Sunday, June 10, 2018
Daily, I have at least one Crohn's attack where it happens so fast, I fail to reach a toilet in time. There are days when I lose my balance trying to get to my toilet, and run into a wall. I am covered in bruises, aching constantly from falling. My muscles tighten, shake and spasm randomly generating loss of body control, dumping coffee, difficulty with penmanship, and restricting coordination needed to type.
My fortitude limits everything I do, including thought processes and tasks requiring executive functioning. The way aging is tearing down my abilities leads me in a state of depression. Since I live independently, I worry about my near future, and my anxiety soars.
I don't know what is going to happen. Physically and mentally, I am fading. It's reminding me now is the time to accomplish all I want to do. Mainly, leaving a legacy.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Monday, May 21, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
My appeal was denied. I am scared because none of my relatives support me, and my sweet friends cannot help me on a regular basis.
I know God has me. Yet, I am very scared. This isn't how I imagined my life. I have been hugging my pillow, laying in a ball and crying. I am petrified.
Laying in a ball doesn't help change my situation, so I am trying to immerse myself in writing.
There is no option to appeal again. This isn't about Disability Determination. I have emailed the reporter asking who I have can contact at the Capital.
To be continued.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Thankfully, my friends are coming to my aide and helping me survive the Social Security cut in my check for June. There have been a few people who have told me they are facing the same problem- the State will no longer cover Medicare Part B, and they are deducting previous Medicare payments from their June checks. I have a feeling this is about to happen to many people and they are not preparing because they didn't read the letter from Social Security. By the grace of God, I had notification this was happening, so I submitted my appeal and have friends who are helping me pay June's bills.
I have times of severe anxiety, where I lay on the floor, clutching a pillow, not knowing what is going to happen to me. I am writing like a maniac, several projects, so I can generate income through writing. Thankfully, I have time to write in the comfort of my own home before I am homeless. All I can do is take one hour at a time.
Of course, there are people telling me if I get a job, this wouldn't be an issue. I sent him this video and comment:
I have 3 graduate degrees and had a mental breakdown. Now, my mental health issues keep me homebound. I am glad you are able to work. Please don't discount those of us who want to work, yet are medically unable to do so. And, yes, I know Nick. Please don't compare people with disabilities. We are all different.
Monday, May 14, 2018
Yesterday, I filled out my Appeal letter regarding my cut in my Disability Check. Trying to stay calm and not panic as this could turn my world upside down.
Social Security News picked up my blog entry on losing 25% of my SSDI and retweeted it. I finished my appeal and added the following (below). Thank you to everyone offering to help me. I fell yesterday and landed on my back, am now in pain, yet am writing all I can to use this time to find writing income before it's too late.
I filled this out the best I could. The change in not having my Medicare covered will leave me homeless without family. I was only able to renew my apartment lease (which increased approx. $70) because I was eligible for State paid Medicare. When the State pays, I earn too much, but when I have to pay, I cannot even afford rent and electric. My service dog helps me walk and I won't be able to afford to keep her. I truly will be alone on the streets. And it costs $1,500 to break lease. HELP
The photo are my kids on Mother's Day.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Friends, we can't afford to ignore political issues anymore. The changes with the Affordable Care Act is affecting me. Since you know me, it is impacting YOU! The change in the law could take me from the happiest time of my life to losing EVERYTHING, and being on the streets. No exaggeration. Fortunately, I have the intelligence to appeal the decision while thousands have no background in disability issues. Also, I have generous friends who are helping me with June's bills, when the government is taking out 25% of my SSDI. By then, hopefully I will win my appeal. If I don't, I can stay in my home with little air conditioning, going to food banks, and investing all my time to freelance writing (I am already doing the latter.) I will be one of the lucky ones. We MUST vote, advocate, and educate on behalf of people with disabilities.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Friday, May 11, 2018
Yesterday, I stayed in bed all day weighed down by depression and severe anxiety. Disbelief, numbness, helplessness, and fear overwhelms me. I know God Is in control. But when I try fixing things myself, I drive myself crazy. I can't breathe. I can't function. I become worthless. Staying curled up in a ball isn't the answer. Nothing gets solved. And I am neglecting life's mission of glorifying God. Sadly, the opposite happens. I have to stop, breathe, and put things into perspective. The last book I read, “She Reads Truth” prepared me greatly for this season of life. Authors Rachel Meyers and Amanda Bible Williams write how God is our only constant. The world is ever changing.
As I experienced first-hand last week, our lives can be turned upside down at any moment. We ultimately have no security on this earth. God and His Word are our only constant – yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The authors cite verses that should (and often do) calm the chaotic turmoil in my heart, with God's promises including:
“My peace I give you” – John 14:27
“You will be My people, and I will be your God” – Jeremiah 30:22
“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever” – Isaiah 40:8
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away" Matthew 24:35.
And the verses go on and on. The bad news is we can only fully rely on God and His Word. The good news is that is all we need.
My dear friend shared this video with me, reminding me how strong Our Lord is, and how foolish I am not to trust Him with details of my life. Here is the link - Comforting Video
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Seeking comfort from friends by reading Facebook status updates only made things worse. For example, I checked on a friend who's facing the anniversary of her mother's death… oh, she's fine… she's counting down to a luxurious vacation. So many negative thoughts revolve around my mind, I decide to take Jireh for a walk before starting my day.
