Mental Health Plans, A Blood Test, and Peace

Last week was my third session with my therapist. My therapist and I talked about my diagnosis. My therapist diagnosed me with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I had the diagnosis when I was a teenager. My therapist thinks I have PTSD due to losing my mother at a young age and being bullied. Under Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, we have a sub diagnosis of anxiety and depression. Lastly, we are going to get a correct diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and work on my self-esteem.

The treatment plan will consist of using a scale of 1-10 to see how I feel on all these issues. Then from there I will have therapy biweekly for six months.

One concern I had during my session was getting my blood test. The last time I had my blood drawn was when I was in college. The test was not pleasant, and I felt weak after the test. After the test, the next day, I got a call requesting that I get another sample taken because a tech had spilled my blood while testing it. I was lucky, I did not have to get it redone. However, the results were worrisome. My triglycerides needed to be lowered.

For this blood test, my Grandpa was incredibly supportive. He cooked me my favorite dinner. He cooked me pork roast, baked potato with butter and sour cream, and butter beans.  For dessert we both had hot chocolate fudge cheesecake. I felt full. I drank a lot of water during the day to help me stay hydrated during the night. I did not feel like binging like I did during the last test.

During the early morning, one of my best friends called to wake me up. We bowed our heads and prayed for a smooth test. When we finished, I felt ready for the test.

This blood test went well. The nurse was kind. She explained each step, and when it was time for the poke, which felt like a bee sting, I looked away. The test was over quickly.

I felt peace during the test. One of my Bible verses came to my mind. From John 16:33,

 “…I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Since I had to fast my grandpa took me to Waffle House afterwards. I had a waffle with gravy on it, sausage, and hash browns with coffee to drink.  I felt so full once I finished my meal.

I feel better now that my test is done. Now comes the hard part…waiting on the results.

Introducing 2021’s theme: More Life, Peace, and Goodness

2021 is here and that means releasing my 2021 Christian theme for the year. This year I want to work on Life, Peace and Goodness.

I chose these three because I feel that I am lacking in these areas in my life.

I chose life because most of the time I tend to let fear and anxiety rule over my life, and I tend to dwell on the past. This is not the type of life I wish to lead, nor what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:1, “The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” The Lord already has a plan for me and has gone before me. So why should I be afraid? For those of you who do not know, I accepted Jesus at age 14 during a daughter-father date. It was a year after we moved to Florida and before I moved, I was going to daily Bible studies with a friend. With tears going down my cheeks I asked my stepfather to lead me in the prayer of salvation. Since that time, I have been falling back into my old habit of looking at my past and feeling horrible about the mistakes I have made. The truth is when I accepted Jesus, he accepted me as I am. I do not have to become a perfect person. He also accepted my past, present, and future. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

The next pillar is peace. Having peace is one of the fruits of the spirit. I often let the problems of this world, such as finances, my physical health, and even the smallest issues distract me from the peace that Jesus offers. The Bible says in John 16:33 “, …I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Have you ever stopped to see the goodness of God? Maybe someone paid for your coffee or you worked hard and got that big job promotion that you were not expecting to get… or maybe you are going through a rough time, like maybe you failed a test or maybe your car got a flat. Did you know that even during the good and bad times that God can use these moments because he has a plan for your life? He has a plan for mine and a plan for yours-if you know Christ. It says in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to his purpose.” Even though I have had some rough times in my life, and I may not know what my future holds I do know that my God has a great plan that can allow me to point to him and his glory.

I am so excited to share with you the journey that will be unfolding in 2021.

Photo by Fallon Michael on Pexels.com

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

As I sit down to write this, I feel like I am in disbelief. It just seemed like yesterday I was announcing the theme for this year. This year certainly had its ups and downs. Not just because of the pandemic, but in my personal life. December was a quiet month for me.

I showed courage by going to the dentist. Part of my medical package is being able to have dental exams. I was a little nervous at first, but the dental assistant was kind to me. She explained everything we were going to do before we did it. My dentist was amazing. He was making jokes the whole time of the exam. I laughed a lot. What even brought me more comfort was he knows my orthodontist. He says that my oral health is good. I must go back for a cleaning.

When it comes to Self-Control, I have been working on my weight loss and my anxiety. I have started working out at home. I lost a few pounds then gained a few, but I am going to work on how my body feels overall rather than the numbers on the scale. I have found when I exercise on a daily basis, my anxiety was lower.  I went to my second therapy session and it was good. My therapist and I worked on finishing up the assessment form. Even though I was nervous about completing it she made me feel at ease. The next session we will be going over my care plan.

 I have a lot of joy in my life. I feel thankful for the family that I have, the small tight group of friends I have and my dog. As the pandemic continues, I feel grateful for my health and the fact that I am still able to blog and do my YouTube channel.  Jesus has truly shown me these three pillars this year.

I would like to end this blog by saying thank you to some very amazing people.

First, I am thankful for my audience, who I call my butterflies. No matter what platform you follow me on thank you for your support.

To my amazing team. Jessica, my wonderful editor, thank you for your talent, support, and friendship.

Matt, my assistant editor, thank you for the help on the book and for helping me with my blogs while Jessica had to take a personal leave of absence. You are also an amazing friend.

Melissa, thank you for your wonderful work on my graphics. You really make my YouTube and Pinterest pop. You are also an amazing friend.

Lastly, to my grandpa, thank you for not letting me give up on my calling. You see that I have talent. A talent that should be honored and not dishonored because of my disabilities. You see that I love to write and love to help people. Thank you for allowing me to build my business.

