Category Archives: Awareness

I am fearless…well that’s not me

(Cage – Plumb)

I will find out tomorrow if I have a job next year and if it is the one I wanted, but in the meantime, I am really proud of the work I did to get this far. Bravery isn’t lack of fear. Bravery is doing it, scared.

In the month of February, I was on 10 planes. I hate the airport. I hate the complete lack of control…and to be honest, being inconvenienced by people who think the world revolves around them is something I can deal with and brush off when at work, but that really annoys me when it involves other people. I suppose it mostly goes back to the fact that I don’t always value myself as much as I value others so I’d rather take the beating in order to keep it from affecting anyone else, and don’t want anyone else to have to be hurt. Like dude, you booked a flight with American Airlines so the United Airlines gate agent is not going to get you on a flight for free because you changed your mind about when and where you wanted to go. No one cares that you flew with United Airlines last week, but you’ve been talking to this person 45 minutes and they have other things to do to keep people moving in other areas so that we can all get on the flights we paid for…

I made a lot of connections and did a lot of other Big Girl things at the airport that made me proud of myself…and it wasn’t all bad, because on one of my flights there was a really cute baby in the row across from me (which does mean I got exactly zero homework done because that kiddo was so cute!)

I also stayed at a hotel alone for the first time. A hotel alone is definitely a lot more pleasant experience than with three other girls I don’t know well who are LOUD and omnipresent, but is definitely still something that I wouldn’t necessarily choose on my own. It was kind of awesome to be able to call a phone number and have a cookie delivered to my room though.

I booked four AirBnB’s and stayed at three of them. Slightly less scary than a hotel, but still a social experience that was totally new.

I rode a couple buses in Chicago. I may have used GPS on my phone to figure out when to get off, and the prices posted online were wrong which made for an embarrassing first ride when I had to dig through my bag to find more money, but I did it!!

I rode the metrolink near school twice and taught someone else how to ride. Finding it was probably the hardest part for me since that is a task I have done numerous times between school and the other airport terminal…I definitely did consider taking the shuttle to the other terminal so I didn’t have to keep looking for the metrolink platform at the terminal I was at, but I didn’t and I eventually found it.

I used both Uber and Lyft. It is unfortunate I didn’t know how to use new rider deals until after I had used the app and wasn’t eligible anymore, but whatevs…it still got me from point A to point B.

I also paid tolls for the first time. It was terrifying at first, but by the time I got to the last one on my way home it wasn’t scary anymore. If I had it to do again I would have practiced with fast food drive thrus where handing money to a person in a window earns you treats before I had driving in a completely unknown area to contend with in addition to the drive thru without any treats, but I made it…and made a wrong turn shortly after that last one that took me on a detour through downtown Milwaukee during rush hour, but it’s over.

Oh, and I had a wonderful time “sightseeing” in St. Louis…it may have been my version of sight-seeing which mostly involved walking past an intersection and being like HEY I totally recognize this place! It is where I got lost last year!! And ooooh, that is really pretty trash on the ground!…but it seemed dumb to me to get on the metrolink for the sake of going only one stop so I walked. Yes, I do feel safe in St. Louis. My opinion is that it is just as safe as anywhere as long as you have your brain turned on. Not turned on like be jumpy and critical of everything, but turned on as in treat people how you’d like to be treated and if someone is holding a gun then probably you shouldn’t provoke him or her…(not that I remember ever seeing anyone with a gun who wasn’t in uniform…but…it is also a REALLY good idea not to bother anyone in uniform if you value your life…just sayin’)

Only moderately related, but whoever designed the keyboard to have m and n next to each other was not thinking of the consequences…lol…so one of the blogs I follow is The Great Umbrella Heist. To navigate to this page I type Um and the down arrow and enter and am brought to the homepage…unfortunately, this morning my fingers were a little off and I typed Un…and instead of cute kids on the top of my screen I was greeted by something completely different that made me mad.

Moderately related again: pinterest found some cool things for me…I know better than to pin them, but I’m pretty sure my blog has become safe again…so yeah…these quotes made me smile…

“Abusing someone then telling them not to act upset is like stabbing someone and telling them not to bleed.”

