Battling Depression with a Notebook (RJD January 2014)

I usually try to share from older journals, but recently I have been sharing, occasionally, from current journals as well. Generally speaking, I always, ALWAYS, keep one continuous ongoing journal. I carry it everywhere I go (most of the time) within reason, and it is a constant companion, capturing my thoughts, prayers, ideas, random poems, quotes etc. It is a springboard and sponge, allowing ideas to jump forth, and also be absorbed.

Occasionally, I keep additional journals. I just laid to rest my 1000 Gifts journal, which I also continuously added to on a regular (not always daily) basis.

Last month, as I struggled not to be swallowed by a difficult season, I grabbed this small notebook, to carry for November, in hopes of staying grounded in good despite feeling I was sinking into a mud-hole.

It is just a random smattering of what emanated positivism to me. I felt negative…I battled discouragement with simple torn and cut paper, and 5 things I could be grateful and over which to rejoice.

Truly, it is a “scrap” book! From scraps, I hung. It sounds silly, right? But when the darkness desires to swallow us hole, the smallest glimmer of light can keep us from the abyss.

A word that brings a smile…rip it out, glue it down. 

A picture that makes the heart beat, hopeful…snatch it up, paste it in!

A phrase that resonates…capture it and keep it close, right before your eyes.

There are seasons we need reminding…and sometimes the simplest reminders of good, hope and encouragement can come in cut pieces of paper, glued down on paper, in a notebook, that keeps us believing we can get through one more day. We see God, still is in it…but we must discipline ourselves to SEE. Open the eyes. It can be a difficult time, but is He with us? Do we have reminders of His love, faithfulness? Yes!

Grab it, hang on to it, cling to the good! The bad will always be there…we must discipline ourselves to seek the good, in the small, mundane and everyday. Sometimes that might just be all we need to hang on. Sometimes a little notebook can be a small tool to help win the battle with discouragement, depression and dark days.

I want you to know that as I did this, it went against everything I felt within. I did this because it was needful. I needed to be do opposite of what circumstances looked like AND what I was feeling.

Please join us for this months Random Journal Day – we meet up and share from our Journals, past or present! 

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Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

9 thoughts on “Battling Depression with a Notebook (RJD January 2014)

  1. Oh I love your scrap-journal! Thank you for opening it up to us. I could tell you were struggling, but you always come out on top of it to encourage and motivate us. Praying that God will continue the work He has begun in you this new year…renewal is on its way! Thanks for the reminder to get my RJD ready!! I forgot!!! Blessings to you dear sweet friend.


  2. I love peeking inside your journals Dawn. For the photos, do you print them off the web? I have no magazines in my home, but when I print, I can never get them small enough for my journal. You are truly an inspiration!


  3. Barbie, I actually got these from magazines (mostly free) ones from my mom, the library or wherever! I also grab free newspapers for collage stuff as well! I don't like to often print from computer- I am frugal with that ink!


  4. Dawn- I love this! Mini collages to keep you anchored to God during a difficult time…there is so much power in posting those positive images and words…some of them seem like messages from Him to you…like “Hello Sunshine!” How did you decide to write the 5 things on the opposite page? I will link up my post and then I want to do some collage again! Thanks for the inspiration…


  5. You. Are. Remarkable! Truly, dear Dawn, this is genius. Art therapy! It is so powerful and a lasting lesson. The more I know you, the more I love you Dawn. Yep. Susie – AND RJD is really GROWING!!! Thank you for sticking with it when I was ready to give up! Susie


  6. This is great and you were already in practice for the Root project! Your pages remind me a lot of my efforts so far,which are from the heart but not the amazing works of art some are.


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