Remembering God challenges me to bring my grievances to Him as He says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come, let us reason together…” I start by complaining about my financial situation, and feel God remind me, Shelly, why are you doubting me? Don't you remember all the times I took care of you by paying off your car, taking care of your student loans, moving you into a nice apartment when you had nothing and was living out of your car… what about when you quit your counseling job due to having a mental breakdown? How quickly you forget! Trust me, My child. As far as you judging your friend’s trip while mourning her mother's death, aren't you being hypocritical as you get angry when people don't understand why you have unexplainable peace when going through major trials? And about your bitterness that you cannot afford luxurious vacations… I have commanded you to set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18. Instead of focusing on temporary things, I want you to finish the work I for which I created you. As I have said in Colossians 3:23,24 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”.
Of course, He was right, as always. I watched Jireh spying on squirrels in the magnificent Tallahassee trees, noting God also provided the means for me to relocate to my favorite city. Admiring my neighborhood walk, I thanked God for my home, then for Jireh being happy and healthy. Now you know why I didn't allow you to get a new puppy… you would have had to give him up.
He continued by bringing numerous situations to mind, changing my ungrateful, bratty attitude to showing me tangible ways He is in control. Trust me, Shelly. You are ready for the next step. Now is the time to put into practice all I have taught you.
I realized I have spent so many years talking and planning how to use God's gifts to me, I haven't followed through until completion. Now is the time. Face it, I don’t have much more time on this earth. I want my life to count.
Monday, May 7, 2018
Woke up to resume fight to get Social Security amount back. Found At&t had double charged my account, leaving me with a negative balance again. I am numb. Apathetic. I don't care.
8:17 a.m. Basically whatever energy I have within is being spent trying not to go insane. Don't think I have the strength . Functioning on God's power inside me. Have fallen past the state of depression. Think God is protecting me with this apathy. Yesterday, I was ready to fight. Now that office hours are open, I've made phone calls, only to find things worsening. I know God has this, and God has me,
10:03 a.m. Crohn's Disease is officially on attack mode. My health conditions seem to gather together... having a reunion inside me. Taking over my mind, body... but never my soul.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16
Nothing can touch my soul. Once I accepted Jesus as Savior in 8th grade, God sent His Spirit into my heart.
3:30 p.m. The fog lingers... My external situation is worsening, I watch the clock move, anxious because I know Cathy will stop Facetiming me when she gets off work at 5pm. We haven't talked much, yet having her "with me" is what keeps me from hiding in bed. My Agoraphobia, P.T.S.D. and severe anxiety have all showed up. I am okay with Cathy online with me... but what's going to happen when she has to go take care of her family?
I will read my Bible and write for the rest of the night. I will be easy on myself as I felt God leading me to redefine my ministry today based on Paul's ministry in 2 Corinthians 3 and 4. That is not much, but it's progress. Between discovering a new ministry and making necessary phone calls, I have accomplished a lot considering my entire life is in a state of uncertainty. The details will be soon forgotten, but my reaction will remain. I have faith. I trust God. I am taking this one hour at a time, wanting nothing more than to glorify God.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Ever wonder how I take care of myself on my own? I rely on God and a couple close Christian friends. This video shows the PERFECT example why... in real time.
People who do not understand my relationship with God do not realize He takes care of me. He has me.
I do not understand how people stay sane without a relationship with Him.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Yesterday, I received notification that my next SSDI check will be $400 less than what I have been receiving. I panicked. I acted. I kept friends updated with the following messages:
- Please pray for me. I just got a letter from Social Security saying they are cutting $400 out of my monthly check. God will work it out.
- Don't know why. At Social Security office. They close at 4 and long line ahead of me. I am scared. I trust God. This is all in His hands. I'm scared He doesn't want me living on my own. I cannot survive on $1,000 per month.
- Having chest pain
- I don't know what to do. They close in 13 minutes. Gonna be a LONG weekend.
- Singing that song in my head, "God help me to breathe, help me to do whatever you would ask of me... God help me."
- After waiting 2 hours at the Social Security office, They can't help. I have to call the State.
- After being on hold with the State, they told me I had to call Social Security. On hold, they said my wait time is one hour.
- Just talked to Apartment office. They cannot lower my lease. It will cost my $1500 to break my lease, and I have nowhere to go.
- Social Security just told me I need to call Social Services. Since it is 6pm, they are closed and I have to wait until Monday.
A friend took me out so I could process (and have a couple drinks). Came home, fell asleep, and woke up hoping it was a nightmare.
It is real. And I am at peace. I sent the following to my friend:
Good Morning. I am about to have my quiet time, and wanted to check in real quick. I am fine. I don't know how this financial mess will all work out, but God does. This is propelling me to find freelance writing jobs online. I fell again this morning so I know I can't work outside the home. I have my air off and am ordering a fan from Amazon to save on my electricity (may order 2- one for Addy and one for me and Jireh because of my asthma). It's all gonna work out. I know you are praying and I will call you later. God has us both in the Palm of His hand. Thy will be done. Have a good morning.