Laughing SO hard…this is currently on my desktop and makes me laugh every single day. So like I know it is kinda rude and derogatory but that’s what makes it funny…anyone who knows me knows that I would never intentionally hurt anyone…which is probably why I am an easy target and also why I love the bold statement this meme is making – it is so not me, but starts to break down my walls of I’m fine.

“Rule #1 for helping a victim: believe her. Her description is only the tip of the iceberg.”

I saw this and was like “oh my, I totally understand now.” And that is why pinterest can be a good healing activity.
Advertisements

Unapologetically

(Legacy – Nicole Nordeman)

So I experienced gender discrimination last night.

For Christmas I got an IOU for new skates.

My old skates were somewhere around a size 12 in Men’s that really only worked for me because they were lace up only so I could tighten the laces enough to make them fit albeit not the way they were intended to fit. The only problem was getting them back off once they were tightened around my feet…(you just gotta plan ahead if you’re going to need to go potty).

Well, I suppose that wasn’t the only problem.

They were a cheap garage sale find that had clearly seen quite a bit of use before I got them, and then I used them for many many years. At this point they were supposed to have 4 wheels on each skate, but currently have a total of 5 or 6 wheels total attached between the two skates. Some of the wheels are held on with rubber bands because the hardware got lost.

And some spiders apparently thought the skates would make a good home this winter and made a huge disgusting web inside one of the skates…

So all that to say that when I went shopping the first time the stores didn’t really have anything because it wasn’t really skating season and they suggested coming back in March.

So we called the stores we were recommended by some people who skate a lot and they said they had their stock in and were ready for skate sales.

In to the store we went. The first store employee was really trying to be helpful, but the store only had one pair of skates in my size, and they had a tiny spot of pink on them so I wasn’t interested. It wasn’t the employee’s fault; That employee tried really hard and looked at every box to try to find something that would work for me and it just didn’t exist – apparently the customer service’s assessment that they had their stock in wasn’t quite so accurate. In reality they had one or two skates of each style to start the display and that was all.

So on to the next store.

The next store clearly is ready more for ice skate than actual skate sales, but does clearly have a good amount of skate inventory. The problem at this place was the employee. I tell him what I am looking for and point out the like 9 different styles I really like. I also comment that a common thread of the styles I like are that almost all of them are red, so other styles in red I may also be interested in looking at.

The skates he takes out for me to try on are hot pink. I go along with it because a good idea of size isn’t going to change much with different colors. I figure out what size I need and the guy seems to think the transaction is done and I should buy the pink skates. Umm, no. Not interested. He eventually gets that I am not going to just buy the first pair that fits and shows me a lime green pair that is the most expensive pair in the store. I try them on to not be rude, but remind him that the ones I like best are the red pairs.

He looks at like two boxes. Two. Clearly not actually TRYING to find anything in my size. He then declares that the only skates the store has in my size are the pink pair and the green pair. I ask when more skates in my size will come into stock. His response is that they won’t; what he has is what he has. Umm, yeah. There is snow on the ground. I really doubt that you will never have any more skates in my size. I don’t have tiny feet or anything. If I had a twin brother with the same size feet would you really tell him his only options were the hot pink pair or the most expensive pair in your store? If so, you really need to take the word skate out of your store name so you stop embarrassing yourself. Plus, I probably wouldn’t even want that most expensive pair if it were red and cheaper – the reason it was expensive according to him anyway was that it had more plastic casing…and that plastic casing in my opinion makes the skate a lot less comfortable…

So off to a big box sports store to try again. They had no help available and clearly hadn’t started getting new stock for the season and had just taken out what was left from last year, but they did have a skate that fit comfortably and had no pink on it. The goal was red, but no pink is at least a start…a little more expensive than the same skate at the first store we were at was selling for, but they had it in stock in my size. They had a couple other styles in my size without pink…so I know it isn’t just that my size is only sold in pink…LOL, the dude at that second store was like but it isn’t that much pink…umm, yeah, only three quarters or more of the skate is pink…

