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