Today would have been my father’s 95th birthday. I miss him and my mother and think of them daily. Nothing can take away good memories. We became best friends through the gift of recovery.
In 1976 when I started the slow road to recovery, I had to make a list of the things that made me happy. Happiness wasn’t something I remember spending a lot of time on. But misery and heartache were two of my best friends. I used to collect songs that “understood” how I felt. I loved Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee. “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” was a song destined to be mine.
I called my list: Good Feelings Action List.
1) Add 5 people to my support system. (This is my hardest tip to fulfill because I am very low in relationship energy. However, I tend to isolate myself in my projects. I’ve had to learn to not allow my creativity to hold me captive.)
2) Create a new uplifting and accurate visualization for the dream I’m currently bringing to fruitation.
3) Share—sent thank you notes to five people.
4) Explore a new lake or nature retreat.
5) Make a list of 25 of my strengths or things I do well.
6) Change quotations on my bulletin board. (You need a bulletin board for pictures, notes, magazine pages, etc.)
7) Create a love board—cards, etc. that I’ve received.
8) Make a picture wall of all my future desires.
9) Have company for dinner.
10) Do a new affirmation—tape it to the bathroom mirror—do a new one each week.
11) Buy new balloons—bright, clear ones.
12) Use sketchbook—watercolors or pencil—do while watching TV, or go to your favorite nature spots.
13) Keep a joke—fun section in your life book.
14) Visit a new church or quiet spiritual center.
15) Make a videotape of music or an audio tape of favorite inspirations material.
16) Go to a bookstore/library and just browse without an agenda of what you “need” to read.
17) Take a bubble bath when you need extra TLC. (Real guys take bubble baths, too.)
18) Share—call 3 people every day that you haven’t talked to for a while—make a direct connection.
[…] I know that this is true because one of the ways I worked through my clinical depression was to print a list of things that made me happy. I made the list of bright yellow cardstock and used many different colored markers so it would be eye-catching and fun. I wrote about it last March and titled it “Good Feelings Action List“. […]