It's time to put my faith into action. When life is going good, it's easy to trust God. I see this as a challenge to put my faith into action, and I am ready. There is nothing I want more than to glorify God with my life... and here is my chance.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Thought I'd share my Bible Journaling - how I respond to what God speaks to me through His Word. Romans 6 talks about when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, His Spirit empowers us to fight sin, thus "we are no longer slaves to sin". We have the fruits of the Spirit to fight against what once mastered us. Therefore, we are FREE!!! God is on our side and helps us fight against evil.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
Saturday, April 7, 2018
I find it crucial to surround myself with people who inspire me to be who I was created to be, actively doing what I was created to do. Wanting to be like Jesus, I am spending quality time getting to know Him, sitting silently as I listen for His soft voice. And this guides me in my transition as my priority is letting go of ALL that is not of Him. Jesus is my compass as I follow the desires He places in my heart.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.”.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
My Crohn’s Disease has me running to the bathroom every 5 minutes. Thankful I get to stay home and work. The car tire I waited until I got my SSDI to buy turned into hearing the $60 bill turned into $175, needing two tires. AND my other two tires are so old, the rubber can separate any time, thus I was instructed not to drive until I get 2 more tires. Yet, it is miraculous my tires did not blow out when driving 80 mph on my recent road trip. My AC needs coolant yet I am safe in my own place. There are a few other serious problems going on that appear catastrophic, needing urgent attention.
Depression and anxiety should be on full throttle. I admit, for a few hours, I was freaking out.
Then I went to Jesus in prayer. He showed me (again!) how perspective is everything. Enjoying God's presence instead of focusing on my current circumstances has me writing and studying Scripture has me at peace. I read my friend's blog about how she was having such a bad day, until she realized God is walking with her, showing His love, mercy and grace. She quotes several verses which turn her heart to focus on the eternal. Jessie at www.thehopefilledlife.blogspot.com is such encouragement to me as she finds joy even in the hard times because she has Jesus with her wherever she goes. She admits to her frustrations, yet like David writes in Psalms, her sorrow always turns to joy as she connects with Him. I love being around her because she overflows with the love and character of Jesus. It's so refreshing to be around her! My friend, Karen, is the same way. Karen and I have a contest over who has the most debilitating medical issues. She has serious hidden health conditions, yet she tells me she feels inadequate to write a book on faith because she doesn’t have significant problems. Um, yes she does but because she is indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus, she is so grateful to have His presence in her life.
I love hanging out with positive people, like Jesse and Karen, because they show me how irrelevant my problems are in the scheme of things. Most of all, I love spending entire days having quiet times with Jesus. I mean, come on! How can I be discouraged when I get to spend the day with my Savior?
Originally posted here
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Coming from a place of pain, all I can do is sleep. It hurts to be.
It hurts to write.
It hurts to know pain won't end tonight.
It hurts to talk.
It hurts to be still.
It hurts knowing relationships have changed against my will.
It hurts not saying the words
Letting them know I am through.
Having them wonder what went wrong is such an unfair thing to do.
Yet words left unsaid
Ultimately spares them more pain.
There's no reason to stay when I have no way to explain.
It hurts I'm a stranger
to the girl in the mirror.
And it hurts so intensely
merely being here.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Not knowing myself, not liking myself,
Either way... I feel quite strange.
Learning and growing, implementing and knowing -
Evidently, resulting in change.
Shedding the past, this persona will last,
Leaving life chunky behind.
No one needs to understand, what I feel is God's plan,
As I step into this life chapter of mine.
Saturday, March 10, 2018
So I haven't been pushing my Gofundme page for a new service dog because the vet said Jireh has a good 4 more years of working for me. Yesterday, Jireh was sick so I made her lay down all day.
Well, I fell on my ribs and in severe pain. I was told to lay around as much as I can so my ribs will heal. I have a high pain tolerance, and let me tell you... I am in SEVERE PAIN! I can't drive to FSU so this really awesome guy came to my place so I can rest while he and his friend excercised Ji. They wore her out!
So I need to push my request for donations to get a new 8 - 10 week old golden retriever to start training. If I lost Jireh, I will lose my independence. I need to train a puppy while Jireh is still able to help me. Please donate whatever you can. Thanks.
Copy link into your browser.
Your support would mean a lot to me. Thank you so much!
Trying to get back into my Quiet Times with Jesus after my mini vacation. While all the socializing was fun, my mind is full of worldly things, and I need to get back in my routine of spending my days in The Word. So I won't be on social media as much. I'm struggling to find balance between my online job blogging versus basking in His Presence.
Monday, my friend is coming up from Orlando to replace the donut with a real tire. Until then, I will be ghosting (unplugged, reading, writing, worshipping). BTW- I am so thankful I live alone... I would never connect with Him so intimately otherwise. Remember my last boyfriend would want to spend time with me and I resented him for taking me away from quiet time with Jesus? That was a huge part of me moving to Tallahassee.
