Negative thoughts can really affect how you feel. Unhappy thoughts equal unhappy people.
I used to have a lot of unhelpful, negative thoughts. I hated it! And so, I changed them. I ‘reframed my thoughts’ When I was younger I found this app called Wysa. It is a really helpful app for self-care and mental health. This app is so cool, and I love how they send cute gifs – they really cheer you up! I highly recommend this app.
The most intriguing thing inside this app was the ‘Organize your thoughts’ section. It’s a helpful way to organize and reframe your thoughts. I wanted to make another version of it, since chatting with a bot can be a little annoying sometimes (they can answer slowly, sometimes you just don’t really want to talk to others, you just want to be alone). So, I made a journaling guide for it. With this you can make a little Thought Journal!
I have made 3 PDF versions of it, so you can organize your thoughts whenever you can’t or don’t want to use the app. I still recommend the app if you are a little bit confused at first, because Wysa tells you exactly what to do! It is explained very well.
So I will be explaining a little more about the PDF’s now.
First of all, you want to write down all your thoughts. It might be helpful to write down thoughts throughout the day so you know in the end what thoughts kept you busy. It’s fine to write it down, but not reframe them right away. Just let go of the thoughts, and come back to them later.
Next, you want to write down behind them if they are positive (P or +) or negative (N or -). If you like colors, you could also color the thoughts, if you want! For example, green for positive and red for negative. For example: 1. I am grateful for my family. + 2. I hate myself for always making up stupid excuses for things. –
Focus on the negative thoughts (the positive thoughts are already positive, leave them as is). How did they make you feel? Asking this question helps to find negative thoughts as well sometimes. Sometimes you think they are positive (usually with ‘I should…’ thoughts) but when you think more about it, they are actually negative (‘I should’ means that you are not content with something and you really have to change something) Example: This thought makes me feel very unhappy, because I am mad at myself for making excuses.
Next, we want to spot the distortion in the negative thoughts. Look at the second PDF for the distortions and examples. Example: This thought is an overgeneralising thought. It is also an emotional thought (I hate myself for…)
The last step is removing the distortion and reframing the thought. Example: First distortion – 0vergeneralising: We have to ask the following question: ‘What is the evidence that supports your belief that this will always happen?’ – In my case, I don’t have any evidence for this. I can’t predict the future. Rephrase after removing the distortion: I hate myself for making up a stupid excuse yesterday. Second distortion – emotional reasoning: We have to ask the following question: ‘Am I thinking this way just because I am feeling low right now?’ – Yes. I don’t always hate myself, I just hate myself at the moment. Rephrase after removing the distortion: I don’t want to make excuses anymore after yesterday.
And finally, with this thought, you can move on and set a goal! This is a helpful thought.
Lately I have been dissociating a lot more and my friends were asking me how they could help and support me.
So, a couple months ago I watched this video from DissociaDID, a very informative and helpful channel when it comes to Dissociative Identity Disorder. The video is 22 minutes long and since it’s really hard for my friends to remember everything, I have decided to make a blog post about the things that would help me! Most of it is inspired by or similar to the video from DissociaDID, because I could really relate to it. Have fun reading and I hope it is helpful for you.
1. It’s healthy for someone with DID or OSDD to have alters for different situations.
You might think that someone is doing really well when the host can deal with more things on a daily basis or if they are out a lot. It may seem like they’re acting more like a normal person, because they are handling everything with one personality. This is however not how peoples brains work when they have DID or OSDD-1. All functions are split up between alters. One alter can’t access all the areas of the brain, so it’s not possible for one alter to have the ability to handle every single situation. It’s still healthy for people with DID or OSDD-1 to rely on their system and trust their system to handle different parts of life. It’s how we’re built! So don’t try to encourage one alter to take on everything, it’s actually really counterproductive.
2. Please do not try to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do.
Unless you are a trained therapist or psychologist, try not to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do in order to get better. Don’t say things like: ‘You should be able to handle this by yourself, you don’t need an alter for this.’ Things like that can be very hurtful. Some advice can be really helpful though, simple tips like: ‘Don’t forget to stay hydrated today!’ or ‘Have you eaten anything yet?’
