much smarter and more superior than other people. When I was in school, I honestly believed that I was smarter than anyone in the school. It’s getting better with age, but it’s still there. I also have a habit of altering my natural voice, so that it sounds less monotone, more natural. I probably am a bit on the spectrum. It’s definitely not out of the ballpark. A lot of OCD tendencies are similar to ASD symptoms and the two are often intertwined in some way.

      Like you, I’m just human. It’s great to have someone with similar difficulties to write to.

  27. ha… just checked what i wrote AFTER i wrote it which is a stupid habit of mine. won’t read over it again. i generally read over my stuff 3 times even if its big. if i only read over and over it BEFORE i typed i wouldn’t come off as half demented.

  28. This is SO true! I write in a journal every night, I find it a way to express my daily / weekly ‘everythings onto paper. It helps a lot with whatever is going on in your mind. And I totally agree with you – when I pick a journal I go on the smell of the pages (strange I know) and the size of the pages (which need to be a big as the journal to write as much as I want) and the cover – front +back! Happy writing!

    1. I wish I had motivation enough to write in it every night, but sadly no 😦 I should be more diligent because I quite love it. I get the page thing. I’ve had journals that have a strong chemical smell, very weird. You’ve a lovely smile. Thanks for stopping by.

  29. Megan: Thank you for liking my blog (leadership and life potential). I appreciate your taking the time to check it out. I jumped into yours this evening, just to learn about you, and came across this post about the journal you bought and feel compelled to connect with you. While this particular journal was not the perfect journal for you, I actually purchased the same exact journal a few days ago, along with another one along the same lines, specifically because of the sayings on the front. I am a life/performance coach, and these are the kinds of things my clients and colleagues appreciate! I had this journal delivered to someone at a training today — anonymously, and as I watched from across the room was pleased to see the look of delight on her face. I hope she uses it to chronicle the journey she’s on. I tell you this story only to note that I don’t believe in coincidences, so I trust that you and I were meant to connect.

    I look forward to getting to know more about you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to add value to you!
    Laura

    1. Laura,

      How very funny! I love that you chose the exact journal. I believe it’s quite beautiful in its design, very charming and motivational and would be a perfect gift for someone who you want to send that kind of message to. I still have difficulty writing in it, although I do have it on my shelf to look pretty. I found another one recently with a lovely hard, plastic cover that i have no issues with at all! As a life/performance coach, what sort of things do you help people with? This would probably add a great deal of interest in my life. 🙂

      Megan

  30. I am really bad at writing in journal’s. In my short life, I must have started at least 10. They are great at stress relieving and getting your thoughts in order but I just cannot keep with it. I have, however kept all of them. I like to go through them every now and then to read my 10 year old self thoughts on why mad little brother is such a pain.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. I am very happy to be following yours – my best friend is majorly OCD and its nice to read someone else’s point of view on the subject.

    1. I’ve had difficulties in the past sticking with it. I think I’ve gone back and looked at a few and had some good laughs. I was a terrible writer as a child and the things I write are actually really funny and quite embarrassing. I was a silly child. My sister had a journal with a brown horse on the cover. She wrote to it, “Dear Cocoa…”
      We still laugh about this 🙂
      Thanks for bringing back memories.

  31. I felt exactly the same about mine! XD I was so tired of the cover that a month ago I just painted it dark red and decorated it with a little vintage pattern on one side.

  32. Be very careful with your DNA check that it is an honest person? When there is a gap in your past that is the native side because it is usually hidden from the rest of the family or someone could not write the name!

    1. I am thinking about doing it through ancestry.com or the DNA ancestry project. I have heard good things from others about these and I believe they are trustworthy. I would love to know who this “missing link” in the family tree is 🙂

  33. I love this post. I am proud of the courage you were able to extend today in an effort to change your life in some small way. I have been writing since as long as I remember. I noticed that you said you weren’t sure what to write in your journal so here are a few thoughts. The one thing I love about journaling is that no one has to read what I write if I don’t want them to. It’s a secret, and paper will never betray me. Don’t go into it thinking you have to be a wonderful, perfect writer or that everything you jot down has to be mind blowing. Stress can definitely be relieved if you simply just start pouring your heart out on the page, if that’s possible. Don’t worry about what it looks like or sounds like, just keep writing until you feel peaceful. I don’t know if that will help you or not, but it is just some thoughts. I struggle with writer’s block off and on, and those are usually the things I do to conquer it, write even though I’m sure it’s not good. Happy writing! 🙂

    1. These are some wonderful suggestions! I often worry about being perfect in basically everything I do. I think this comes in a bit handy at work because I have a very detail-oriented career, but in other aspects of life, such as my hobbies, it is annoying. I guess this is my OCD peeking through 🙂 Thank you for your kind words!

  34. I’ve always kept really meticulous journals and find a lot of relief in writing. That said, I totally hear you that the journal itself has to be perfect. I also MUST MUST MUST write in black ink. One time, I couldn’t find a pen, and the only one I could find after searching was blue. I sat there staring at the journal and fighting with myself for at least 30 minutes trying to figure out if I could bear tarnishing my perfect journal with blue ink. I finally decided that I was being ridiculous and that I had to overcome my anxiety about this.

    I got all nauseous and sweaty as I put the pen to the paper, and as I started writing, I realized that even though the pen itself was blue, the freaking ink was black. All that freaking out for nothing. The worst part is how unbelievably relieved I was when I saw black ink. I can see the humor in the situation now, but it was a very big deal in the moment.

    I don’t have OCD, so I don’t have nearly the perspective you have, but I have certainly had my moments. Your blog is great. Keep it up.

    1. I’ve heard of others having to keep their journals meticulous. I’m glad I’ve never had this problem because I love to doodle in them with colored pencils and charcoal. Also, my handwriting is pretty terrible, so that in itself ruins my journal 😉

  35. The irony of this post made me smile, though that would annoy me as well (grid paper, come on!).

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I have enjoyed the posts I have read so far and commend your courage on speaking out about your battle with OCD. I struggled with OCD as a child but as I’ve gotten older it’s (thankfully) calmed down. Though some of the compulsive behaviours have followed me into adulthood, I have been lucky in that it hasn’t crippled me from particular situations.

    Have you found the right journal yet? 🙂

    1. It is funny, isn’t it? 🙂 I found a small, plastic covered notebook with lovely lined pages on the target clearance rack. I’m very happy with this purchase and it’s much better than the last!

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