2020: More Courage, Self-control and Joy-July Edition

Wow! The year is halfway over. My heart is full of thankfulness as I sit down to look over the month of July.

When it comes to having courage, I feel great knowing that I have completed a temporary job with Perkins School for the Blind. I learned some new skills and met some nice people. I even got a chance to get some help with getting my resume up to date.

I had my follow up visit with my orthodontist and I am happy to report that I do not need a new retainer and my back tooth finally moved back to where it needed too.  Speaking of health, I was brave, and I broke down and I went to my low-income health center and applied for the sliding scale program. I am just waiting to hear back.

When it comes to self-control, I have had to wait on seeing things come to pass. For the past week I have been working on my self-employment paperwork. It was frustrating because I was not sure what I was doing. I really had to google a lot of the answers. I am happy to report that my business coach was happy with my progress. I learned that God walks with me no matter where life takes me. My friend from Alabama sent me back my hard drive and it still is not working. I know that God allowed this to happen to teach me to back up my work and not to be lazy. Always have a couple of copies of things in case something happens to the original.

Lastly, when it comes to joy, I have tried to focus on the fact that I am right where I need to be. I am still working on my book and online course I am writing. I have just finished reading the book of Revelation, and now I am studying the book of Daniel. I love getting closer to Jesus. I am learning to trust him more and more with my life.

What has happened in your life that has helped you draw closer to God? Let me know in the comments below.

Being Thankful in Uncertain Times

“Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s Will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.”-1 Thessalonians 16-18

Yesterday, as I was swiping through Facebook, I saw disappointing news of how the world is continuing to change do to the Coronavirus. As I looked around my room, I saw that I had much to be thankful and joyful about.

At my feet I have my beloved Pit Bull Terrier named Duke. He brings joy into my life. He’s my best non-human friend.  My grandpa and I are both healthy and safe. I have a load of laundry to do and put away. This means that I have clothes to wear. I have food and snacks to eat.

When I look at my desk, I see a ballot to be filled out. Yes, I vote despite having a visual impairment. I am thankful that my state offers mail in voting. That means I have a choice in what low vision devices I use or if I use sighted assistance to vote. Voting by mail means that I do not have to take the bus to return my ballot. This helps cut down on transportation needs.

The other day I got my “pay” for the month. I was able to put down a down payment towards my Christmas shopping. I have all but one bill left for this year. I feel thankful and blessed that I can get the little money I have. Setting up a business is hard, but I feel that this is how the Lord wants me to run my career. He may allow me to do some part time work, however he will let me thrive by using my writing talent to reach so many people.

Lastly, I am thankful for the technology that I have. I am visually impaired and even though technology can be annoying sometimes it usually works well. I love being able to use my laptop with ZoomText to access the internet, my echo to wake me up in the morning, and my book player to listen to books.

Even though I know the world is changing I know in my world there is a lot to be joyful for. Most people when they hear about my life situation about being disabled and having little resources suggest that I must be miserable. However, I rejoice, and I am glad for all that I have.

2020: More Courage, Self-Control and Joy-June Edition

Have you ever asked God to move you? Well, this past month that is exactly what I asked God to do and he responded.

This month has certainly been filled with courage. On the 14th of June I applied for a job as a mental health blogger. I got an interview and they asked me to send in some samples. The company liked what they saw and asked for two more fresh off the press samples. I sent them in and waited. I did not hear back. Even though I did not get the job I knew that God had something better for me.  A week went by and in my email inbox I got a request from Perkins to come join their three-day career launch testing group. I was excited to do the job. Come to find out I was going to get paid! I learned a lot during the three-day program. I will sit down and write a separate blog post about this event. 😊

In addition to this I had my follow up appointment with my orthodontist. He wants me to continue to wear my retainers full time until July 15. Our goal is to see if my back tooth moves to its proper position. He says if my tooth does not move back into place, and I start having pain then we may have to remove it. I am following the orthodontist’s instructions. I feel that I am making progress, but it is going to take some time.

When it comes to self-control, I have been learning that the more I practice patience the calmer I become. I was having anxiety about reaching my savings goals. It feels like I will never get there. However, little by little I am getting there.

Lastly, when it comes to joy this month was packed full of surprises. I was able to go out with a friend of mine and go thrift shopping. God provided me with an amazing pair of shoes which I was praying for.

On top of this God has connected me with my mother’s family. I have connected with a 2nd cousin who is now my prayer partner and he wants me to succeed with my business. He told me over the phone that even though my business plan may be as big as an elephant keep going step by step. I will get there. He also pointed me to peace when I told him about my father’s side of the family. He told me I can pray for them, but it is up to God to change their hearts. However, it is up to them to act on the change that God has given them. He is right. I can not let the hurt of my father’s family get to me. I can only give it to God and let him do the work.

How was June for you? Let me know in the comments below.

