2021:More Life, Peace and Goodness-February Edition

February came and went very quickly. There was a lot of Life, Peace and Goodness in it.

Life is one of the words I’ve heard most often. I decided to attend my first Nystagmus Network conference this year. So far, we only have dates of the conference but nothing else. I am excited to find out what the theme is this year and to meet others who have the same condition that I do.

I feel like my room is a lot cleaner because my donations were picked up. It feels good to give to people who are in need.

February held two special events. Duke’s birthday was a fun day for him. He got lots of birthday wishes across my social media platforms and he got a homemade pupachino. Which he loved.

Valentine’s Day was fun. I went shopping on Amazon with a friend, and I got a few things I wanted. I went out to eat to a restaurant called Ivey’s. I had veal and pasta. It was good. That day was filled with laughter and fun.

Peace is something that I am still struggling with. I had a follow up appointment with my nurse, and I am happy to say that my blood work was fine. I just need to continue to exercise to help lower my weight, by choice, and to help me lower my cholesterol.

Goodness, I have seen God’s goodness this month. For those of you who do not know, I lost my mother, from a heart attack, when I was just sixteen. After this, I had plans to go and live with my biological father and my stepmother, however, due to my educational needs he allowed me to stay with my grandparents. For sixteen years, my grandfather has helped care for me. My grandfather has not required me to pay anything back to him for his kindness.  All my grandpa said that I am required to do is to continue to grow and to keep reaching my goals. So, thank you, grandpa for the sixteen years of care. I can not thank you enough for your love and support. God truly has shown his goodness and grace by allowing me to stay with my grandpa. This year, just like years before, I will be treating grandpa to dinner. I love you grandpa.

Even though I do not know why God called my mother home I do know that God has a perfect plan for my life.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Mom, I hope that you are proud of the woman that I am becoming. I miss and love you very much.

To all my followers out there I can not stress this enough: please learn the warning signs of heart disease and more importantly a heart attack. Get care right away. It could save your life.

Learning to plan and being thankful

Let us face it, coping with the pandemic and being visually impaired while running a business can be quite tricky. This past week I have been off schedule because I got sick, and no it is not the Coronavirus, so what I thought I had planned did not come out. There is always next week where I can get back on task with my content calendar.

This made me stop and think of everything that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my business. This week I made four sticker sales. This makes me so happy.

I am thankful for my clinic that I can be seen at. This past week I had a stomachache-I will be okay- I am so thankful that the staff are so kind and helpful.

I am thankful for my family and friends. My best friends and I are reading the Harry Potter series for the second time and it is a joy to do it with my friends and to be able to talk about the books.

I am thankful for my grandpa and my dog. Next Thursday marks 16 years since my mother has been gone. Even though I miss her I know that she is proud of me. I am thankful for the support that my grandpa has given and continues to give me.

Self-Care on Valentine’s Day

For some of us we do not have a romantic partner to spoil us on Valentine’s Day. So instead of being sad why not give yourself a self-care day.

  1. Do something you love. I love to read. Right now, I am re reading the Harry Potter Series.
  2. Do something good for your body. I am currently trying to lose weight, so I am doing a home workout daily. Working out has lots of benefits.
  3. Buy yourself something. It is okay to treat yourself to something on your Amazon wish list. I have been eyeing a cute sweater.
  4. Cherish the friends and family you have. Even though I do not have a partner, I do have friends and family that love and care for me. That means a lot.
  5. If you have a pet spend time with them. I have a pit bull terrier named Duke. I’ll be spoiling him by doing things that he loves.

I hope you all enjoy Valentine’s Day!

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Five ways my dog has helped me grow…

On Monday, Duke, my Pit Bull Terrier turned five. So, in honor of his fifth birthday here are five ways he helped me grow.

  1. He taught me to love the Pit Bull Terrier breed. Before I adopted Duke, I had only seen the Pit Bull Terrier on TV. When Duke bounced into the house, I was unsure about his temperament. However, I learned quickly was that the tv show was correct and Pit Bull Terriers are extremely sweet and loving. Not to mention full of energy.
  2. Anxiety is not everything. Duke suffers from anxiety, but I have been working with him on that. Over time he has improved. I have started to use this strategy in my own life, and I have found that I am improving with my own anxiety.
  3. Do not judge a book by its cover. When people first meet Duke sometimes, they are scared because of his breed. It is my job as the handler to educate others about Duke’s breed and that he is sweet. Once I educate them and they pet Duke they usually change their minds.
  4. Have fun with life. Most of the time I am uptight and worried about how life is going to work out. Duke has taught me to lay in the sun, watch the birds and enjoy life.
  5. He taught me to let my heart grow. When I first adopted Duke, I was feeling a lack of confidence. Noodles, my beloved Boston Terrier, passed away a year before and I had felt lonely and lost. I thought I could never love another dog again, but I was wrong. As I worked and bonded with Duke, I grew to love him. He is a sweet boy, and he is a joy to have.

