diary card experiment — posting #2


Inspired by the diary cards used in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, as well as notes and techniques from a dear friend of mine with several years of intensive trauma therapy on me and a diagnosis of PTSD; I began using diary cards, and posted an earlier version, in December (still and always a work in progress).

updated diary card

updated diary cardI actually only typed it up and named the sections for the purpose of this blog, so you could actually read it 🙂 Here's an example of how I actually use the diary card in my notebook, which is one that I use only for this purpose:

a day in the book of diary cards

a day in the book of diary cards

  1. General Rating: Rating these aspects helps me to recognize how i am feeling and know when i need to call on my supports or tools of self care, or simply ask myself why i am feeling this way.
  2. Grattitudes: Listing the things I am grateful for reminds me that there are things to be grateful for, helps me remember the good parts of my day and the revelations I have had that affirm that I am growing and making progress.
  3. Prayers: Writing down my prayers is becoming a way to connect with my authentic self – what she wants, what is in her heart, making her feel heard. It also reminds me that I don’t have to overcome things alone and I can ask for help. it develops a sense of faith in life and resiliency in myself, that I am not helpless no matter what is happening.
  4. Activities: Listing the things I have accomplished in my day, or how I spent my time helps me develop and maintain a sense of purpose and validates my day. It can alleviate the feeling that my days are slipping away and i have no idea what i have done with the time or any sense of moving forward. I don’t just list productive things here, in the traditional sense of the word; but anything that i found worthwhile in terms of joy, connection, fulfillment, growth, healing or satisfaction.
  5. To-Do: Listing all the things that are on my mind to do helps free my mind space and relax me, knowing I have a list so I don’t have to remember everything that needs doing. It also helps to focus me in my day when i read it the next morning.

Overall, I find that diary cards are a dose of validation and self-identification – who am I, what drives me, what are my strengths, what is in my heart, and how am I really doing. They are a reminder of the things that are most important in life, which are also the things that are easiest to forget — the things my recovery friends and I know to remind each other of if we are not in a good place with ourselves and the world. this is a big part of my spirituality.

Do you journal or record your day in some way? What is spirituality to you and how does it help you?

my diary card notebook

my diary card notebook


Author: innerlight

A capricorn horse. Creative dreamer, over thinker. bpd, insecure attachment and any other labels for deep and chronic wounds and other gifts of brilliance that propel intense and eclectic lives and make for good art. We are high needs and high return, all the way, all the way. Surrender, integration, repair, rebuild, connect, create, evolve. Deeply.

7 thoughts on “diary card experiment — posting #2

  1. This is a great idea. I think I might print one out and try it for myself, just for emotional self-monitoring, and to help keep me in the present moment.

    I would love to see an example, though, particularly of what you have listed as a prayer, or on your list of gratitudes.

    Also, how large do you print them? Are they small enough to fit into a pocket, wallet, or purse? Or full paper size, so it’s impossible to misplace them or avoid them?

    This is brilliant. Thank you for posting this.
    I use a comfort card, that serves a similar function for me, in that reading it, I am reminded of happy things In The Now.

    Hope all is well with you, sending loves, Penney.

  2. I wish I could post photos here in the comment boxes, but that’s the way … when i went to add the photos into the post, I felt that I needed to re-work the writing. I hope it is better than it was before and not too complicated — ! I guess posting my own messy writing that I never thought would be viewed by anyone else makes it seem that way. It’s an interesting feeling sharing my diary card here. The anonymity is quite similar to a CoDA meeting, where we get to simply be Example A human being and Example B human being, which is so illuminating and freeing. For me, that is the healing, so thanks for asking to see an example, Penney 🙂 Blessings as always, Underground.

  3. what does your 1-10 rating scale mean? How about the 1-3? This will be a helpful tool for those that I have as clients in the future. I use a very basic mood scale in my personal calendar. 1-10 for mood. The lower the number the more depressed and/or manic I am. I am content with an 8 most days I hate to dip below 6 and love when I have a 9 thrown in every so often. I also wrote up a recovery plan to go with the lower numbers. I keep track of sleep since that’s a huge trigger for me. I jot down other notes as needed like my menstrual cycle and other health related things.

    • Hi Shelly,

      Well, this is a process that is still evolving for me, and just as i have taken inspirations from other sources and adapted it to suit my particular experience, so too are others invited to do that with this one. There are no right-or-wrongs when it comes to recovery, and no templates that work for absolutely everyone :))))

      The self-care neglect rating rates how well I am sleeping, eating, exercising, praying, meditating, etc., but a person could easily add those words in, and rate them separately if they felt those aspects were more central to their experience.

      In the ‘general rating’ section, I use 0 to indicate that the aspect is non-existent and 10 to indicate that it is (overly so). In totaling the 1-10 scores, here is a picture of what the totals have been meaning to me:

      10 – 30 is within normal range for me;

      30-59 is a warning zone that action is required, — meaningful human contact, care and attention to eating well, and a chunk of blogging time usually pull me out of this;

      60-100 is a danger zone, where immediate care and attention is needed to my personal well-being. The danger zone is when i need to stop whatever i am doing, or have planned for the next day and consider whether it is realistic, healthy or even safe for me to continue with regular day-to-day activities. The danger zone usually indicates that i need some time out — a day to myself to phone someone (or multiple recovery friends) i can talk to, a doctor or the hospital.

      I’ve been using the 1-3 scale for the aspects that are more extreme; I’m actually not sure a total is needed for this section because a positive score in any one of these aspects is at least a ‘warning zone’ score. I would say that only 0 is normal; a 1 indicates a really crappy day, a 2 is a ‘warning zone’ and a 3 in any one of these aspects = danger zone. Even a 1 (really crappy day) I find needs to be digested (i.e. what caused this, why am I feeling this way), or it will turn into a ‘warning zone’ soon. Sometimes additional journaling (or blogging) is required.

  4. Ps. thanks for sharing your own system of tracking too :)))) i like the simplicity of yours, ie. just one number — may be something to work towards for me. i tend to minimize my feelings automatically, so the detailed aspects make it harder for me to shove things under the table where they become parasitic.

  5. Thanks for reposting. Love the example. It really helped me to understand it better, and work to integrate with my healing, too.

    You rock, you know.

    Sending hugs.

  6. I constantly emailed this web site post page to all my friends, because if like to read it then my contacts will too.

please leave a comment if you have enjoyed what you have read. thanks for visiting.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s