I have the perfect life. My friends understand my quirks and faults so I am able to be myself. For that, I am beyond grateful.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Jesus has me crying! He loves me sooo much, He brought me home safely. This morning, I went to check my car to see if I had any cash to pay a $27 bill due in 2 weeks. It seems my electric company AND PayPal made multiple charges "by accident" *Karen is my witness... it was NOT my fault. PayPal is reimbursing my bank, but the electric company said they could only credit my electric account. So my balance is under $500 and my $745 rent check hasn't posted yet. I cancelled everything so I will only have one overdraft fee. THE DEVIL AIN'T GONNA STEAL MY JOY! So I find EXACTLY $27 cash to pay my bill. *You tell me that's not God!!! I also found a flat tire with an inch hole in it. GOD PROTECTED ME FROM A TIRE BLOW OUT ON THE ROAD! I WAS GOING 85 MPH YESTERDAY! See, God AIN'T letting me go to heaven until it's HIS timing.
I called roadside assistance, and Sue... (I don't know about car stuff... my daddy took care of my car). Even though Sue and Jim are on vacation, they dropped everything to take care of me like family. They told the mechanic what to do, Sue offered to pay him, but he refused to charge me. Sue and I prayed over the phone, both of us crying, thanking Jesus. I can imagine my Heavenly Father with my daddy smiling down at Sue and Jim.
Oh, I told the mechanic I just got home from meeting Reba. He thought that was cool. I said, "Sunday, I met a Country star, and today, I met you... a Rock star.".
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Please hang in there as I transition to my new blog. I need to make it more thorough so please keep checking this blog for new posts until I finish setting it up.New Post here
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sunday, February 18, 2018
I am very excited to introduce my first guest blogger - Shelly Weiss. Shelly Weiss is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor/Consultant who was born with Cerebral Palsy. She has more than 30 years working in the disability community, including keynote presentations all over the country. Shelly shared with me a wonderful experience she had at the Bohemian Hotel Celebration and I asked her if she would share it with all of you. [ 606 more words ]
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Of course, my first response is to fight back. I can hold my own in an argument, largely because the little girl in me has learned to keep walls up, not emotionally investing in people as I stay at home with writing, books, and God's Word. This has been my chosen lifestyle for most of my adult life, until my dad died a few months ago. My mother and brothers are extremely toxic to me, thus I assumed if my own blood can treat me so terribly, I have no interest in socializing.
My purpose here is to glorify God. He has gifted me with writing talent, Biblical understanding, and Spiritual guidance. Also, the older I get, the less ability I have to get out due to worsening of multiple chronic illnesses (both physical and mental). Inevitably, when I force myself to socialize, I poop my pants (Crohn's Disease), fall (Cerebral Palsy), and end potential relationships (PTSD, Major Depression, Agoraphobia).
God has convinced me it's His will I spend my days writing, reading, and worshipping while enjoying His undeniable peaceful presence. And I love that lifestyle. I am immensely grateful He has made this possible for me.
Even though I gave up toxic relationships for lent, political actions including making changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act had me glued to social media. Well, I can officially say Facebook is dangerous to my health. Without the Lord reminding me "By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another" - John 13:35, I stopped in my tracks, filled with shame and repentance from my thoughts, actions, and comments.
Satan knows each of our vulnerabilities. One of mine is injustice and prejudice, especially against people with disabilities. I was close to a meltdown yesterday... a full-blown meltdown. The things I said to people were NOT filled with love. And my thoughts were pure MEAN!
When did I forget God will always be the King of the world? (Natalie Grant).
I shut off Facebook, and remembered Joshua 1:8 - "Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.".
I remember the people bashing me, and ask God for His power to "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:36.
I vowed to "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." - Psalm 34:14, knowing the Lord of peace himself will give me peace at all times and in every way (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
And with that, I learned to avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly (2 Timothy 2:16).
No longer will I engage in ignorant discussions. Instead, I call my Congressmen, express my concerns, and leave the rest to God.
This will save both my time and sanity.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
*I am using this letter to a friend to explain my release from family drama. Just because your parents are your parents, if it is a toxic relationship, you need to let them go.
No one and nothing is worth your sanity.
By the way, there has been a lapse in my writing the past few days because of toxic relationships. By tending to toxic relationships, I have neglected the friends, work and quiet time that fulfills my quality of life.
Went to Walmart and got generic food... my fridge is full. It's beyond comforting to look in my pantry and find food. It's like a life raft. I agreed to write for a travel blog on how hotels are accommodating to people with disabilities. I need to catch up my own blogs after getting behind from crashing over the weekend.
Relatives are calling me and I finally got to the point of being honest when they ask where I have been for 30 years. They tell me my mom always said "Shelly isn't speaking to me", so last night, I told my cousin everything. Everything. From when mom butt called me and I overheard her saying how horrible I am, to trying to commit me, to sitting there when Mikie went to punch me, to not letting me stay with my dad on his death bed. So, yes, she was right saying "Shelly isn't speaking to me". And I explained why.
And my cousin CRIED, saying she had no idea, and how have I survived? And I said I kept going back to her until New Year's Eve, when I wrote her off forever. And I have never felt freer.
I have you and wonderful people in my life. And I have never felt more loved, or healthier.
We have to let go of the past for our own sanity. And God blesses us by filling our opened heart with people who love and treat us as we deserve.
Thank you for showing me the love of Christ. I love you, and trust Jesus more than ever.
