Wednesday, March 29, 2017

God's Individual(s) Plan

God uses Scripture as one way to personally communicate to us. The Word is living and breathing. The same verse that did not jump out and speak to me a year ago may bring me a divine revelation today. One of the many benefits of having an overall understanding of the Bible is being acquainted with the Author. Knowing God allows us the privilege and responsibility of anticipating His ways. We know God is Love, God is just, God will never leave us nor forsake us. Additionally, having an intimate relationship with Jesus creates a closeness where you share understandings from the past, including lessons He has taught and trials He had brought you through. Times He picked you up and brushed you off when no one else was there. Sure, He uses individuals to help accomplish His plan. He has built us for community.  Still, He calls us to trust in Him, not in man. You may not understand why I do what I do... and that's okay. I am following Jesus. The path He has for me is unlike the path He has for you. I follow Him as He quips me with knowledge and understanding.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Aging with Cerebral Palsy

Since I am part of the first major generation of adults with Cerebral Palsy, I want to share my experiences. It's 4am so this will be brief. At about age 35, I started falling, had trouble opening jars and trouble with fine movements. My legs started shaking while sedentary.

I'm now 47, as I said, awake at 4am because my legs ache. Ibuprofen helps a lot. I can't walk in sand anymore.

Granted, my activity level has been increasing as I have been mentally feeling better, or shall I say psychologically since my short term memory is bad. I forget fighting with friends, and then wonder why they stop calling me. Also, when in extreme situations, I forget where I am. This happened on the way to an obgyn appointment because of past sexual abuse. I couldn't remember what city I was in, or where I was going.

I'm having an MRI next month and will keep you informed.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sheltered Workshops

Sheltered Workshops Get Reprieve


Trump Pulls Bill

I needed today to give me hope. Maybe there are enough people who agree with us.  My asthma inhaler is over $100 mth. so I do without it. I am on 5 medications. And haven't been able to update my glasses in 3 years, never mind the dentist. Cerebral Palsy ages my body much faster the older I get. My memory is deteriorating quickly. I walk from my bedroom to the kitchen to get my dollar store reading glasses,  and misplace my glasses coming back from the kitchen!

We must continue to fight for healthcare,  including mental health issues.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shine for Jesus

What truly matters.

Rough Day

Attended Disability Awareness Day at the State Capitol.  Mentally and physically exhausted so I can't really think right now.

No one is free to talk about my day with....God told me, "I am always free for you, Shelly... and I hate being your last option." So I will be out of communication until further notice. Big decisions to make.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Supreme Court Concerns

Supreme Court Nominee’s Rulings On ADA, IDEA Have Advocates Worried  Article here

Lost Mind

Interesting article on loneliness, creativity, and Mental Health. As I read this article, I wonder if the three are intertwined? And is it a blessing or a curse? When not in a depressive episode, I view introspective thinking as a privilege which not everyone has the ability -or guts- to experience.

But it's a dangerous place to tread. The abscesses of one's mind can be dangerously revealing. The deeper you go, the harder it is to escape and come back to tangible living. Hence the term "lost in thought".

Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's better there, more authentic.  Just enter at your own risk.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Faith and Temptaion

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.”

This verse has been repeated at least 20 times in my mind this morning, sort of like a meditation or promise, or CLAIM. Did you notice I said, “this morning”?! It’s not even 10 AM. We all have coping strategies to deal with hard times in life. Whether it be eating, shopping, drinking, exercising, socializing… everyone has a way to ‘escape’. Some are healthy, but most can be destructive when negative consequences result from escaping yet we continue engaging in the ‘escape’.

I’m reminded of the passage in Genesis 24 when Abraham describes life as a journey with the Lord, and there is even an angel that joins them. The Lord promises to prosper him, and later in the chapter, verse 56 says “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey…”

This can apply to anything and everything, which is why I am blogging about it. Maybe I am writing this more for me than for you. To live a self-determined quality of life, we need to keep our eyes on the prize, don’t get side tracked, and avoid all temptations when possible. I have a friend with an eating disorder who can’t have sweets in her house or she will binge and eat everything in her house. She finds the solution in going to the grocery store every day to buy one day’s portion.

I’m not going to claim that praying will remove the temptation. I believe it will help, yet I also believe people are too quick to deny temptations and struggles Christians experience. Just like children know what pleases their parents yet that sinful nature keeps them from being perfect. Of course, no one is perfect.