3. Trauma and Triggers.
DID and OSDD are trauma-related disorders. These people have been through a lot. DID/OSDD-1B is in some ways a form of complex PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). Just like people with PTSD, we have triggers and flashbacks. All these things come with DID/OSDD-1B. If you are interacting with a system or getting to know a system, be aware of their triggers. Not all triggers will make sense to you. It’s whatever the brain associates with something traumatic, it can be anything and it can take us back there. We can relive the experience, emotions and physical feelings can come back.
4. Asking for other alters.
Try not to push aside an alter or make any alter feel unwelcome. They all have a right to be there, even if you can’t see what they are doing to help the system. If they weren’t needed in that system, they wouldn’t be in that system. Everybody has a right to use the body. It is very hurtful to say ‘sorry, you’re not my favorite’. It makes us feel very unwanted. Please don’t imply that we are not wanted by asking for somebody else to front. If an alter is very distressed, and you need to ask for a protector (Victoria, Norah, Julia…), sometimes repeating the name of an alter can help bring them to front. If you need to talk to someone that day you could say something like ‘I really want to talk to … at some point of this day’. Don’t say something like: ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk to you right now. I need to talk to someone else.’, ‘Can you switch out?’ or ‘I’ll come back later when this alter is out.’ Don’t ask for another alter to front unless it’s an emergency or you need to pass on information- in which case: politely bring up the subject.
5. Respect all alters.
Every alter has feelings and emotions, some may have very repressed emotions or don’t express them very well. Always try to make the alters feel respected, loved and wanted. They are all part of the person you love. All alters together make up the system and that system is the person that you are friends with. If you are trying to support the system, it means that you have to support everyone in that system. It doesn’t mean that you have to love or even like all of them, but you have to respect them.
6. Exaggerated startle reflex.
A lot of people with a disorder caused by trauma have an exaggerated startle reflex. A lot of people find it very funny to make people with an exaggerated startle reflex jump, because their reactions are usually extreme and dramatic. Don’t do this, please. It is terrifying, and it can be very triggering. I really don’t like this.
Because a lot of people with DID/OSDD have trauma, be careful how you touch them. Touching is so much more than just touching. This is very hard for people to understand, but touching certain spots can be very triggering and unpleasant. Make sure to know where we are happy to be touched. Some people don’t like to be hugged. This van be different for every single alter. Know what they are comfortable with. Be careful how you touch and interact with a person that has DID/OSDD. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it, you can just ask ‘Are you okay with hugs?’ or ‘Would you prefer if I don’t touch you?’
8. Triggering out an alter.
Never ever trigger out an alter, even if you are using a positive trigger. You can only do this if you have agreed with the people in the system if that it’s okay in an emergency situation. Triggering out an alter is a big no-go. There are negative triggers and positive triggers, negative triggers are bad triggers that can cause an alter to front for bad reasons. They may cause flashbacks and the alter can be in a distressed state. For example, crowded places and loud noises are negative triggers for me. Negative triggers can make people re-experience trauma. An example of positive triggers can be certain foods, or children’s toys are often a positive trigger for Lily. Triggering out an alter on purpose feels violating. It feels like someone is robbing you of the control you have over your body and your mind. Don’t trigger an alter out just because you want to spend time with them, because it’s very unpleasant.
9. Respect the privacy of every alter.
Respect the privacy of every single alter. Not every alter is going to enjoy sharing personal things with you. Not every alter is going to open up about things. Some alters may have trouble trusting others. Not every alter is going to act the same way. Be respectful of every alters needs and understand that everyone is going to feel a little bit differently about every situation. If one alter has shared something with you, as in, a memory of trauma, that doesn’t mean that you have the right to tell another alter that, unless you have been given permission. There is a reason not every alter will remember certain things, so be careful with what information you share with the other alters.
10. Trauma jokes.
Don’t joke about trauma. Seriously. Don’t. It’s not funny and it is very hurtful. Be careful with this. Try to be sensitive to the things that we may have experienced. Be aware of why we are who we are.
