Three Hundred Sixty Five

“365” whoa that’s a huge number. Exactly what I thought when my mentor recommended I dedicate 365 days to myself. I also thought it sounded selfish due to the fact I have a daughter to think about too.. But hey I took the challenge and this is how I did it.

Make a list of things you want to accomplish for yourself within a year (365 days). This was my list:

  • Reconnect my Faith (Went back to church)
  • Break bad habits
  • Get mentally and physically fit
  • Set new rules and standards for myself
  • Take mini vacations
  • Get out of debt
  • Address and accept my past
  • Love myself first

Why did I do this?


So after my heartbreak I was a mess, my life was out of control. I was all over the place, I felt as if I  had no purpose and I didn’t like the person I was becoming. I seeked counseling, but really I just wanted someone to hear my out. My times at counseling I was able to hear myself and my mentor allowed me to see what I needed in my life to get back on my feet. I took notes of my negatives and transformed them to something positive. I realized I had to take control of myself again, I had to focus on me before walking into another persons life. It wouldn’t be fair to let others carry my load of problems… So I dedicated 365 days (a year) to myself, to fix me, to be happy and to enjoy things alone or with my daughter. Along the way I overcame a few fears…

How to stay on track? 


 Make a reasonable list

Post it somewhere you would see it when you first wake up and through out the day

(Mine was my bathroom mirror… and a picture that related to my goals in my car..)

Check your list off (this will make you feel accomplished)

Think positive, keep trying

Try a different approach each day

Remember why you are doing this (it is for you!)

Results happen over time, not over night. Work hard, stay consistent and be patient.

Ok it’s now 365 days after….. What do I do next?

Look back a year ago. Are you happy with who you are today? Have you checked your list off? Scan through your pictures do you see a different person, do you feel accomplished, do you feel your purpose now? Are you ready to be in another persons’ life? Are you ready to have another person in your life? Did you let go of that old you? Are you ready to live a different life now? Most importantly have you forgiven yourself and loved yourself more than anyone else could?  Ask yourself these questions and determine where you want to be.


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Falling InLove & Staying InLove

Love is the greatest gift of them all, but you can’t have love with out faith and hope. We all long to have this, to fall in love and to stay in love. Although there may be times that you will find yourself falling out of love, but what do you do when this happens over time?

Falling InLove:

  • It is easy to fall InLove with the right person
  • This is not forced
  • It comes natural
  • It is honest and patient
  • There is no time limit (it may happen in days, weeks, months or years)
  • It’s a bond between two individuals
  • It does not work with just one side
  • You do not find this feeling, it finds you

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE INLOVE?

Many try to research the meaning of “Falling InLove” some may believe there are symptoms to the feeling. Oprah did a little segment on her magazine for couples to determine if they are InLove and this is what she says:

You want to share your world with them

They’re always in your thoughts

You’re dying to know if they’re thinking about you too

They become a priority

You crave them

You even find their quirks attractive

They make you feel better about yourself

You’re ignoring other attractive people

You’re kind of freaking out

Their traits become your traits too

You want to say those big three words “I LOVE YOU”

Friends are noticing

You see a future with them

It feels right ! 

When that right person comes into your life, you’ll start to notice a change in yourself. Not because you have to, but it makes this feeling we call “Love” stronger. I’ll say it again “Falling InLove with the right person is easy”!

HOW DO YOU STAY INLOVE?

Staying InLove is a journey between you and the other person. This can not be achieved when there is no longer a bond between the two. Both ends have to choose and commit to their destination. Staying InLove may seem like a job, but this shouldn’t be the case. Remember why you both fell InLove.