Butterflies, I have some amazing content, including my book, coming in 2021. I’m so excited to share with you. 😊

To our Family to yours…

Hello Butterflies,

Amanda Gene and Duke here. We just wanted to stop by and wish each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas. I will be spending it with my grandpa and Duke. Usually around Christmas Eve my grandpa and I go around Pensacola and look at all the different Christmas lights. This has been a Christmas tradition we have done since I was a small child, and it is something I genuinely enjoy doing.  After we go look at lights, we usually go get dinner. I hope we go somewhere where hot chocolate is served because here lately that has been my favorite. 😊

Merry Christmas to all!

2020: My Mental Health Journey: I finally found the right therapist

At my first visit to my nurse, I asked her for a referral to see a mental health therapist. I have been having problems sleeping and I have been having episodes of anxiety and depression. My nurse did a quick questionnaire that confirmed that I indeed have been slightly depressed. I had to wait a few weeks before my appointment. As usual I ended up calling my best friends a few days before blabbing into their ears about how nervous I was. I was so nervous because my last therapist was pushy, and she kept pushing me to get on a diet known as the no white food diet. That diet only made my situation worse, and when I tried to talk to her about it, she only yelled at me. She also said that if I got rid of my periods and got out of VR that I would be happier.

I was hoping that this new therapist would listen to me and that she would not prescribe me a diet that would make me sick.

With the pandemic going on I am having my sessions via Zoom. Soon it was time to check in, and I loved how the clinic made me answer some security questions before I was let into the “waiting room.” Soon my phone rang, and my therapist introduced herself and gave me a choice to continue the session via Zoom or through the phone. I really wanted to do the session via Zoom because I was quite curious as to what my therapist looked like. Right away, I loved her positive energy. From what I can tell my therapist looks young maybe in her late 20’s or early 30’s. I know that age should not matter, but I feel like having someone close to my age can make certain things easier to talk about.

After a quick technology and safety check she asked me about my previous therapy history. I told her about how I did not like my last three therapists. After I lost my mother at age 16, I was put into trauma therapy.  The first therapist I saw I really liked, she listened and did not push me to talk about anything I did not want too. But she retired after my first semester. After that I had a new therapist. I did not like her because instead of focusing on my mother’s death she wanted to talk about my stepdad’s alcoholism. In the end, I felt like she thought that I was also an alcoholic, which is not the case. After a few sessions I decided to stop going to therapy. In 2015, I went to another therapist, and even though I liked her at first, she kept pushing a diet that made me feel sick. She also told me that my depression and anxiety were caused by my current situation. Part of what she was saying I believed to be true.

After explaining all this, my therapist told me that she was so sorry that my last three therapy experiences were negative, and it was positive that I was still wanting to get better and decided to continue to seek therapy.

After that we focused on my family. I explained that I grew up in Texas and then moved to Florida as a teenager. I lived with my mother and stepdad until I was 16 when my mother died. I then explained how my father’s side of the family is extremely negative towards me. We then shifted to the present where I talked about what my goals are and who is in my support system. I feel this therapist will help me break through my anxiety, depression, anger, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Do All Blind People Think The Same Tag?

My friend, Cassie from the YouTube channel On The Friz did this tag. She told everyone who has not done the tag to do it so here it goes. In this tag you are supposed to give it a scale from 1-10. 1 being agree 5 being neutral and 10 disagree and then elaborate your answers.

  1. Being blind has enhanced my other senses 1- I agree because on harder vision days I find my senses of hearing and touch are more sensitive.

2. I prefer to date fellow blind people: 5- I have not dated much, and I wouldn’t mind if it went either way.

3. I am less shallow about romantic partners: 10- I disagree. Because I think its about how a person treats you.

 4. Unsolicited help makes things harder: 1- I agree.  I once was doing an O and M lesson, and someone offered to help me cross the street. If I had taken the help, I would not have learned how to cross the busy streets in Pensacola. The city I live in is easily accessible for me: 10- I Disagree. The bus that can come and pick me up is late 99.9 percent of the time and I am to far away to take the city bus.

5. I am offended when blind is used as one of my descriptive characteristics: 5- For me it depends on the context and, I prefer the term visually impaired instead of blind because I am not blind.

 6. Being blind has affected my mental health: 1- I agree on this statement because I have a lot of anxiety. I think part of this is because I have a hard time seeing things.

7.  I have experienced discrimination: 1- I agree because I have not been able to find a traditional job due to not having a driver’s license. However, this has given me the opportunity to start my own business.

8.  If I could regain my sight with a cure, I would want to: 5- I am neutral on this one. That is because I believe that having Nystagmus has made me a stronger person, but on the days that are hard on my eyes I wish there was a cure.

I hope you all enjoyed this tag. I am now tagging:

Glen from Well Eye Never

Chelsey Zumpano from VIBlindResources 

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

November seemed to fly by for me. It started out with me showing courage at my first doctor appointment in four years. I am happy to report that other than a rash, I am healthy.

I showed self-Control when I went through my room. I was very honest with myself and what I wanted to keep, what I really needed and what I could donate. In total I gave away four bags of belongings. I think that I am going to start cleaning out my room every couple of months to see what I can get rid of. Speaking of getting rid of things I went through my junk drawer and I got rid of a lot of electronics. I feel like I have more control over my belongings.

Lastly, I was able to show Joy at Thanksgiving because I was able to spend a quiet day at home. I was able to relax and clean the house. Then in the evening I was able to go out to dinner with my grandfather. He had some cheese sticks and I had chicken Alfredo. I have to say the dish was not that great, but I was thankful that I was able to enjoy spending time with my grandpa.

How was the month of November for you? Let me know in the comments below.

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