Trying to remember the Lord will prosper me and go with me and even send an angel with me should be a comforting resolution. It’s obvious the correct answer, to focus on doing God’s Will. Even non-Christians know the right thing to do… It would be a chaotic world if everyone just did whatever they felt like.

I don’t have an answer. Wait, yes I do… do I have to respond to the question?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cathartic Journaling

Art is the best form of self-expression. There is no wrong way... release your inhibitions and create.

Why Mental Illness Continues

Sad realities of why mental illness in children continues.  Article here


This is from a blog I wrote 2 years ago... finally, I feel called to return to Private Practice...

I’ve been binge watching “In Treatment” which is a HBO series about a psychologist and it has reawakened my love for being in private practice. Maybe I will return to the field. You see, private practice is conducive to the introvert lifestyle because you interact with a few patients per day, 50 minute intervals (just long enough to say, “whoops, time to go!”), and I don’t have to worry about vulnerability because I don’t share personal information unless it is to further the patient’s well-being. Sure, patients yell and treat me crappy but that is usually due to the sensitive subject matter. Picking and prodding at life-time wounds which need to be addressed for their quality of life. Of course they get emotional. Therapy brings realizations that can feel like life has kept secret from you, ABOUT you, your entire life, as if the whole world knew something that no one told you. Many times, the course of denial is used to survive the unimagined. “Everyone’s uncle molests them…” or “It’s normal for church elders of the opposite sex to tell you about their marital problems.” Days are lived feeling the world is a safe place, everything is status quo….  Until you go talk to a psychologist who shakes their head in shock, surprise, even horror when you describe scenarios. “What? Why are you making that face? You mean, it IS bad when your pastor tells you you could find someone to marry you because circus freaks find marital partners?” Hmmm. So the client reacts as if the therapist is the bad guy for crushing the bubble of denial. They yell, cry, throw fits. Then they leave until next week.

As a Christian, I reflect on the awesomeness of God’s intricate plan… how He only lets us know the parts we can handle. How encouraging it is to see Him giving you harder trials, knowing He not only knows you’ll be faithful, He will be there holding your hand.

This show has me missing the deep, introspective thinking I once practiced on a daily basis. I had a fall, spent several years ‘on a break(down)”, yet I’m coming back… better than ever. Before too long, I’ll put my shingle back out and have a sign on the door saying, “Therapy in Session”.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Get out there and LIVE!


You Only Live Once

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My new motto is "You only live once". Today, I put into practice to do what I want to do.

This was my entry this morning: For the past year, one of my favorite restaurants has HUGE Reubens only on the 17th of the month... and every month, all my friends are too busy to go. Well, today I AM GOING ALONE with Jireh (my Assistance Dog)! You only live once. If I fall, I have the Lord with me. I AM GOING TO GET MY REUBEN AT MADISON SOCIAL!

I am so glad I went! Don't let fear hold you back. Get out there and LIVE!

YOLO - You Only Live Once

Career Decision

After more than ten years, I have decided to go back into private practice.

Yesterday, I called to see about becoming a Medicare and Medicaid Waiver Provider.  My plan is to make house calls for patients with limited mobility or anxiety/agoraphobia, as well as other disabilities. My main focus (as it has always been) is to help stagnant individuals discover their passion in life, and take steps needed to make their dreams a reality.  This is a process using My Dream Portfolio.

Also, I want to do group counseling using My Dream Portfolio in schools. That way the students can bring their Portfolios to IEP meetings to show teachers their future plans are all mapped out. This works for all populations from incarcerated  juveniles to I even did one for my cat once after being told a student was too low functioning.

Finally, since I am versed in Special Education, I will be the students advocate. 

The application process takes a month or two, so I will have time for writing in the interim.

Hope all my readers are well, and please let me know if I can add anything of interest on this website.

Trump Doesn't Care about Disability Rights

Scary stuff... we must fight for disability rights

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Call to Action

Call to Action! Florida House Bill 219: Crisis Intervention by Law Enforcement Officers
Click here.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mental Health Budget Cuts


Jireh and I were on the go for 6 hours straight. Came home, talked to Cathy, then slept HARD. Slowly building up my stamina. I am trying to make an appearance at every disabled related event to network and I hit the jackpot at FSU. Talked with a wonderful girl who shares my passion for helping educate the community about disability issues. People with disabilities deserve to have their own self-determined quality of life. They deserve to dream and have a network of people to help those dreams become reality. They deserve to contribute to society and realize their gifts & talents make them valued... MY quality of life includes making this happen.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Suicide and Depression

My life changed significantly today. Recently, I asked God how I can repay a life long friend. She has been with me for 30 years, loyal and understanding. She has been tragically impacted by mental illness.

