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.

Interview with Chris Catt (Guest Interview #26)

Chris is a friend of mine who has helped me get ideas for my own business. Be sure to check him out on social media, and if you want to start your own business and are stuck be sure to contact him. 🙂

  1. What is your name)? My name is Christopher Catt aka Enabled Entrepreneur from the UK.

2.Age? 54 years old.

3. Who has inspired you the most in life? To be quite honest, very few people inspire me.  But I have certainly learned some lessons from a few people who I respect enormously.  Amongst People with a Disability, I would have to say a good friend of mine, Yasmin Sheikh.  I met Yasmin through Andy Harrington’s Professional Speakers Academy here in the UK.

4.Who has inspired you for your blog or YouTube channel? James Nicholson.

5. Besides writing or making YouTube videos what do you like to do in your spare time? I have got back into getting myself fit and healthier.  I used to go to the gym several times a week when I was in my 20s, but this dropped off the radar when I took up Scuba Diving, Mountain Biking and got married and had a young family.   I am a massive motorbike fan.  My family are well known in the Guinness Book of Records.

Photo of Christ Catt.
Photo credit: Photo provided by Chris Catt

6. Name a bad habit that you have? I tend to overcomplicate things at times and this can lead to procrastination.  Another thing is that I struggle to come to terms with having Severe Sight Loss.

7. Name your best quality? I like to learn from my mistakes, which are many.  But I always ask, how could I either not do that again or use it to create an opportunity.  One of my greatest qualities is TRUST and INTEGRITY.

8. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? I would love to interview Stephen Hawking.

9. What is your college major/minor? Upper Second with Hons in Politics at the University of Plymouth.

10. Why did you choose the title of your blog or YouTube Channel? I didn’t. It was my customers who call me “Enabled Entrepreneur”.

11. When and why did you start your blog or YouTube channel? I started my Blog about 5 years ago.  My reason for starting it was that I want to see People with Disabilities being able to escape the BARRIERS that their impairment causes and can find solutions to achieve FREEDOM, CLARITY and being part of a COMMUNITY.

12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself as a world-renowned thought leader who has created a community of People with Disabilities called Enabled Life.  This will include those who seek work and want to set-up in business.

13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disabilities that you may have)? I have ROP, Retinopathy of the Prematurity.  As its name suggests, I was born premature at 26 weeks (3-months early).  I see myself as fortunate in that I do have some useful eyesight in one eye.

14. How does your visual impairment (or other disabilities that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I don’t let it affect me, that’s the person I am.  If I want something and I am determined, I will succeed.

15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? I don’t know to be honest and I am not bothered.  If they have issues with it, it is their hang-up not mine to worry about.  If they have issues it says more about them having a problem than me.

16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have What would that be? First you must believe in yourself and your ability before you can expect anyone else to believe in you.

17. Where can other people find you on social media? (Please list and provide the links.) Facebook, The Life Coach Station the Enabled Entrepreneur

Twitter @catt_chris

https://www.enabledentrepreneur.co.uk

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.

Interview with Matt Tuckey (Guest Post #25)

Matt is a fellow blogger. Be sure to check him out on social media. Thank you, Matt for being a guest. 🙂 

  1. What is your name (or blog/channel name)? Hi! I’m Matt Tuckey and I write the blog Power is a State of Mind.
  2. Age? 37
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life? That’s a tough one! I read Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs screenplay when I was 15, and thought, ‘this isn’t that complicated. I could do this.’ QT got me into writing fiction, and moved into non-fiction once I started blogging.
  4. Who has inspired you for your blog or YouTube channel? Hunter S Thompon’s ‘gonzo’ style of fast writing, resulting in contemporary accounts of events that have just happened, has been a big inspiration. I’m not necessarily as politically minded, but I try to capture his style and mix it in with my own.
  5. Besides writing or making YouTube videos what do you like to do in your spare time? I run nightlife events on a voluntary basis, using a website called Meetup. It’s a great way of meeting new people and seeing parts of a city that you ordinarily wouldn’t.
  6. Name a bad habit that you have? I doubt myself way too much. I’m single because of this.
  7. Name your best quality? Honesty. You might not like what I have to say, but I’ll never hurt anyone’s feelings.
  8. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? Probably Sergio Leone, director of Once Upon a Time in America. He made the greatest film ever made, and I’d love to ask him about the film’s production. I’m a bit late though: he passed in ‘89.
  9. What is your college major/minor? I got a BSC Hons in Professional Broadcast Techniques. In the UK we don’t ‘major’ or ‘minor’ in anything, but my focus was on radio. I managed to get some experience with a couple of stations, as my voice was good, but it wasn’t to last.
  10. Why did you choose the title of your blog or YouTube Channel? I chose ‘Power is a State of Mind’ on a whim- I had a postcard advertising the 2004 Sean Penn movie ‘The Assassination of Richard Nixon.’ ‘Power is a State of Mind’ was the strapline. There was something about it that meant something to me, and at the time I was trying to get a diagnosis for some memory difficulties I had. I knew if I got help with that problem, I’d develop a lot more confidence. I eventually did, and I was right. As well as developing organisational techniques, I became a lot braver.
  11. When and why did you start your blog or YouTube channel? I started blogging on MySpace in late ‘06, but didn’t open PIAOM on Blogger until late ‘08. Prior to that I’d found myself getting into odd predicaments that needed documenting. It wasn’t fair to keep these stories to myself!
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? I’m trying to move into Public Relations, where I’ll be able to put my promo / marketing / media background to use and I’ll hopefully get to write for a living too. I’ve volunteered at a PR agency recently and it convinced me that I need to move into that field.
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disabilities that you may have)? Short Term Memory Difficulties.
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disabilities that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? It has a number of effects on me, most of which people don’t see. I’m constantly on my phone, not necessarily scrolling social media (although I do that too), but my calendar and notes are on there, which store everything that I’d never otherwise remember. I forget people’s names, which people take great offense to. They usually don’t give me the time to explain my condition. That’s on them, though! It takes a while for me to get to know people personally, as they can tell me about themselves, and I’ll only remember bits of what they’ve said. Added to this, these difficulties come from a head injury at birth but I only got a proper assessment at 26 years old. Since then, I’ve continuously learned more organisational techniques.                   
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? My systems and strategies are that tight now that people don’t even notice it… until I forget something important to them! The place where it’s taken into account most is work- I do my best but it’s really not the most appropriate role for me. I’ve got good colleagues and an understanding manager, but I’m working in admin, the processes for which I take AGES to learn.     
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have What would that be? Keep records of everything. You will need it. Become a strong notetaker.
  17. Where can other people find you on social media? (Please list and provide the links.) I’m on Twitter at @matthewtuckey, Instagram at @matttuckey and YouTube at youtube.com/matthewtuckey.

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. 🙂

 

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