Monday, February 12, 2018
There is no way to predict when a Crohn's attack will occur, nor how long it will last. Causes include spicy foods, lettuce, peanuts, and strangely for me, frappicinos (I call them “crappicinios"). Surgically removing the blocked area is common, but since the blockage can impact another part of the intestine, I always refuse surgery. The small intestine is 20 feet long, so if I had the blockage removed every time I get sick, I won't have a small intestine and would need a drainage bag. You can read more information on Healthline and searching for Crohn's Disease.
For me, there is a direct correlation between stress/emotions and Crohn's. Having commitments stress me out, even commitments I want to attend. Also, there's a few interpersonal conflicts occurring with me as I grow into my next chapter.
More soon. For now, I need a nap.
Don't forget to click on the right hand link of thewritingtherapist.blogspot.com to donate for me to get a needed puppy to train before Jireh retires. Thank you.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
In this video, I discuss the need for a new service dog puppy to train before Jireh retires, the impact cerebral palsy has on my stamina and other age related topics. Click the link.
Friday, February 9, 2018
The complex got a new Pest Control company. The last company knew not to knock on my door because of PTSD. Management is EXCELLENT understanding and accommodating my PTSD, including calling me before sending maintenance over. The knock on my door, a simple freaking knock on my door, brought back a myriad of horrific terrors. Just like that.
A single sound, smell, touch can fuel PTSD just like that. My heart is pounding out of my chest, and I can't stop catastrophising. I want Xanax. I seriously want Xanax.
My Jireh's bark is vicious, which comforts me knowing she scares people away. I am in the process of, well, I have been seriously considering setting up a GoFund me page to start raising money for a puppy golden retriever to train for after Jireh retires. Then, I had second thoughts, thinking when Jireh and Addy pass away, I will just stay in bed, writing, praying, and reading.
Before this, I contacted a breeder from my home town who I instantly connected to after seeing videos of her puppies, environment, and hearing Christian music in the background. She answered every question to my liking (tests goldens require, number of times they breed a female - I HATE WHEN PEOPLE BREED FEMALES MANY TIMES! POOR DOGS!, etc.). She truly cares for the dogs. That makes me feel like charging $1800 per puppy is reasonable. When she told me her husband is a Pastor, so she couldn't negotiate the price... I knew if God provides me the money, this family deserves the money.
So after I was just sent into A MAJOR PTSD MELTDOWN, I know I need a puppy. My vet will cover expenses (except for medications) after the puppy turns 6 mths old, which is how I afford to keep Jireh as a service dog. I will just have to pay for initial shots and get the puppy fixed. So here goes... watch how God works as I ask strangers (readers of my social media) to help me raise $2200 for a puppy who will help me keep my independence, helping me when I fall, when I have anxiety, depression, agoraphobia and even the times I get so depression, I feel I have nothing to live for. Watch God perform His miracles!
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Just like that, Crohn's and depression is back. I realize growing hurts. Growing sucks. Growing is good, except for the goodbyes. And we must say goodbye to grow, and make room for new friends. No one is at fault. We may walk together our entire lives, and suddenly, there's a fork in the road. Do you stay loyal to the person who has been by your side, who knows the girl you have been and treats you accordingly? Or do you stay loyal to yourself, making friends who treat you as the person you are growing to be?
I have to stay loyal to me. I will never forget the memories of the past. I also will not force a friendship on those who censor their traumatic experiences from me for fear they will trigger me. And ESPECIALLY when they lie and tell me they are fine, no, GOOD, after a terrible loss has happened. To me, THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A BURDEN WHEN YOU HAVE TO MASK YOUR FEELINGS.
I will not be a burden. I'm taking the road less traveled, the road of authenticity.
Monday, February 5, 2018
And the Blessings Keep Coming...
My rent goes up next month, so a couple months ago, I thought I would have to move to a cheaper place. Not having the money for initial costs of deposits and such, in addition to loving where I live... the situation seemed hopeless. Since then, God has taught me to EXPECT (not HOPE) He will answer my prayers. I learned being obedient, walking according to His leading, and ASKING were components lacking in my life.
A couple weeks ago, I checked my bank balance to see if I had money for a McDonald's value meal. There was an extra $156 in my account from Social Security! It seems I have been deemed "medically needy", and no longer have Medicare expenses taken from my check. This more than covers my increase in rent!!!!
God then showed me how having $5 value meals in lieu of groceries was NOT good stewardship. So I started ordering cereal, coffee, peanut butter, kitty litter, toilet paper etc. off Amazon where they are a minimum of 50% cheaper if you can find them as "add on items". I also order protein shake powder and mix it with water to get the proper nutrition. My diet and spending significantly changed for the better ACCORDING TO GOD'S WILL, NOT MY WILL.
My favorite band, Def Leppard, started selling concert tickets the day I got my SSDI. I had assumed this must be a sign that God wanted me to make a financial exception and put tickets on my emergency credit card. I mean, it's DEF LEPPARD! Sure, I have seen them 6 times before, but IT'S MY FAVORITE BAND SINCE HIGH SCHOOL.
Well, the day came when tickets went on sale. On the way to buy Jireh's monthly medication, I get a text on my phone saying tickets JUST went on sale. So I made a mental note to order the ticket right after running errands.
Then the vet told me Jireh's check up is in a month. (Since she's a service dog, I only pay for medication, including shots.) That will be an additional expense. I don't even want to consider 'what if something is wrong with her'. Then, a close friend lost 'their' job and we share a phone plan, so I have to cover the entire $210 phone bill. (We both have payment plans for our phones, making the bill high).
