An Alphabet of Gratitude

Superhero Covers

One of the things I did when I returned from ArtFest was repurpose my old, barely-used sketchbooks into art journals.  This is the one I’m in now.  It’s small (9X6), so I thought I could use it for funky lists and teeny collage bits.

It’s been a hard summer, bipolar-wise.  The rapid cycling twirls like a toddler in a tutu.  The mixed states tumble around like Bingo balls.  I’m a little dizzy from all that brain-flux.  And discouraged.

I’ve learned a lot from all these years of Bipolar Bad-Assery and Radical Acceptance.  I’m much kinder to myself and able to be whatever my brain chemistry dictates.  But some days are just God-awful.  Period.

So, I wanted to use my journal as a more deliberate form of therapy.  I decided on trying An Alphabet of Gratitude.

Gratitude P

Each spread has a side for a list of what I’m grateful for (all starting with the same letter) and a side to create some little piece of art relating to the list.  I made pretty paper out of my parent’s old farm ledgers, painted the 26 spreads funky colors and textures, then started pondering the positives in my life.

Gratitude A

There’s a lot.  We all have tons of wonderful things, people, places, talents, events that are easy to forget in this weird world.  And because I have a whole page to fill with all the same letter, some of my treasures get ridiculous and very specific, which tickles me.  Laughing is a good thing for persistent bipolarism.  Laughing is good for everything.

Gratitude B

I work on it every day, writing down random loves and appreciation.  It doesn’t take away The Black, but it does help me pull in The Light.  I can sit with that feeling of thankfulness and let it soak into my dry and sere places.  It’s enough to get me through to the next day, which is all I need.  Because with twirling and tumbling, a shift in mood is only a letter away.

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. donnaanddiablo
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 08:48:47

    Your attitude and grit in the face of ongoing challenges is a source of constant inspiration, Sandy. Full. Stop.


  2. pegoleg
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 09:24:19

    Sandy, you are so, so creative – with your art, with your approach to your life. What a fabulous project. I am in awe. 🙂


  3. Violet of Violet's Veg*n e-comics
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 10:42:08

    Gorgeous! 😀 I love these 🙂


  4. LindaNoel
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 12:12:38

    Marvelous! I particularly like the Focus and Size of the books because “just journaling” is too vast a chaotic landscape for me to CHOOSE what to focus on, even for a wee bit…which I know will go on and on in indecision. So, Marvy!


  5. David Kanigan
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 12:32:20

    Genius. Gratitude explosion. Wonderful.


  6. Roessler, Karen
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 15:38:43

    Beautiful use of the sketch pads, always LOVE the way you create pretty paper.
    Here is to loads of Laughter and Light.
    I know someone I would add to my ‘S’ gratitude journal!
    Love you, Lady. Karen


  7. Bradley
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 17:52:21

    You are so creative.

    “It doesn’t take away The Black, but it does help me pull in The Light.” I love how optimistic this is worded.


    • Sandy Sue
      Aug 28, 2016 @ 06:23:03

      I know you know optimism is hard to come by sometimes. It’s so easy to slip into the either/or, black/white thinking. I’m always hunting for the gray.


  8. Cheryl LaVille
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 19:32:20

    This blog post helped me with issues I am dealing with. I hope/wish that I could take this gratitude idea and make it my own. Time will tell. Thank you for the inspiration!


  9. Sherry Hotchkiss
    Aug 25, 2016 @ 20:06:00

    I’m going to “borrow” this idea. I love it! I will probably not do much if any artwork as you know I can’t draw a stick person or a straight line, but you never know…


  10. Naomi
    Sep 19, 2016 @ 04:52:15

    I’m inspired by the alphabet prompt, and the reminder to appreciate our strengths


  11. CraftyDivazAus
    Sep 24, 2016 @ 16:53:11

    That’s a wonderful idea and what a great way to create a Gratitude Journal! I wouldn’t have thought to use art in a Gratitude Journal! It’s great to see other sufferers work to see what techniques other’s use for coping with the symptoms etc…


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