A few years ago, I stopped speaking out for mental illness because it triggers me. I myself have been in 4 psychiatric hospitals for suicide attempts - none in the past six years.

I avoid discussions about such issues because they are too raw for me.

Until today. God told me I can pay my friend back by educating people about depression and suicide. I told God no, I can't go there.

He reminded me He will never ask me to do something without preparing me with all I need to complete the task, then He showed me I will be renewing my counseling license.

I'm scared. I don't want to be pulled in such a sensitive pit. But I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Renewing License

Just a brief hiatus as I get details finalized to renew my counseling license. I wasn't sure I would be able to pay the State fees and freaked out for a bit.

My life is wrapped up in my LMHC. Not only 7 years of college and Grad school, exams, continuing education credits, keeping up with psychological advances and Rehabilitation developments... the initials behind my name give me creditability, especially with people who do not know me.

Those four letters show I'm educated, a fighter, and I know my stuff when it comes to mental health.  Fortunately,  it appears I will keep my license, all by the grace of God. There is no other explanation.

I am reminded "to much is given, much is required". When we have been given gifts and talents, we need to share them with the world to leave the earth a better place than when we found it.

Are you doing your part?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Article on Depression

I'm in the process of updating my knowledge about mental illness. I will share some articles here-
Depression Impacts Young and Old


Another lost to suicide 😭. When will people learn depression is REAL and you can't just snap out of it? When will people learn when you are depressed, the people who call you weak and less of a Christian push you further over the edge? Multiple people in the Bible were suicidal. Suicide IS NOT selfish for the depressed person... the selfishness comes from so called "friends" who expect you to "just pray" without regarding the excruciating pain and torture you are in.

Artists and intellectuals are at greater risk of committing suicide because they go in the deep places of the mind others close off.

When will we take suicide seriously?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Golden Retriever Gives Hugs

Anxiety is one of my disabilities  (with PTSD & occasional Agoraphobia). Jireh senses my anxiety and gives me hugs...and my world is right again. Watch the sweet hugs here.

Coffee with Cerebral Palsy

How I deal with my shaking... watch video - Click Here 
Making coffee without spilling it all over.

Friday, March 3, 2017

My Assistance Dog

This is Jireh, my Assistance Dog. "Jireh" is Hebrew for "God will provide". She has the perfect name. Here she helps me stand up after I fall.

Aging with Cerebral Palsy

There aren't many older adults with Cerebral Palsy in mainstream society, which both bothers and concerns me. Where are they? Why aren't people living independently? Are they in nursing homes and institutions? Bedridden in family homes? Deceased?

My doctors and medical providers affirm I am an exception regarding aging with Cerebral Palsy.

Recently, I met two ladies with Cerebral Palsy and it was so nice to share experiences. They are a few years younger than me. Although Cerebral Palsy itself doesn't worsen, the effects damages the body much faster than people without C.P.. I explain it as having a new car with an old motor going up a hill. The exertion on the old motor causes parts of the car to fall apart. It seems age 35 is around the time when secondary conditions start, such as falling, dropping things, decreased ability to perform fine motor skills, weakness and tiring more easily.

Exercise is crucial to extending abilities as long as possible.  I try running every morning, and until I can figure out how to add video to this post, you can follow me on Instagram at Shellyedsfsu,  which is also my name on Snapchat. Follow me, introduced yourself. Oh, and you'll see lots of photos of my Assistance Dog, Jireh.

Until next time... live your self-determined quality of life. In other words, Be You!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Slow Start

So I obviously have not been blogging several times per day. It's not for lack of things to write about, rather, the opposite! I was ready to jump into Advocacy full force,but a couple road blocks came up, or should I say, "yield" signs. After being reined in, I am reevaluating my next steps.

Did I get caught up in the excitement? Did I think everything through? What about my freelance writing career? My Systematic Theology studies?

Advocacy will take me away from spending time with Jesus.

Is it about the money, because if I set my mind to it, I can earn money quicker through writing.  Yet, my conscious tells me to be a voice for the disabled. I don't know what to do.