11. Who is fronting? – It’s okay to ask!
When you meet up with a system, don’t expect that the host is always fronting. Just because the system has a host, doesn’t mean that this is the person who is always fronting when you meet them. If you are not sure, you can always ask! ‘Can I just ask, who is out right now ?’ or ‘Is this still …’. It is always okay to ask this! Approach it delicately. It’s okay for someone to say ‘I am not sure right now.’ Sometimes (more often with OSDD-1B), a combination of alters is fronting, so it’s sometimes hard to tell who is fronting. It can also be really hard to tell who is fronting because of dissociation.
What should you do if someone is switching? Give the person time. Switching can be very disorientating. It takes time to adjust. The person that came forward may not know where they are and whether they are in a safe situation or not. It will take some time to regain their bearings. Reassure us that we are safe, and tell us that we can take our time. PLEASE DO NOT interrupt us while dissociating.
13. Please do not distract us while we are dissociating.
Dissociation can be very disorientating. Don’t touch us while we are switching or when we are very dissociated, unless you know for a hundred percent that it is okay (even if you are a close friend, never assume this though!). Otherwise, it can be very startling. When someone is dissociating, don’t distract them. People might try to get our attention, because it looks like we are zoning out instead of dissociating. They will try to get our attention by clapping their hands, waving etc. It is horrifying. It can be triggering, so please don’t do that.
You might see that my list is a little bit shorter than the list of the DissociaDID system, but this is just what I found very important.
It is really important to note that if you have ever accidentally done this to me, it is okay! i understand it can be hard to adjust to it, but i really hope you will try. thank you so much for reading this.
So, there’s this book called Shinrin-yoku. I bought it, I read it, I finished it. All in one day!
A few weeks ago I read a book called Shinrin-yoku, written by Francesc Miralles and Héctor García. You might know these writers from the book Ikigai, which is a very popular book that came out in 2016. Since then, they have written three more books, one of them called Shinrin-yoku.
This book was amazing, so inspiring!
Shinrin-yoku literally means forest-bathing. Personally, I had never heard of the term forest-bathing, and because I am such a nature lover, I wanted to find out more!
The book starts out with a nice story written by the writers, where they talk about forest-bathing around mount Fuji to relieve all of their stress. They wrote this part in such a magical way. You just want nothing more than to be right there when you’re reading it. This beginning chapter made me want to read the entire book in one day, because it was just so intriguing and beautiful.
The book is split up in eight parts. It starts out with an introduction and a definition of the term shinrin-yoku.
The second part is called The Lost Paradise, where they talk about the difference between the Paradise from the Bible and what we live in now. It’s about the stress we have living in the city and the health benefits of being in contact with nature.
The third part is called Back to the Garden of Eden. It is about specific places that are so intriguing they make you feel like you’re in paradise, like the Bodhi-tree, or the Tree of Life in Bahrain. It is also about legends and about the adventure of Thoreau, the man who lived in a forest for two years, two months and two days. It even mentions Wicca, which made me very excited, since I am a Wiccan!
The fourth part is about the science behind shinrin-yoku. There are a lot of studies in this chapter that are very interesting and might I add, very pleasant to read because of visual graphics.
The fifth part is about the philosophy behind shinrin-yoku. It’s about a lot of very interesting traditions of the Japanese culture. Shintoïsm, the traditional Japanese religion is the biggest subject in this part. It’s also about other beautiful Japanese terms, like Komorebi, which describes the sun shining through the leaves, and Wabi-sabi, which can be translated as ‘the beauty of imperfections’.
The sixth part is How to Apply Shinrin-yoku. This is about the five steps in shinrin-yoku. 1. Be in the moment. 2. Keep a route in mind, but make way for improvisation. 3. Breathe slowly and deeply. 4. Let your thoughts go away. 5. Feel like you are a part of an entirety.
The seventh part is called Shinrin-yoku at Home. It’s about how you can improve your health by bringing plants into your home. It also mentions aromatherapy! It gives you tips on what to get and how to use it. They also talk about how bird sounds help you to be concentrated and relaxed, which I found incredibly interesting.
The last part is just a short conclusion, which really helped clear up what I’ve read.