Umm, if we were talking about shirts or maybe even pants I’d be willing to consider that perhaps you don’t have something that will fit well that has no pink on it (maybe…but I have successfully found pants and shirts marketed to males that I can wear just fine)…but we were talking about feet. Girl and boy feet are pretty much the same with the possible exception of nail polish which doesn’t affect how skates work. Pretty sure if a dude walked in looking for skates you’d have something with NO PINK to show him, so you ought to have the same respect for a dudette. Being a girl don’t change much about my search for skates except that I perhaps care more what they look like than a boy might, and my preference is no pink. If you can’t accommodate that preference then there is a problem, and that problem is gender discrimination. I know male feet don’t magically skip from like a 6 to a 10 or anything because I usually buy my non-dress shoes in the Men’s section (and I have a basic understanding of biology to know that isn’t possible). (Don’t judge…the men’s section has a lot better selection when you are looking for shoes without pink and without childish designs, and your X and possibly Y chromosomes have no bearing on feet).

The internet sells lots of skates in my size in red that look good, but the inability to try on and ensure correct fit is a problem since skates will be expensive to ship anywhere to return…

So When my heart hits the floor I can recalibrate

(Eye on it – TobyMac)

So you might expect based on my experience of midyear that presenting at the ISD ### STEM Career Fair would be something I would refuse…well, because I don’t say no to things I feel like I should do, I said sign me up. I mean, I could kinda sorta be in charge, and being in a leadership position is something that makes me a LOT more comfortable in pretty much any situation, so how bad could it be surrounded by 3000ish or so strangers? As it turns out, I loved it!! It would have been a lot better if I’d gotten there in time to shove some more food in my face before it started, but even so, I had a really good time.

Would I prefer a quieter place to sit down with people in a smaller setting – umm yeah, I would probably prefer that, but I had no problem at all (once it had started) with the actual set up. I was a little scared going into it, but I really had a lot of fun. That gives me a lot of hope because while I do probably have to go to midyear again this year, and while there are a lot of parts of midyear I can’t change, the one part that does change is that I get to spend some of my time on the other side of the table. And it’ll be even better than the prospective student open house I volunteered with at school because I won’t have anyone else to keep track of and find ways to get away from…and I suspect I likely will be able to speak about it honestly without risk of getting myself in trouble…see, when you sign up to volunteer your time talking to prospective students, there is an unwritten expectation that you won’t be one of those people telling them to run while they still can, nor will you be honest about things…it feels icky to lie or tell half truths about what something is like…while there were parts of that open house I kinda liked, I very did not like that I would be partly responsible for potentially getting some of these students trapped at my school. Yes, I do know it is improving and things are getting better, but I also know the worst offender is still employed there. I want to protect people, and I was torn, because I am loyal to a fault even towards people who don’t deserve my loyalty…but I also want to protect the potential new students. That whole open house I was just hoping they could all get connected with someone who would help keep them safe and maybe they wouldn’t get as hurt as a lot of people have.

Mostly unrelated, but I am driving to somewhere for an interview somewhere tomorrow (well the interview is Monday…but I’m driving tomorrow…). I may have had a little meltdown because I was so frustrated trying to figure out travel plans…and that is why you shouldn’t leave travel plans for the last minute…so there are tolls…and I don’t have enough time to go looking for an I-pass or EZ-pass…and I also didn’t have much cash and my dad says even though they say to go 5 miles per hour around the tolls that in reality people are going 50 miles per hour and there is no way I will be stopped or slowed long enough to write down how much toll to pay online when I get home…and I had only a $10 bill at home…

So problem number one was finding an ATM to get some money and an open bank to get a pile of ones and nickles…