Keeping the “Love” strong:

  • Talk about what brought you here
  • Practice acceptance and appreciation
  • Make it about the relationship (Not just you as an individual)
  • Relive the “honeymoon” phase
  • Don’t forget about date nights
  • Continue to talk about the future (How can it be better for you both)
  • Never compete (see eye to eye, level yourselves)
  • Have some “me” time
  • Understanding that your partner may have bad days
  • Pick one another up
  • Be kind with your words (no name calling)
  • Speak immediately when something bothers you (never allow yourself to carry this ugly feeling)
  • Do not play the “blame game” take responsibility for your faults
  • Focus on the positive
  • Show “I love you” through your actions and not just words

LOVE never gives up, never loses FAITH, is always HOPEFUL, and endures ALL THINGS 

Always remember to bring yourselves to day one of “Falling InLove”. One negative should have three positives. Get out of your comfort and allow yourself to face your fear.

I am F.I.N.E

“How are you?” is the question always asked. “I am FINE” is the response of a person who is feeling “Fragile.Inside.Never.Enough.” Sound familiar? Is this you? Was this you? Could this be the person next to you?

A few years ago I was down this road, my everyday response was “I am F.I.N.E”. People around me didn’t know what “FINE” meant, even I didn’t know what it meant to me, but I knew I didn’t say “I was good” or “I was at my best” or “I am better”. I allowed “F.I.N.E” to take over me. It cost me my peace, my savings, my mental health, my physical health and even the relationship with my family. Feeling “F.I.N.E” led me to the moment I am not proud of, the day I wanted to take my life. I felt fragile inside and never enough, I was depressed. Then and there I knew saying, “I am FINE” was a cover up for depression.

This is what depression sounds like:

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You may not see what someone is going through, but you could hear it after asking a simple question like “How are you?”. Make a difference in their life ask them “How can it be better?” Allow that person to hear themselves out loud and to realize that they can break free from “F.I.N.E”.

If your are this person telling yourself you are “F.I.N.E” evaluate you mental and physical health. Has something occurred so severe or traumatic that led you here today? There is a difference between feeling sad and being depressed.

Here are some signs and symptoms: 


  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

You may not experience it all, but most signs are common to those who are going through depression. If this is you don’t be afraid to speak up, talk to a friend, a family member, a counselor or someone you can trust. Don’t get trapped in your thoughts there is always a way out!

Depression is NOT a weakness, living and recovering from depression takes a lot of personal strength!


Some great reading:

  • The Mayo Clinic: Guide to Stress- Free Living… By. AMIT SOOD, M.D.
  • Milk and Honey… By. RUPI KAUR 
  • Eat, Pray, Love… By. ELIZABETH GILBERT 
  • The Four Agreements… By. DON MIGUEL RUIZ 

Strength of a Survivor

https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/the-strength-of-a-survivor/

I am a survivor and I no longer hide behind my shadows. I share my story today with you all hoping that this will help you find your voice the way I did. My walk through the days and nights were not easy. There were times I wanted to run away because I did not believe I was strong. But I did not allow myself to give up again. I had doors close on me a few times, but this only made me want to open more to discover what is on the other side. I did not stop searching for the right one and I want you to do the same. Keeping opening doors until you find the right one for you.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

-Desmond Tutu

 

 

About me

Hello everyone! My name is Jacqueline Crisostomo but I go by Jackie. Born and raised on the beautiful island of Saipan. I am a single mother to my daughter Vialanni. I come from a big family, I am the youngest of 12 siblings. I currently serve as a Soldier in the United States Army.

I am a survivor of Domestic Violence and Depression. This year I took the biggest step in my life and shared my story. This led me to pursue another journey, to bring awareness for other survivors and for those who may still be struggling to find a way out.

Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your weakness.

-Susan Gale

Through my healing process I realized there was more to life than just living day by day and paying bills. I discovered another world out there that many of us do not see and it cost me less money to feel pure happiness. I took a 360 on life a few years ago and this led me here today, behind a keyboard sharing my journey with you all. Follow me as I take you back to where I was struggling, to the days where I became a better me and to the present where I continue to enjoy the beauty of life.

As I launch my blog on my birthday (18 Oct), my wish this year is to help others overcome their pain and suffering. I wish for you to have Faith, Hope and Strength to break through the way I did.

Thank you for walking this journey with me.

Much Love,

Jackie