I love the way the writers have written this book. It’s such a nice writing style, that makes it easy to read. It’s so well-structured, it’s satisfying!
Unpopular opinion: I preferred this book over Ikigai and the other books the writers have written. The theme in this book is all positive and it’s not as heavy as the other books. Sometimes I felt terrible while reading the other books, because they made me think that I did everything wrong. Those books are kind of heavy, Ikigai is about what you should do in your life, what you’re passion is, and Ichigo-ichie is about how it’s now or never, you should be aware in every moment and not waste your time. Those books were also very inspiring, but sometimes they hit a little close to home. I didn’t feel like I was doing something wrong at all while reading this book. For a fact, it just felt like I was doing everything right, it inspired me to go for a walk more often and enjoy nature more!
I really enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it!
I hope you got a little bit inspired by reading this post as well, go out and enjoy nature, it is beautiful and definitely worth every second of your time! ♥
I love animals! All of them. And I always have loved animals. I’ve always checked out if products were tested on animals to make sure they were not, because I thought it was sad and the animals deserved better. But why did I eat them??? I was so used to eating these little fragile babies because I grew up in a family where we ate meat every single day.
I loved meat. I was a true carnivore. My favorite meal is (still) pizza, and my very favorite was always the Meat lovers’ pizza. I am not kidding when I say that it was a big step to take, becoming a vegetarian.
But actually, I didn’t mind it too much. It wasn’t so hard. I expected it to be way worse. The first few weeks were the hardest. I never really had something to eat, since 90% of our fridge consists of meat. It’s still hard some times. Damn, my family loves meat. They eat fried chicken once a week. It was a struggle, the chicken still looks yummy, but I am stronger than that!
A friend of mine, also a vegetarian, once told me something that inspired me to stop eating meat. She said: ‘if you don’t want to kill it, you shouldn’t eat it.’
I get that this post is super pro-vegetarianism. There are probably so many reasons to eat meat, but it’s a decision I made for myself. I am not trying to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, but being a vegetarian definitely made me happier!
You might have noticed I started posting again, after quite a while. It’s been four months since my post about my new years’ resolutions, and I have been a mess. 2019 is not treating me very well so far.
Everything you can imagine, went wrong. School, my relationship, work, my internship… I even lost a few of my friends and some of my family. I felt like I lost everything.
So, I took a break. I finally stepped back. I quit my work, and my internship. I’m no longer stressing over school, I’ve decided to accept that I gave everything I could give and I should focus on my health now. I accepted that I will have to do this year over. Letting go of the voices saying: ‘You’re not good enough. You’re not capable.’
It’s time to focus on ME. 2019 is my year. With the friends that still support me, I am growing stronger and wiser. I am getting my life back one step at a time. I will live the life I’ve always wanted, even though I am very unsure of the things I want right now.
I quote myself:
I will finally find ways to love and accept myself, for I am my own priority. If everyone leaves me, I will be the one left. It’s not selfish to love yourself.
I will make time to take care of myself. I will become my own best friend, because I have one body, one mind, one life. I don’t want to waste it being unhappy and ungrateful.
I will allow myself to think and dream big. This is my world. Everything is possible.
I will express myself in (new) creative ways, for this is where I find my happiness and let go of my emotions.
I will get to know myself better, because I am the only one that’s truly there for me. Friendship is so important, but in the end. there’s only me. Luckily, I am super interesting! (;
I will take time to do the things that I love doing, for this brings me the happiness I need to survive. I don’t want to waste my life on stuff I don’t love.
I will acknowledge the positive side of my disorder, because this is how I will learn to love myself. I have to learn to live with something I will never live without.
I will be happy. Because no one else gets to decide how I feel. I am the one who makes myself happy. It’s not someone else’s responsibility.
These were the most important resolutions. They will be my theme for the rest of 2019. These will be my goals, and I will achieve them.
Meet the Vineflower system. A system full of lovely girlies. I’ve added pictures so you can see how beautiful they are! I used pictures I found on Instagram and added the artist’s name. The art isn’t based on the alter, they are just people that look like the alters. Emory is still planning to make art of every single one of my alters.
The focused one.