The next problem was that a quick google search showed that the parking garage next to the hospital cost $52 (not a typo) to park for the day…umm yeah…I can take an uber or lyft both directions for less than that. Turns out there is a bus that goes pretty much exactly where I want to go…the only issue is that I’ve only ever ridden a public transit bus for that one assignment first year that was quickly scrapped after my class when they had some groups done in 5 minutes by driving, other groups (like mine) with no drivers who took 5 hours to not complete the assignment because upon consultation with a police officer we found, the address we were instructed to check in at did not exist, and finally I have heard of at least one group that ended up stranded downtown until 9pm…For that assignment they gave us very detailed instructions about what to do to ride buses and the metrolink to get where we needed to be and handed out metro passes before we started. (Well, I guess really good directions except for that one group who got stranded and the fact that my group’s directions tried to get us somewhere that didn’t exist). So anyway, all that to say I’ve never ridden a public transit bus but for a savings of $48 I figured it was probably better. As much as I hate the airport, I’m thinking if I ever have to do this again, I’d fly and take buses and trains the rest of the way. There is supposedly free parking where I am staying overnight and I plan on leaving my car there during the day while I am at the hospital, but all the rest of it is overwhelming…which is why on today when I was supposed to be super focused on getting homework it got to be noon and all I’d done was work on transportation for this interview…I still need to pack and do homework…

Yep, I’m kinda whiny today…that’s what happens when I’m stressed out for a long time and have almost continuously had colds since the second week of January…see, at work everyone was passing colds around, my family had colds, the people at my previous rotation had colds, the people interviewing me at one of the hospitals had just finished having colds and at another one currently had colds and all the people in the nursery one week had colds not to mention all the airport and airplane time and then I started my next rotation and they were passing around a cold, and I spent time at a high school…so basically as soon as I get over one cold, I’ve been picking up another one…someday I’ll be fully healthy again…

I saw something on facebook that says “Don’t call me overdramatic. If an octopus is stressed out it will eat itself. That is overdramatic.” I liked that a lot…yep, after trying to figure out this whole interview thing I declared that I was no longer even interested in having a residency if it meant going there…umm yeah…I’m not stupid enough to let this frustration get in the way of getting what I want…plus, I filed my taxes yesterday and for the first time I have an awesome refund coming my way!! It’s too bad I don’t get any city taxes back, because I feel like those are the biggest rip-off. I hate paying taxes…like I get the government is in debt, but not spending so much money would be a lot more helpful for the government than taking away the money I earned. Not saying, just saying. I deleted the rest of this paragraph because it wasn’t very respectful…

My internship forms were due like yesterday…one of them is currently in my folder and the other is not currently in my possession nor is it in the possession of the board of pharmacy…yep…I am a super responsible student…I tried…and failed…moral of the story, never try :).

Calling them names because they’re different is wrong

(I can be your friend—VeggieTales)

I hate election time because of all of the hatred and hurtfulness that people spew. The headlines are full of stuff like “Hillary should be in prison, not the white house.” First of all, we have a legal justice system in this country that determines whether or not someone belongs in prison. We also have an innocent until proven guilty policy. Oh, and it is “we the people” who get to decide whether or not Hillary will move into the white house…well, we the people with the help of the electoral college, but that’s a conversation for another day and not really relevant to this conversation. Second, how do you think Hillary feels seeing that kind of headline? Why must we be so cruel to those with whom we disagree? And then the headlines of “your body belongs to Trump.” I can’t say I read the article to which this was attached, but I am guessing it was surrounding the topic of abortion. No, your body doesn’t belong to Trump, and I can guarantee he did not say that. I know you know how you feel when someone makes comments about your actions that are false. Do you really think Trump feels any differently? Your body does not belong to Trump. I might be lousy at history, but even I know slavery was outlawed a LONG time ago. And abortion isn’t about what you do with your body, abortion is about what you do with someone else’s body who isn’t yet able to defend him or herself. If it isn’t okay to murder your children when they can scream then it shouldn’t be okay to murder them when they can’t. (Side note, if it were YOUR body we were talking about then post abortion you would be dead…not sayin’ just sayin’). Today I got onto facebook and 90% of what I saw was people spewing hate about the candidates. (The other 10% was mostly the adorable children posts that are part of why I even have facebook). It really bothers me to see this hurtfulness towards those two people and towards anyone who has a different opinion.

Y’all you might only see these people on TV, and they might look kinda funny, but they are not just TV characters; they are real people. They are people with real feelings and real thoughts and real emotions.