No Def Leppard tickets. I even cancelled my monthly order for the diffuser oil that helps with migraines, C.P., anxiety and PTSD.
I kept telling God to tell me what to do, especially financially, and I will do it because I EXPECT HIM TO BE JEHOVAH JIREH - My Provider.
I called At&T to get on the lowest data plan possible, and was switched to another department where the representative said when people call to cancel their accounts, At&t offers them $30 off their monthly bill to stay. Since I have been such a loyal customer, they wanted to keep me on my plan at a $30 cheaper rate!! I couldn't believe it!!! Praise God!
Then, this morning, I went to buy milk for my cereal. Starbucks was right next door. I haven't been to Starbucks in what seems like an eternity. Paying $5 for a cup of coffee is no longer in my budget. I wanted a Butterscotch Latte so bad. I asked God, okay, TOLD God... just one Butterscotch Latte... please?
I didn't get a solid answer. My car headed towards Starbucks. I felt like I was about to get into mischief, thinking, "this is wrong, this is wrong...", when I pulled up to pay for my latte, the cashier told me the lady before me paid for my order!!!!
No words, except HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!!!
Sunday, February 4, 2018
I always see posts about reaching out for help if you are suicidal, or write "done" if you read this... and my favorite "say Amen if you believe in God". If only things were that simple.
If we are too busy to read the Bible daily, we are too busy for a relationship with Jesus. That was Charles Stanley's message this morning. He addressed loneliness and said if you have the Holy Spirit indwelt in you, you need to reach out to Him when you are lonely. I never feel lonely when I stay inside and off of social media because I enjoy the presence of Jesus. I don't question why God is allowing bad things to happen because the world doesn't revolve around me. The Old Testament is full of examples where the Lord told Israelites their disobedience will impact future generations. A perfect example is when God said women will always have painful childbirth became Eve disobeyed. And because we cannot live perfect, sinless lives, Jesus had to pay the ultimate sacrifice as the only sinless man. If we refuse to accept Jesus as Savior, we will not be filled with the Holy Spirit, our sins will not be forgiven, and we will not live eternally with Christ.
The past few days have shown me how much I have grown. The friends I have had for most of my life are not use to who I am now. When we change, sometimes our family/friends fight our growth, and if we are not careful, they will pull us back to the victim role.
I am no longer a victim. I have fought with God's strength to better myself. I am neither WHO I use to be, nor WHERE I use to be. Sadly, I have outgrown friends I had in my sickness. That is why I never married - I intend to keep growing, and will not be held back by those who do not grow with me.
Words mean little to me now. "I will pray for you" or "read" isn't enough anymore. Neither are good intentions. When a potted plant grows, it must be planted in deeper soil to spread its roots. Otherwise, it will be stunted.
It's time for me to be planted in deeper soil.
Friday, February 2, 2018
The recovering addict isn't always at fault.
I am very mad at a friend and feeling trapped. If I try to talk to her about it, she will accuse me of reverting to my past behavior of getting mad and writing people off. Cathy reminded me of something a close friend did, which had me push her away, and I completely forgot she did that. The past is the past, and I forgive her for that incident. But she continues to do it every time I talk to her. She won't accept me for me, and always asks if I have been taking Xanax, or how am I going to pay my bills, or if I am yelling at people... I now remember why I walked away, and have plans with her to meet another friend... I don't want to be treated like I haven't changed. I have changed, I am a much better person. For once, the problem isn't me. It's not always wise to follow the 12 steps about making amends with the one who you hurt in your addiction. This "making amends" situation falls into the category of "unless it is harmful...". Now I am feeling like if I say anything directly to her, I will be seen as falling back into my old patterns. So I am taking the wimpy passive aggressive approach of not addressing her. I always, ALWAYS, have looked at the person's intentions behind their actions before reacting. Well, that's why I forgave my mom so many times... knowing she had my best interests at heart. Now I see someone else's best interest for me may not be healthiest for me.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Sunday, January 28, 2018
Watching figure skating reminds me of better days between my mother and me. We had tickets to watch the Figure Skating Tour with Kristy Yamuguchi, Scott Hamilton, Tara Lapinski, etc. to which I was beyond ecstatic! I still remember the sound of blades cutting through the arena ice, as the skaters glided smoothly on ice, dancing to classical music. Forever to be a favorite life memory.
The most memorable part happened a few days before the show, when my mother and told my aunt and grandmother she “was taking me to ice skating”. Note- we have lived in Florida since I was 4 years old. My aunt and grandmother hesitantly asked my mother if she really thought that was a good idea as it had been years since mother had ice skated. They didn't question MY ABILITY to ice skate as I was expected to do anything I set my mind to… whether it be water skiing, snow skiing, mountain climbing, roller skating, and, evidently, figure skating.
I consider my Cerebral Palsy to be a little above moderate in terms of physical impairment. Fortunately, my stubbornness has always surpassed my limitations. Every individual is different in terms of abilities and potential. Labels (a.k.a. medical diagnoses) too often becomes more of a handicap than the disability itself!