My name is Julia. I have long blonde, wavy hair and amber eyes. I wear glasses. I’m pretty tall, at around 5 ft 9. I am 27 years old. I’m an Aquarius. If I am fronting, you can usually see me wear glasses, because I need them the most. I am someone that loves to write and read. I like learning new things! I love to spend time on my own. I’m someone that thinks about a lot. I think the others would say that I am the most stressful alter. I am the one that likes to front the most when the system is at school. I love to learn and I like to take notes. I am very organized and I enjoy planning, even though most of the others in the system don’t.
The creative one.
Hi! I’m Emory! I think I look most like the body does. I have red hair (unnatural though, unlike the body!) and I have blueish grey eyes. I am 16 years old and I am about 5’3, a little shorter than the body is. I am a Sagittarius. I am a very creative person! I love singing (I’m actually the only one that is good at it) and I enjoy painting and drawing. Digitally and traditionally. If you see art made by this system, it’s most likely made by me! All forms of art excite me. When the body was around my age, I was the one that fronted the most often. I was the reason the system was going to art school! I loved it there! Art history still fascinates me.
The magical one.
Darlings, my name is Lyra. Thank you for reading this. I am 21 years old, although, I don’t act like it. I’m wise and like to give advice that is well thought out. My zodiac sign is Cancer. When Elise was young, I was the one she came to for advice and such. I was her imaginary friend, I was like her sister. Eventually, we grew up together and I never really left. Because she was very young when she created me, I am a mermaid. She was fascinated with mermaids. I am also blind, so I can never fully front, unless it’s dark. I find comfort in darkness. Elise describes me as follows: I have very long, extremely light blonde hair, almost white (which apparently extremely rare). My skin is very light too, though I have very many freckles in my face and on my shoulder area. My eye colour has faded to a greyish white, which doesn’t look unnatural or unsettling.
The assertive one.
I am Victoria, 18 years old, I’m also a Sagittarius. I have a long bob, usually dyed an unnatural colour. At the moment it is purple. It used to be grey. I have a septum, like the body. I dress edgy. I am not afraid to show some skin. I am the voice of the system. My opinions are valid and are meant to be heard. I have a right to share what I think. If you think I should keep my mouth shut, get the f*ck away from me. I deserve to be heard. We have always been silenced. I respect other people and their opinions. I am not here to fight, but don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. TBH: It’s none of your f*cking business. Don’t act like you’re the better person. You’re not. XOXO
The calm one.
My name is Norah. I have very long, curly hair. My skin tone is a very beautiful, caramel colour. I would say I am about 5 foot 6. I am 24 years old, a Pisces, just like the body . I bring happiness, relaxation and relief to the system. I am here to relief stress, to chill out. Do not worry, worries are for the future. You’ll deal with it later. Everything will be okay. I love reading, especially informative books about spiritual or philosophical things. I am a nature lover, and I believe that all remedies can be found in nature. I love to travel, to discover the world around us and all its glory. I love to meditate and do yoga. Living healthy and moving enough is the most important thing in life. Take it slow. Connect with this earth. Be grateful for whatever you have, live in the moment.
The sensual one.
Hi there, my name is Sophie. I’m 25 years old, a Libra. I have black hair with a dark blue hue. It makes me very pale, but it accentuates my cheekbones and strong facial features very well. Unlike the drawing to the side, I have light blue eyes, not yellowish amber. I don’t have the same rose tattoo, but I adore the look of tattoos. They are so sexy. (I chose the picture because the facial features are very similar to mine) Even though a lot has happened to this system sexually, I still believe in the good. I forgive and ‘forget’. I learn from past experiences. I am a sexual alter, but since this is the whole wide internet, I’d rather not share more than that about what I do. I give the system a voice when nobody else can. I am a strong woman, that knows what she wants and what she can expect. I’m very open, and I get inspired by the beauty in the world.
The youthful one.
