Hand-Made Perspective

Whenever I feel horrible, which is often, I believe I’ve always felt horrible. I will always feel horrible; my life is a never-ending misery.

Whenever I feel good, which is often, I believe I’ve always felt good! I will always feel good; my life is a never-ending joy!!!

I don’t know what it is about my psyche that does not allow for even a teeny-tiny bit of perspective, but I’m betting it’s my trauma. I’ve heard of this problem from others with similar backgrounds. Somehow, we manage the astounding trick of both living constantly in the past and the future AND being unable to imagine anything outside of our specific, individual moment. WE BREAK THE LAWS OF TIME AND SPACE ITSELF.

So, to artificially give myself perspective when I can’t organically provide it myself, I use data, which I briefly mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Here’s how I do it:

I downloaded a free tally counter app to my android phone (I like and use ‘Advanced Tally Counter,’ FWIW) and started tracking my mood on a 5-point scale five times a day. Remember: I live in the moment? Figuring it out at the end of the day would just make me pick how I was feeling RIGHT THEN.

I also track unpleasant things that happen and how intense they were — such as arguments, flashbacks, or a flareup*, as well as positive things I do for my mood and my emotional well-being, including KNITTING. (See? There is a bit of knitting in this post). That helps to inform the raw mood data.

At the end of the day, I put the numbers into a Google sheet. I imagine some tech-y person might be able to do this automatically with the right tally software, but I actually find the exercise of reviewing the day as I input the numbers a useful exercise in itself.

Also, when my therapist wants to know how I’ve been doing, we can consult the chart together.

Here is my chart, with a bit of annotation. Also through Google Sheets, the chart function.


PS last night I just practiced with double-pointed needles and did a bunch of stuff wrong and learned from it and it was very relaxing and happy-making. I plan to continue learning from this tonight.

I imagine an intermediate knitter might see what I have learned not to do immediately!

*like many people with an extensive trauma history, I have a mysterious autoimmune/neurological/mobility disorder that flares up now and again.