At age 48, I find myself searching online and in society what to expect as my body is suffering from the repercussions of my brain damage on my muscles and organs. I wonder if sleeping 12 hours per day is due to aging with C.P.? How about the tightness in my chest after brief physical exertion? Or difficulties opening jars, carrying coffee, and tightening my gas cap?
I will forever be grateful for being raised without limitations based on my disabilities for it led to a fulfilling quality of life. Now, my stubborn streak is not enough to defy the results of aging, and that is hard for me to accept. Even more frustrating is my childhood friends expecting me to do all the things I did as a child. I have been told things such as, “You never let your C.P. stop you before… what happened?”.
It's tough not to take such comments personally. I cannot convince them I am the same girl when they are seeing glimpses of a quitter.
All I can do is all I can do… I think I found a new personal quote, and even book title.
Saturday, January 27, 2018
This is the fourth sick day in a row. While I'm feeling better, I miss writing. Sleeping comes easily as my stamina is limited. My days have been filled with laying under my soft blanket, reading books as I dose in and out. I've watched more movies in the past 2 days than I have in the past 2 years.
The down time has given me several ideas for all three of my blogs. I've listed the ideas in my bullet journals, am excited to elaborate on the ideas.
Life is pretty great when you live out your dream life. My key concept, "Self-determined quality of life". The amazing thing (one of many) I have discovered is as I refuse to settle, bigger and better things are coming my way... new friends, a ten percent increase in income, over 1400 views on my blog post... AMAZING THINGS ARE HAPPENING!
When you refuse to settle, life is really good, even with a sore throat, runny nose, coughing and headache.
Friday, January 26, 2018
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Monday, January 22, 2018
Today was a miraculous day! God very visibly, UNDENIABLY answered my prayer..
Wanted to YELL TO THE WORLD the miracle God just did. I told 2 people - one started crying tears of unbelief, and the other gasped for air in amazement. I called whoever I thought it would bless... the rest, I am keeping this miracle in my heart as long as I can by staying in the conscious presence of Jesus.
If a person didn't answer, I felt they didn't need the message. I only shared to GLORIFY GOD. IT'S NOT ABOUT ME.
I KNOW THAT WAS GOD GOING OUT OF HIS WAY TO TELL ME TRUST HIM. HE PROVED BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT TO KNOW HE IS IN CONTROL... DON'T JUST "HOPE" HE IS.
I am turning off my phone and getting on my knees to be with Him... no distractions.
I feel like the day I was saved! FREE!
I spent several quality hours with Jesus, and it was so refreshing.
Worship, praise, and contemplation.
Reading how Joshua took over the Jericho and God told them rid the city of all that was not of Him, they got rid of the people, yet kept the gold and silver...they disobeyed. Keeping the gold may have seemed minute to them, but it was a sin. They disobeyed God. I want my life free of everything that is not of Him. Everything else is meaningless.
Just found this inspirational article from Pinterest about creating a vision board... after researching quality of life, goal setting and vision boards for 20 years, this is one of the best articles I've found. I wish I could credit the author, but can't find contact page.
✏ Definitely following her blog.
How to Create a Powerful Vision Board
Sunday, January 21, 2018
Friday, January 19, 2018
Response to schools limiting student's vocational goals -
Follow my blog at thewritingtherapist.blogspot.com
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018
There has been a delay in launching my newest blog because I am making it PERFECT! I am so excited to share it with you because it covers all my passions, including Bible study, book reviews, writing, psychology, making dreams reality, and living authentically.
Since this post relates to art therapy, which is such a useful therapeutic technique to use with the most difficult client, I will share a glimpse of my new blog, The Christian Bohemian.
Today is my first day back to work after a vacation to my childhood home. Of course, I am "working" just 30 minutes after waking, under the blankets of my warm bed. A major perk of being a freelance writer. The importance of following your passions and swimming against the current epitomized my trip. I took my tablet to get some work done, and decided to take in each moment instead. Let's say I did research more than writing. Here's what I learned:
Perspective is everything. So much has changed in my once beloved childhood environment, I literally sat in my car and cried. Was my brain playing tricks on me? Had I romanticized the once warm, inviting environment of my youth? I focused on the changes, mostly negative, instead of holding on to how life was back in my day. It wasn't until I met my closest childhood friends and Godparents that I realized the environment had changed, and so have I. Time passes, life happens, growth occurs. Hold on to the positive influences and use the negative to embrace the rewards you have earned through hard work, courage, and perseverance.
Not until I met with my former hairstylist did I feel a sense of belonging. Seeing her was like fitting in the missing puzzle piece that makes me ME. My entire body and mind “let go" by her mere presence. Later, when the group gathered for dinner, my world was right again. Love encompassed me like a cloud as I observed my guests interacting effortlessly despite some had never previously met. Various discussions were concurrently flowing, and each of them were of great interest to me.
Just hours before, I felt my memories were tainted and fallacious. Now, I realize home is the baseline we each carry within us. If everything remains the same, there is no growth. The absence of growth is stagnation.
Instead of longing for the good ol’ days, use those reflections to measure the distance you've progressed towards your self-determined quality of life. Notice the quality of relationships, alignment of interests (addressed in a future post), even your character.