Happy birthday Duke! Here is to many more walks, tugs of wars and cuddles. 😊

2021: More Life, Peace and Goodness-January Edition

January seemed to pass by so quickly. I am taking life one day at a time. This month I decided to take life by its horns and really attack my depression and anxiety. One way I did this was to go through my room and I decided to donate some items to people in need.

I also had two coaching sessions with Karen, who runs the company Dream Big Coaching. She helped me realize that in order to live life I need to build my mental resilience. I feel that I have a long way to get back to the person I once was. Happy and confident. I will get there one day. To start the process, I contacted my local DMV to find out why employers have not been taking my state ID. The good news is that the DMV responded that employers must legally take it for Identification purposes. I am waiting to hear back from the DMV about getting a letter to attach to my employment applications.

When it came to peace, I finally have come to face my fears of seeking medical care. This month I had a blood test. I thought that I was going to pass out like I did the last time, however this time it went on without a hitch. I hardly felt the needle go in at all. I just thought about my friends and my business endeavors while I got the test done.

Goodness is all around me. My editor and I are finished with the first round of edits. I am extremely excited about getting my book out to the public.

My friend and I have just finished the book of Esther. I really enjoyed this Bible study because this book taught me that women can be strong and brave even when they do not want to speak up. 

My friend reminded me of God’s goodness when I went to speak to her about my eye condition. That day I was feeling discouraged because I felt like I was missing out on life due to my Nystagmus. She pointed out my bible verse from John 33:16, “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.” She was right, God may have created me to have Nystagmus, but he goes with me wherever I go. In fact, that night while I was thinking about this verse the Holy Spirit brought to my mind verse Psalm 139,14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” When I thought about that verse I was filled with peace. My God made my disability especially for me. For his purpose. That is something to smile about.

I received a beautiful card from one of my customers. It was a joy to read her kind words and to unpack some stickers that she included in her card.

When Nystagmus Makes Me Sad

On Monday, a friend and I were talking about our experiences when it comes to our vision loss. We were talking about how some professionals, like eye doctors, have told me that I was saying that I have problems seeing print for attention. As many of you know, I have Nystagmus that make my eyes shake. This causes me to struggle to read printed material.

As I sat there thinking about my situation, I felt even worse. I am not legally blind; it is hard for me to receive help.

Furthermore, I thought about my place in the visually impaired community. Sometimes I feel torn because some community members say I do not belong because of the level of vision I have. I work hard representing the Nystagmus community by sharing my own experiences so others can learn from them.

I also had a fear of the future. I know for now that my vision is stable, which I am thankful for, however I have read of people going from stable vision to legally blind as they have gotten older. As I sat there, I reflected on the times that my teachers have said your not legally blind, however you are close.

Since I felt so down, I texted my friend to see if she could shed any light on the matter. I first brought up my fear of going legally blind and how for years many eye doctors have said that I “am not blind enough for services.” My friend pointed out my bible verse for the year: 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.” She pointed out that if I ever did go legally blind that I would be the one who would make my life happy or sad, and that it is all about perspective. She is right, for now my eyesight is stable and I should enjoy what I do have. Take each day and each eye exam as it comes, deal with the vision loss if it comes.

When it comes to getting services and hearing what the professionals have to say, be thankful for the little support I am getting. Right now, most everyone is having changes in their lives. Again, I am still doing what I love writing and doing YouTube. It does not matter what VR or DBS think.

Lastly, she said to keep sharing in the Visually Impaired community. I may never know whose life I touch by sharing my own story. That makes me feel amazing. Knowing that I may change a child’s life for the better. This is one reason I write my blogs.

After I talked about it with my friend, I felt a lot better. Remember, it is okay to feel sad about having Nystagmus, but it is important not to stay sad and defeated.

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.

Find Good Vibes

Grace Bailey // blog


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