How to support your loved one who has Body Dysmorphic Disorder

As you have read about my journey with my eating disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder you are probably wondering what you can do to help support a friend or loved one who may be struggling with this. Even though I am not a medical professional or therapist here are 5 tips that have helped me in my own journey.

  1. Encourage seeking proper medical and mental health care. Even though I am struggling with facing my fears of getting medical care I know all to well that medical and mental health care go hand in hand. It is important to be sure all providers be on the same page.
  2. Once a proper medical diagnosis is made, try to educate yourself on the disorder(s) your loved one has. This can help you understand what they are going through and what kind of options your loved one may have in terms of treatment.
  3. Make sure your loved one understands and follows their own care plan. Be aware that sometimes slipups can happen but remind them to get back on track so they can be healthier and happier. An example of this, was when I was trying the no white food diet. It was hard for me to stick to the diet because there were so many restrictions. I would cheat a lot. My family and friends were encouraging. They helped me get back on the diet. After giving it a fair chance though I found out the diet was not for me.
  4. Be careful what you post on social media! This is one of the tips that really touches my heart. Not only can words be hurtful, but images can too. Recently, someone in my family posted a photo of Miss Piggy with the words, “I have an eating disorder…I’m about to eat dis order of fries, dis order of wings & dis order of nuggets.” Someone you know, love and care about could be struggling with an eating disorder and they are working hard to get healthy again. Posts like this one can cause them to have a relapse. Instead of posting negative posts be positive and supportive. You never know who is going through a hard time.
  5. Encourage healthy eating and exercise. This tip has helped me a lot when it comes to my Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I find that exercising helps me have more energy and I feel a lot less depressed and anxious. When it comes to healthy eating, I find this also improves my mood and energy levels. Keeping a healthy weight has helped me not worry about what I look like.

Remember if you are working towards a healthier body image remember these three statements: You can do this. You are worth it. You deserve to be happy and healthy.

Leave a comment if you are supporting someone or if you are going through this.

 

Happy Nystagmus Awareness Day!

Nystagmus Awareness Day (2020)

Today is Nystagmus Awareness Day! Nystagmus is the eye condition that I was born with. If you have not heard of the condition know that it is a rare condition that affects, according to Nystagmus Network “1 in 1000 people have Nystagmus.”  Nystagmus is an eye condition where the eye constantly moves. This pattern can be in an a vertical, Horizontal, or circular fashion.  For me, I have circular Nystagmus.  According to the Nystagmus Network, there are two main types of Nystagmus. The first one is called Infantile Nystagmus or congenital. This is the type of Nystagmus I have. That means a person is born with it. The second type is called Acquired Nystagmus. This can affect people later in life and can have different causes or sometimes no known cause at all. Nystagmus can effect’s everyone’s life differently. It all depends on the type of Nystagmus and the severity of it.

As a young girl I had to use large print books to be able to read my schoolwork. I had a teacher of the visually impaired come in a few times a week to provide one on one support. As I got older, I found out I would never be able to drive. My large print books have been replaced by assistive technology. As a young teenager the adults around me did not know what the future had in store for me. I felt sad and I thought I had a bleak future. I thought that I was the only one who had Nystagmus. I had not met anyone else who had the condition. I had so many questions about my future. I had low confidence.  I also had a lack of peace because I did not know that there was support out there.

In 2011, I was searching through Facebook and I found the Nystagmus Network. I found out that I was not the only one who had this condition and I was not the only one who felt overwhelmed. I began to ask questions about how I could better live with Nystagmus. Now I have lots of friends, from all over the world, and I have a place where I can ask for advice and support.

I have hope too. I know that the Nystagmus Network and other medical professionals are working on finding better treatment and hopefully a cure one day.

Because of the support I have received I no longer feel like Nystagmus is a roadblock in my life. I feel at peace with the fact that I have this condition. I have learned that everyone who has Nystagmus has talents and that even though you may need to modify your career goal you can live out an amazing life. I am now working on building my career as a freelance journalist and an advocate for those who have Nystagmus.

The support I can get daily cannot be given without the help from the public.

Be sure to visit the Nystagmus Network’s site to learn more about Nystagmus and donate today.

Also, be sure to share this post to help spread awareness on this International and National Nystagmus Awareness Day. 😊

Please note: This post was not sponsored in anyway. I just love the Charity Nystagmus Network. 🙂

 

2020: More Courage, Self-Control and Joy-May Edition

Have you ever stopped and just listened to what God is saying to you? That is what I’ve been doing for the month of May.

When it comes to courage, I had to show courage when I had to go back to my orthodontist to find out about treatment for my shifted teeth. I found out that I had to start wearing my retainers full time to try to shift my teeth back to their original position. I will find out, in a few weeks, if I need surgery or not. Ever since that visit to my orthodontist I have been in a body dysmorphic disorder flare.  I find myself looking in the mirror judging my appearance wondering if my teeth have moved even just the slightest amount. That is when I hear God refer me back to Psalm 139:11, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.” God also has taught me that even though others may judge my appearance, it says in (1 Samuel 16:7),   … “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intention.”  God has shown me that I can finally let go of my body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). I have now found peace with my disorder. I will let you know more about my Orthodontic treatment when I find out more information.