Are you who you aspired to be? Are you happy? Compared to who you were as a child, are you where you want to be? It's a great time to take inventory and start/continue to purposefully be living.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde
Thursday, January 11, 2018
I quit using my diffuser after reading the scents are not good for cats... now I have had a 12 hour migraine. Broke down and took 2 of my last 4 Excedrine for Migraines! And Kashmere is coming out with the ULTIMATE DIFFUSER! I even tried putting lavender oil on my eye mask. It's not the same. The oils definitely calm my anxiety, take away migraines and clear up congestion.
The more I researched, the more convinced I am it's not worth the risk. Then I read Kashmere's blog on diffusers .
I am so confused. I won't base my decision on that one website. Diffusers definitely help me, but not willing to potentially hurt my kitty...
To be continued!
Any experience would be appreciated if you'll share...
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
When I worked as a school counselor for students with disabilities, it was heartbreaking to hear high school kids getting ready to "graduate' with no transition plan. Classes were exceeding capacity with students of various physical and ESPECIALLY cognitive levels, all on "special diplomas", which are basically Certificates of Attendance. Neither the students nor their parents knew they would not be earning a High School diploma.
The county received additional funding per student with disabilities. If a child has a visible disability, no testing was performed. They were thrown in the portable behind the main campus, away from the general population.
On top of missing out on age appropriate peer interactions, the students were playing checkers and coloring all day. There was no academia from the beginning. Here they were, High School Seniors, who were unable to read, write, or do basic math. The situation was a complete travesty.
Of course, the students had no idea what would happen after getting out of high school. I went back to square one, and developed a tool to help students plan for a future based on their interests. Even defining their interests was a great challenge since, as the teacher informed me, students were not even given the option of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
My Dream Portfolio has since been successful with court-ordered adolescents, couples in premarital counseling, professionals desiring a career change, and every other population I have treated.
Every person deserves to turn their passions and dreams into reality. Amazingly, this is not common knowledge. Dream about YOUR ideal life with NO limitations. Brainstorm, and write down your interests, then short term and long term goals to make your dream life reality.
Resolve not to settle anymore. This is purposeful living. In a future post, I will show you how to use planners (an obsession of mine), to develop a map to your dream life. After all, staying on the right path with a clear destination in view is being effectively productive.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Aging with Cerebral Palsy is challenging because while the brain damage remains the same, the rest of the body declines faster than individuals without Cerebral Palsy. As quoted in 8 Factors that Affect Life Span in Cerebral Palsy -
Those with physical impairment can also experience premature aging. Inactivity and lack of exercise can weaken the body and decrease immunity and cognitive function. Some children with Cerebral Palsy will use more energy to move than a child without Cerebral Palsy. The result is excessive wear on internal organs, including the heart.
Cerebral Palsy led to numerous secondary condititions forcing me to shut down my counseling practice. I literally have not had time commitments for 10 years! It's overwhelming. I question my ability to write full time. Cerebral Palsy never goes away. And I am constantly fending off PTSD, Agoraphobia, Major Clinical Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, Crohn’s Disease, Endometriosis, Drug Addiction or Excoriation.
I still have bad times that no one knows about. This is so frustrating since Cerebral Palsy didn’t limit me until my middle 30’s. Lately, I have been having chest pain, so much so that I drafted an article about Cerebral Palsy and Costochondritis, wondering if people with Cerebral Palsy are at a higher rate for heart attacks. The night I started the draft, a friend with Cerebral Palsy died from a heart attack. You can read more about Costochondritis in The Medical Dictionary.com.
You can have a normal childhood with Cerebral Palsy.., yet adulthood becomes more challenging,
Friday, January 5, 2018
Although I have been blogging for 12 years, converting from writing as a hobby to a full time job has been challenging. I wanted to launch my newest website January 1st, and I could have. I want this blog to be informative and entertaining, covering a wide range of topics. The website is The Christian Bohemian... Not Your Traditional Christian.
There will be different sections covering the following topics: psychology, disabilities, Golden Retrievers and kitties, books, writing life, guilty pleasures, poetry, and faith based material.
In a few months, I will write ebooks to purchase... informative guides on planning and realizing your dreams, how to build a successful business writing, mental health issues, physical disabilities, Bible studies, and devotionals.
Then I will configure a YouTube channel to coincide with posts. This will be especially useful since I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has mental illnesses, so I provide a perspective from both sides of the couch.
Until I get my newest blog launched, I will post on this site content written for The Christian Bohemian..
Please be patient- you are going to love my newest blog.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Between writing, blogging, promoting and organizing, I never look through Facebook anymore. I am in this writing groove and have learned how to market my work, so I turn my phone on silent now to avoid distractions.
I wanted to share something MAJOR- When my mom triggered me into suicidal thoughts, I was telling Jen I am mad at God because He won't let me come home, and quoted all these scriptures where He says He is not like my earthly parents, when I listed ways He is. I put my Bible on the shelf because He (like mom) won't talk to me face to face, so I wasn't going to read the Bible anymore. I studied suicide in Grad school. I have to take professional courses on suicide prevention yearly to maintain my counseling license because suicide is so common. It makes me so mad 14 year old kids commit suicide. I have tried so many times and failed. I give up trying. Jen said the PERFECT response: "God is NOT like your relatives. God won't let you commit suicide because you make the world a better place, where your relatives don't care if you die". She got me.