You are entitled to your own opinion. So are they. So is your neighbor who voted differently from you or didn’t vote at all. In all reality, the president doesn’t have THAT much power over our everyday lives. No president is going to mandate what time you set your alarm or whether you shower in the morning or at night or what time to have lunch—the things that really affect your day to day remain unchanged. When I woke up this morning nothing was different than yesterday in my life—nor will anything truly change the day that our new president gets the keys to the white house. (Side note that the vice president kinda gets the short stick–how come the vice president doesn’t get a cool house). You don’t have to like the opinions of the person elected, but you should be a decent human being and show respect to the person elected. You don’t have to like how your neighbor voted, but you are still going to have to live with them the other over 1400 days until the next election, so it is going to be best for both of you if you can get it through your thick skull that your neighbor is another person worthy of respect.

Perhaps the news media and the social media folks need a reminder that as the adage says, if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all. Have we forgotten our manners? Did we forget “the inside is the part that we’re supposed to care about; that’s where we’ve got feelings that are very much the same…it’s okay if we are different.” It is okay to be friends with people who do not share your exact same opinions. If everyone had the exact same opinions the world would be pretty boring. If you refuse to be friends then let’s remember that being rude and hurtful towards other people doesn’t show how superior you are; in fact, it pretty much just makes you seem childish. Let’s grow up and be civil towards people—even the ones who *gasp* aren’t identical to us.

When the music fades

(Heart of Worship–Matt Redman)

I mostly just like soft news except when I get pulled into a big thing and want to know everything…but no one will report the things I want to see and know about things. Things like Orlando people dying is hard…I want to see actual pictures and I want to hug people, but I can’t…so sometimes I’d prefer to talk about softer news…

I just read the dumbest thing ever a couple weeks ago…okay, exaggeration…but seriously…it was about how this girl, who may or may not have been 21 years old, drank so many alcoholic drinks that she passed out. Before she passed out she went outside with a boy and took off her clothing and stuff. The boy got in trouble for continuing to use her as a sexual object after she passed out. The people writing the article think it is not at all the girl’s fault, and the boy should be punished harshly (despite clearly being remorseful, recognizing his wrong, and verbalizing desire to help other people learn from his mistakes).

I do think that victim blaming is a problem. I also think that this girl seems to have contributed significantly to the problem. There were two of them. In this situation I see two people who were acting irresponsibly. I also see two victims.

The one positive: the girl had this quote, which is actually pretty good “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” It reminded me that I am really thankful to all the people in my life over the years who have met me where I was and were a flashlight rather than a lighthouse bringing light into my life rather than trying to tell me how awesome the light is while placing it where I cannot reach it no matter what I try. The girl didn’t take the rest of her quote in that direction, but BAM I just did…

Stand up when it’s all crashing down

(Stand in the Rain–SuperChic[k])

You are not inviSIble.

20160301_075515

Side note…my left hand does usually remember which direction all the letters go…but drawing an awareness ribbon on your right wrist when you are right handed is rather challenging…(that’s what the orange squiggle after fight on is supposed to be)…also, the great thing about the awareness color for SIAD being orange is that it isn’t overly noticeable on my wrist so I don’t have to feel THAT unprofessional just ’cause I don’t have any professional looking orange shirts…

Totally unrelated, but it is really funny how many people move the sign out of the way and try to use the ATM…ever thought that maybe the big sign obstructing the machine that says “out of order” might be there because the thing doesn’t work?? Not sayin’, just sayin’.

For Immediate Release: Today is Take Action Day, This Week is NEDAwareness Week

SP? OCD? ASD? One ME!! Supports Rare Disease Day® (and eating disorder awareness) and Joins Global Movement to Raise Important Awareness for Rare Diseases

My corner of the internet, Next to the ATM—March 1, 2016—Wiggle Worm has joined forces with 30 million Americans and health care advocates around the world for Rare Disease Day® on February 29. Rare Disease Day is an annual awareness day dedicated to elevating public understanding of rare diseases and calling attention to the special challenges people face.