When it comes to self-control, I had to learn to wait for things to happen in my life. For example, I have set a few Financial goals, such as my personal savings. I must slowly put money away to reach them. I will make it though. God has also taught me to continue to have a positive mindset. Right now, I am slowly getting things back together since my hard drive crashed last November. I am working on my book. My goal is to have it ready to present to the Vocational Rehabilitation board in August. It says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Joy, in the light of the virus I have started to slow down and learned to enjoy what life has to offer. This month, my grandpa celebrated his 84th birthday. We went out to dinner to one of his favorite restaurants. We both had a fish basket. It was tasty. During my Bible study this month God showed me that I can have emotional peace and I do not have to dwell on the tough stuff. He has showed me that even though I am considered to be labeled as living in “Poverty” I can enjoy being his child and that I can enjoy the little things such as enjoying a nice scent of lavender bubble bath. I am starting to see God’s love around me. All I have to do is stop, listen and look around to find it.

How was May for you? Tell me in the comments below.

Do you feel your child has anxiety disorder? Here’s what to do by Ralph Macey (Guest Article)

Nothing is more painful for a parent than to see his/her child suffering mentally or physically. It’s easier for parents to be on the alert mode when a child is suffering physically. A wound on the knee is easily visible and parents can give medications immediately. But what about the wound in the mind? How can a parent determine that his/her child is suffering from an anxiety disorder?

 

Well, there are a few tell-tale signs to know if your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder. Here are a few of them.

 

  1. Inability to mix with school friends
  2. Too much perfectionism
  3. Problem in focusing on studies
  4. Lack of interest in interacting with family members
  5. A tendency to avoid various activities and situations
  6. Not willing to get out of bed and do all the daily activities
  7. Shaky hands, headache, insomnia, breathlessness, overeating or not eating foods, stomach upset

 

If you see that most of these signs are present in your child, this means that he/she is suffering from an anxiety disorder. What should you do in this situation as a responsible parent? Should you leave it on time and hope your child will become normal again? Should you take some proactive steps to help your child get better? What should you actually do?

 

Well, if your child’s life is getting affected due to anxiety disorder, then you should obviously take steps to get him or her well as soon as possible.

 

Here are a few steps you can take to help your child recover and lead a healthy life.

 

  1. Consult the primary care provider: Take your child to the primary care provider first. He can check all the symptoms and find out various ways to treat children with an anxiety disorder.

 

If your child has a mild anxiety disorder, then, in that case, the primary care provider may prescribe a few medicines and counsel him/her for a short time. Let’s say the primary care provider may take 6-8 counseling sessions. However, if your child has an acute anxiety disorder and PTSD, then he may refer your child to a good psychiatrist in your area. The psychiatrist can give long-term counseling and medicines to your child and make him/her smile again.

 

  1. Initiate delightful conversations: Most kids with anxiety disorder prefer to lock themselves in a room. That’s very bad for their mental health. All the demons get a chance to create a hurricane in their mind.

 

No matter how busy you’re, try to spend quality time with your child, Sit with him and watch a movie in a theater. Initiate delightful conversations when both of you’re in the car. You have to let him shed his guard and open up about what’s bugging him. Don’t go straight to the topic. Rather, give him time to open up.

 

  1. Don’t avoid the trigger factors: Too much love and adjustments are not good for your child’s mental health. If you adjust too much for your kid and avoid the situations that create anxiety, then that would turn into a big problem in the future. Don’t avoid small situations that make your child anxious. This is because you can’t be there with your child 24*7.

 

For instance, if your child becomes anxious whenever someone invites him to a party and you politely decline the invitation to avoid problems, then that’s a wrong move. He would never learn how to mingle with people in a huge gathering. He can’t avoid all the parties all the time. So you’re doing him more harm than good.

 

Teach him the ways to overcome his fears. That’s the best way to help him overcome his anxiety issues.

 

  1. Don’t give junk foods: Many children suffering from an anxiety disorder love to eat junk foods. But these foods trigger anxiety. Don’t let your child eat chips, burgers, pizzas, etc. Encourage them to eat leafy vegetables, fruits, and healthy meals.

 

Conclusion

 

The biggest fear of people suffering from an anxiety disorder is that they want to control things that are uncontrollable. You have to teach your child to handle adversity. You have to make him understand that there are alternative solutions to various kinds of problems. For instance, if someone misses a train, he can take a cab.

 

Instill confidence in your child and help to build emotional intelligence. Teach him the various ways of figuring out a solution to a problem. Let your child go out and face the world.

 

As a parent, it’s normal to feel nervous when your child goes out alone. You may always worry about him. But will you be there with him throughout his life? Can he stay his entire life at home? This is not practically possible. So you have to let him go out and learn how to sort out problems on his own.