HI GUYS! Nice to meet you!!! Except you’re meeting me and I’m not meeting you :c i hate internet sometimes. My name is Lily and I am tiiiiiny! Most of the time at least. I am an ageslider, 3-10 years old. I’m a very energized, playful kiddo that loves ADVENTUUUUREEEE! And watching Disney movies. And sleeping. And eating. I like food. I like donuts a lot. And pizza. We all love pizza. ANYWAYS, I’m a Pisces, like the body is too. I don’t really know what it means and why it matters but everyone included this so YEAH. LYRA is my favorite alter because she is a MERMAID. like can u believe that?? How lucky am I to ACTUALLY KNOW A MERMAID!!!!!!!!! im so cool well bye xxxxxx
Even though we loved writing this, we did this three alters at a time and my head hurts so much from the switching. Hope you appreciate this, it was kind of heavy for me. Thanks so much for reading!
Hi! My name is Elvia Vineflower*, also known as the Vineflower System. You might have met me under another name. Nope, not faking it: those are other personalities.
What does OSDD mean?
OSDD stands for Otherwise Specified Dissociative Disorder. There are many people out there that go through their daily routine with dissociative symptoms, but not all of these people meet the full diagnostic criteria for the dissociative disorders.
OSDD-1 focuses on people that appear similar to individuals with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), but don’t fit all five criteria** for DID. OSDD-1 is split up in two categories, OSDD-1A and OSDD-1B. I have OSDD-1B.
Those with OSDD-1A have alters, but they are not distinct enough to fit the DID criteria. The personalities are similar, they are like different versions of the host. It could be that these personalities are the host at different ages, or they are just like alter egos that developed over time.
Those with OSDD-1B have distinct alters, but they don’t experience amnesia between the parts. The information flow between alters is much more consistent than with DID systems. It’s easier for someone with OSDD-1B to have all alters co-conscious at the same time than it would be for someone with DID.
I hope you found this interesting, I will post more about OSDD-1B soon!
*Technically, my real name is Elise. Elvia is just a way prettier name that I like to use as a pseudonym.
Imagine a world where everyone would blame others for their own mistakes. It would suck, right? People would blame you for their mistakes, so they don’t have to change their habits or so they don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions. Thank God, people aren’t like this. This is because luckily, a lot of people are aware of themselves and their mistakes. They know who they are, they know their own weaknesses and their competences. They are willing to improve themselves. I feel like becoming an adult, has to do a lot with self-awareness. How can you be independent without knowing who you are? Self-awareness is about owning up to your mistakes.
What is self-awareness?
According to the dictionary, self-awareness is the ‘conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings.’ Being self aware means that you have the ability to know what’s going on in your inner world, what your thoughts are and what emotions you have. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are. You know how you feel about certain things and what your motivations are. It’s important to not be judgemental about yourself, but you should be aware of your mistakes.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Here are 7 ways to improve self-awareness.
Stop making excuses for things that you do wrong. Nobody’s asking for explanations, and you’re just making it easier for yourself to make more mistakes. Instead, own your mistakes, and try to work on the things you did wrong.
Mistakes are okay. Whenever you made a mistake, accept it. Own it. Never blame others for your mistakes, and if you do feel like it is not your fault, think about the things you could do better next time. You can never tell others to change, but you can always improve yourself.
Ask for feedback and never take it personally. Look at it objectively.People give you feedback because they want you to improve, not because they don’t like you. Feedback is so powerful. It is important. You can improve yourself in great ways when you get useful feedback.
Set new goals from the feedback you get, and break them down in daily tasks. When you break down a goal into daily tasks, you can improve yourself by taking small steps. You know when you will achieve the goal and you have made the journey clear, organized and simple.
Keep a journal. You can get to know yourself better through this and you will find out what you want. Write down your feedback, goals, wins, the things you’re grateful for. Anything you’d like! There are many videos on YouTube about journaling. I try to journal daily as well. If you’d like me to post more about journaling, please leave a comment about this.
Reframe your thoughts. Instead of having subjective thoughts about yourself, change them into positive thoughts or objective thoughts. You don’t have to be perfect, nobody’s perfect. Stop focusing on your weaknesses, start focusing on improving them.
Stop comparing yourself to others and stop comparing yourself to being a good person according to the standards. Instead, focus on being true to yourself. Write down what you want to achieve, and who you want to be.