In real life, I am hosting an event at my school to spread awareness about Rare Diseases! Rare Disease Day is on the rarest day of the year this year, February 29th, and we are celebrating on March 1st. I am really excited…and I probably need to start thinking about what I am going to say, because I tend to think I will come up with what to say on the spot and realize about ten minutes in advance that I should probably write it down and since ten minutes before I will be finishing up an exam, it will be a little bit important that I write it down more than 10 minutes in advance (I know, I should be more responsible, but distrAction is my modus operandum…that and making messes…yes there is homemade applesauce all over the counter in my kitchen…I would have cleaned it up but then I checked my email and sometimes getting out the door can be a challenge).

Creating a community of mutual respect, everyone has their own unique challenges and things that make them tick. People with rare disorders are no different, and many of them feel rejected by the medical community when they are running the marathon of finding a diagnosis and treatment.

Y’all know I don’t post identifiers on here, so if you are interested in attending the event and need more information, do not hesitate to contact me.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a disease is rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans live with a rare disease—affecting 30 million people—and two-thirds of these patients are children. There are more than 7,000 rare diseases and only approximately 450 FDA-approved medical treatments.

Rare Disease Day takes place every year on the last day of February (February 28 or February 29 in a leap year)—the rarest date on the calendar—to underscore the nature of rare diseases and what patients face. It was established in Europe in 2008 by EURORDIS, the organization representing rare disease patients in Europe, and is now observed in more than 80 nations. Rare Disease Day is sponsored in the U.S. by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)®, the largest and leading independent, nonprofit organization committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare diseases.

For more information about Rare Disease Day in the U.S., go to www.rarediseaseday.us. For information about global activities, go to www.rarediseaseday.org). To search for information about rare diseases, visit NORD’s website, www.rarediseases.org.

Media contacts:

Jennifer Huron, NORD, 203-744-0100, jhuron@rarediseases.org

Also, to give credit where credit is due, I got this template in my partner packet…so you can probably tell which words are my own and which were maybe not my words…also, I’m pretty sure take action day was supposed to mean talking to government people about creating new laws about eating disorders, but I really think that the government should stay out of things that are more personal and let people figure things out for themselves. Laws like not murdering people=very important…Laws about a lot of other things: kinda  ridiculous. Just let people be people.

You’re a winner, the cream of the crop, a hero in the eyes of God

(You’re a Winner—Discovery at Camp Wise’n’up)

 

Last year I tried to stay off of social media for finals…it was moderately successful in keeping me more focused although I have plenty of non-social media avenues to reach distraction…however, my first final is November 24th and my last final isn’t until December 11th, and there is no way I can stay off of social media that long…instead I am going to keep writing and stuff but it’s going to be less edited or focused and more of a stream of consciousness so I get the same joy of creating content without the time it takes to make it look presentable…

I have three quizzes today I am not fully ready for as well as a quiz tomorrow and a final exam tomorrow…if there were a better day for a tornado I don’t know what that day would be…well…assuming that tornado closed school for the next three weeks but didn’t actually mess anything else up…or if it could strike today at about 1 and then tomorrow from 9 until maybe 2:30 and then next Thursday from 1 until like 4?

 

I recently went to see a teacher because I missed every single question on a particular unit on the exam…after talking to the teacher I still completely disagree with his choices as the correct answers, but one of them the reason why there was absolutely no way that my answer could NOT have been picked as the best answer I’m not sure where I came up with, or rather, I am pretty sure I know exactly where it came from. The answer talked about a guy running a marathon in order to lose weight. Although even without my extra interpretation, I think that answer makes the most sense and the other options were kind of dumb, especially since the question was really an opinion question about which patient would YOU spend the most time working with on a particular counseling technique…I am pretty sure I spent too much time reading The Mighty and not enough time studying, because I assumed the guy had anorexia…actually, it make perfect sense to me even now, because if you are running a marathon it seems to me like you probably already are at a reasonably low weight and actually should be eating in such a way to maintain your weight because a malnourished body will not perform well, but an overweight body in a marathon is going to have to work a lot harder…

 

Last Tuesday I had to go to a stupid lunch and learn. First they said required. Then the night before they said we needed to dress nice. Then they completely failed to mention that this lunch and learn was sans lunch…also it was sans learning as well. They said the topic was managing neonatal abstinence syndrome. That actually might have been a reasonably interesting topic if the speaker had actually talked about it…instead the entire 75 minutes was spent telling us to be sure not to stigmatize people because that makes them feel bad and not trust you. No kidding. Not stigmatizing people isn’t really something you can learn from a lecture—if it were everyone would have learned that way back in preschool.

