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.
Benefits of Recurring Depression
This blog will soon split off into a devotional blog and a counseling blog. I've been torn on how to incorporate the two into one blog without chasing away non-believers. Hang in there as I make further transitions!
So let’s discuss mental illness, shall we? As mentioned before, I’ve been everywhere from being a Licensed therapist to a suicidal patient in a mental ward. Speaking of transitions!! The contrasts are vast, from the people I hung around to whether or not I had a roof over my head. I’m good now, thank God. Yet depression is a lifelong condition, which can poke its head up at any time. Once you have suffered the depths of depression, it can get easier.
· You’ll discover the hopelessness and lethargy are temporary; you CAN feel better again.
· You find out who your true friends are… and are NOT.
· You better understand the mental health system, including knowing which statements cause alarm.
· You learn some things are better left unsaid.
· You have better empathy for others suffering from depression.
· On a similar note, you have no patience for people who carelessly use the word ‘depression’ to describe a bad mood or upsetting circumstance.
· You learn after trial and error which medications/techniques/therapies help you best.
· You know what to expect.
While three depressive episodes indicate the need for lifelong treatment, experience can be beneficial when struggling through the hard times. Knowing you have made it before proves you can make it again.
When all else fails, take life 5 minutes at a time…
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
My dear friend is hooking me up for my second visit to The Bohemian Celebration Hotel, which is truly DREAM-LIKE! Last time I stayed there, I truly felt a high as if I was on some phenomenal drug. The hotel makes me feel like a little girl playing Princess in the Castle...
Well, the hotel is located in my former home town (pre-college days) so I want to see the friends I love. But the more I plan, the tighter my chest is getting. My Crohn's is kicking in as I try fitting everyone in three short days of paradise.
However, It's The Bohemian Celebration! MY DREAM HOTEL! I want to relax and enjoy the hotel and write on my patio and walk the quaint town with my Jireh...
I have become the one person I so often criticize for allowing them to make me feel like a burden when they are too busy for me. My dilemma is becoming a lesson in self-care. Other's being "too busy" isn't about me. It doesn't mean they don't love me. It means they have set healthy boundaries, prioritizing what is needed to be their best.
Some people need to stay busy. Being active gives them purpose and satisfaction. People energize them. These are extroverts.
My friend is on the go non-stop. After trying to connect with her, I told her I would go INSANE with her schedule! Not to mention physically, but mentally and emotionally... I have a limited supply, and when it's gone... when I start getting over stimulated, you need to step away. I get MEAN with the flip of a switch. I don't want to be that person.
I am an introvert to the highest degree. A recluse. That doesn't mean I don't love my friends... it means I need to show them my love by taking care of myself.