93: Where do I start?

A question I get all the time is “Ok Karleigh, I’m in. I’m ready. I want to heal and I’m ready to move forward. But… what’s the first step?”

So what are the first steps?

There are so many books, podcasts, journals, blog posts. There’s so much information it causes analysis paralysis.

When you know too much, it can stop you from taking action.

I’m going to shut down all of that noise for a second and give you the steps.

One – gratitude journal.

Now I know that may sound annoying. It isn’t a big, fun, exciting thing that’s going to change your life overnight. Nothing will. But this is going to help you shift your mindset.

Grab a journal. This could be a super cute fancy journal or an 88 cent notebook from walmart. Then turn to a fresh page, write the date at the top, and write down 5 things you’re grateful for today.

Take a moment and think about the simple things that we tend to overlook. Think about the smell of coffee brewing in the morning and how it reminds you of your Papa (that’s a personal one).

Think about how clear the sky is on a crisp day. What about the sound of your kids playing in the backyard? What about your bangin’ playlist that turns doing the dishes into a music video where naturally you’re the star?

Five things. Write them down. You can always write more, but write a minimum of five.

Then tomorrow, do it again.

And again.

And again.

After a week, go back and look at all of the things you’re grateful for.

Then keep going. This is one of the biggest things that completely shifted my mindset. Once I was able to be grateful for the things I have instead of hateful for the things I didn’t, everything changed.

Second – victory journal.

I know, you’re sick of writing, but this is powerful.

You can use the same journal as your gratitude journal or you can get a new one.

Then you’re going to write down five victories you’ve had today.

Victories don’t have to be massive accomplishments.

Did you wake up today? Victory. Put the dishes in the sink? Victory. Brush your teeth? Victory. You didn’t flip off the asshole that cut you off on the freeway? VICTORY.

Five of them. Every single day.

Then again, after a week, look back at your victories. After 7 days, you’ll have at LEAST 35 victories to celebrate. After 14 days, you’ll have at least SEVENTY.

Just two weeks and you’ll have seventy dang reasons to celebrate.

That’s powerful.

Third – celebrate those things.

Freaking PARTY about those things.

Take yourself out to dinner, do a DIY mask, watch your favorite movie, binge netflix without guilt.

Whatever you do, make it something you truly enjoy and make sure that you connect it to celebrating. That’s powerful.

You may be rolling your eyes. “But Karleigh – you don’t mention abuse or recovery in any of these!”

Trust me, I get your skepticism. But this because what you’ve gone through impacts your entire life. By doing these things, you’re going to absolutely begin to heal from the abuse. And you’re also going to see improvement in every area of your life.

But I’ll do a brief overview as to why these matter just in case you’re not convinced:


When you’ve gone through abuse, you can forget to see the amazing things that life has for you. As survivors, we get tunnel vision. We just want to make it through to tomorrow. It feels almost dangerous to be grateful because the moment you feel happy, something happens and it’s taken away from you.

That’s why I have you start with gratitude journaling. Forcing yourself to look for things to be grateful for forces your brain to see the world differently. It shows you that there truly are beautiful reasons to wake up every day.


As survivors we generally feel like failures. From the abuse we went through, the ignorant “you should’ve just left” comments, it feels like we’re absolutely worthless. But ohh baby girl – we’re not living in that anymore. Looking for the victories in every area of our life pushes your brain to acknowledge just how much you do in a dang day. It forces you to see yourself differently. As you begin to see just how awesome you are, your belief in yourself, and your self worth, grows exponentially.


Ohhh man this is my favorite. One of my titles is “professional hype woman.” I LOOOOOOOOOVE to hype people up. I love to celebrate you. I love to be part of your journey. As survivors, we’ve been pushed and broken down. We’ve been made to feel small, unimportant, in the way, worthless. It feels wrong to celebrate ourselves. It’s hard enough to recognize our victories let alone celebrate them. That’s why I want you to do both! I want you to do these hard things that will absolutely change your life!

All of these are geared around changing how you see yourself. As you do these, your brain will physically change. As it changes, you’ll be more and more open to healing and recovery.

This journey isn’t easy but oh baby boo it’s so worth it.

If this resonated with you and you’re ready to let go and finally live the life you deserve, then you should check out the Worthy of Recovery printable journal. Every day for 30 days you’ll complete a journal prompt and document your gratitude and your daily victories. Worried that you don’t have the time? Included with the journal is a course that teaches you how to journal your way to freedom in less than 15 minutes a day. As an added bonus, you also get over 45 printable affirmation cards. It has all the pieces that helped me on my recovery journey and I know it’ll help you, too. Click here to grab yours!

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