 

 

One of my friends posted this on facebook: “Never have I been so happy to get an “A” taken away from me. #LMFT #whew.” I laughed so hard when I saw that…I really wish there was an A in intern or student so I could post something similar when I graduate…

 

One of my friends told me she’s been voting for me for brightspots at school (a program that is a good idea on the surface but makes there be winners and sorry someone thought you were a bright spot but then we decided they were wrong…or in one of my other friend’s words: sorry, you’re actually a blackhole………which is why I liked the dancing flower event a lot better……….plus this one is secretive, which is why of the three I still think the good stuff list was by far the best). Back on topic, she said she wasn’t allowed to tell me who voiced an opinion against me, but that was a happy moment.

 

Sometimes my computer decides that it is auto-detecting French and I spelled almost every single word wrong…super annoying…except I just figured out how to switch it back to English…which is good since I am no longer fluent enough in French to type papers in French anymore even if I wanted to.

 

What friends are for: I sent one on a mission-ish to confirm that there still is a prayer room…I kind of suspected that based on the volume of people going down the hallway in one outfit and emerging in a completely different one, but I didn’t really know…on the subject of changing clothes though, over the past year and a half it has gotten a lot easier to change clothes in the bathroom without losing my balance–practice makes perfect, perfect I’ll be…also, considering I haven’t stayed overnight at school in close to two years, the toothpaste can probably come out of my backpack…

 

My inner stupid came out last week…yeah, I definitely shouldn’t be up late three nights in a row…The only negative consequence this time was exhaustion, but I know better…I had a lot of fun at small group Bible study, FCA, and then Cru, but three nights in a row is too many…It’s like living in a perpetual nap hangover.

 

I don’t always burn my popcorn, but when I do it becomes a gooey blackish un-identifiable blob that necessitates taking out the trash because the smoke hurts my eyes…actually, that’s not true…occasionally I smolder the edge of the bag before I really burn the popcorn…but I now have popcorn with parmesan on it which smells delicious…

 

I don’t like that people are so focused on France. Yes, it is awful that there was terrorism there last week, but there was also terrorism in other countries last week that we are completely overlooking. Does the terrorism matter more when it strikes a country where the people look more like you? I think not. There are some countries where people live in legitimate founded fear of terrorism every single day. Why do we pick and choose which lives matter? They ALL matter. There is one caveat though…if you are actually directly connected to France as in actually being in Paris during the attacks you have license to freak out a little and act like this is an isolated event. I just read an article from that perspective. It said that the Parisian motto is “fluctuant nec mergitur,” which means tossed but not sunk, and shows the resilience of the Parisians. I love that. I want to adopt that as my own personal motto, ’cause that’s kinda awesome.

 

So there’s this really beautiful song on the radio “your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place. I’m on the phone stop holding on and just behave. Just behave.” Well, actually, that’s what I thought it was saying, but as it turns out the song is actually “I’m on the throne stop holding on and just be held.” Completely different, but a lot more meaningful and obvi still beautiful…also there was another new song on the radio that I liked too, but IDK what any of the words were…in my world songs are required to have words, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll remember any of them…I am binging on radio music while it is awesome, because soon it will be Christmas music instead, and while I do like Christmas music, I start to miss all the other songs I like, and also Christmas music has a completely different sound to it which makes it harder to fall asleep and harder to concentrate…kinda like how a different radio will make the same songs sound totally different…I am excited for Christmas break when I don’t have to take any tests or write any papers!!

It bothers me more than it should when people talk on speaker phone in places that are intended to be quiet…if you want to talk on speaker phone, go to the cafeteria, go outside, go to your room, go to your apartment, go SOMEWHERE besides where people are trying to study…ditto for if you want to watch videos at full volume without headphones on…if everyone around you is being loud and obnoxious then feel free to do the same, but when everyone else is being quiet and studying then maybe you should do likewise…

Keeps Her Head Up Feeling Stronger Every Day

(Fighter–Jamie Grace)

So I found these shirts online because apparently someone peed in someone’s cereal in the morning and their panties got in a wad over these shirts…Shoulda let them know that although Fruit of the Loom discontinued my favorite kind of underwear that Target probably still sells other kinds of wad-free panties 🙂 . LOL…

awesome shirts

I am not in the least offended by these shirts. In fact, I saw the pictures of these shirts and instantly determined that if I could have these shirts for free I would be the first in line…but since I already have more clothes than I really need, I am not going to try to find somewhere to purchase them, but I am going to save the pictures to my computer as a reminder of the awesome clothes that could one day be mine if I ever needed some new clothes.

The argument was that these shirts trivialize obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. I disagree. I think these shirts are spreading awareness through humor. You will get a lot further on a deeply serious topic via humor than you will trying to convince someone why they should listen to what you have to say. You attract a lot more flies with sugar than water. If you want to reduce stigma then you need to do it via pop-culture, because I can nearly guarantee that the people who stigmatize mental illness are not going to read your beautifully written prose on the International OCD Foundation blog. I am fairly certain that most people know that these shirts are not displaying the true meaning of the acronyms and therefore people are not believing that PTSD is just about eating turkey.

I love these shirts and the message that it is okay to talk about OCD and PTSD. I think these are an awesome tool for building awareness and tearing down stigma. IDK how many people outside of the community of people who are secure in their past or present with mental illness would really be interested in these shirts, so I am not sure how well they are selling, but that being said, I really appreciate the effort of whomever created them to work towards destigmatizing mental illness…and apparently at least the OCD one is being sold in actual stores which is awesome because I also kinda want a kinion shirt and a #shameover shirt, but I am not really that comfortable with shopping online…or rather, I LOVE shopping online, but I prefer to make the actual purchase in person…which is why I have like ten tabs of stuff I need to buy from Walmart saved…because I am hosting a mindfulness ice cream social next week…so I need ice cream and a set of utensils for this super awesome icebreaker that I am really excited about and obviously spoons and bowls for the ice cream, and probably some toppings. I have no idea where there is a Walmart around here, but I know there must be one, so sometimes after therapeutics I will figure that out…actually, I’ve been to the Walmart, but I am directionally challenged, and the Walmart run occurred after much running around to a bajillion other stores so I don’t even have any idea what general direction it was…

Back to the point: In my opinion, whining about these shirts is likely to cause more stigma rather than less. If you have time to whine about these shirts rather than being grateful that these shirts are spreading awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness then you have probably never truly experienced the painful depths of an anxiety disorder. Additionally, it has been shown that humor is helpful in attaining recovery, so if you are trying to protect your friend from these shirts then I applaud your effort, but you are likely doing the opposite that they need. Also, this is pretty much on par with whining about how Starbucks undecorated cups are anti-Christmas…umm hello? What do snowflakes and ice skates have to do with Christmas? If anything, these cups are more Christmas-y than the previous cups…also, the sleeves for the cups are still decorated with snowflakes, and they still sell advent calendars and Christmas tree shaped decorations and other paraphernalia with the word “Christmas” on it…clearly they are aware that it is nearing Christmas time…I think the cups are beautiful…almost beautiful enough to justify walking all the way to Starbucks to get a drink…but since I kinda want a smoothie and those still come in a clear cup that would defeat the point…plus it isn’t that nice outside…

I don’t really see how this is much different than that video of the old guy saying “I eat ice cream all through the night and as a result I got diabeetus.” Is eating ice cream how you get diabetes? Um, no, not really, but this hilarious video brings awareness to a serious disease, keeping it in our public conscious. I would argue that this video is probably worse because it implies that it is the sick person’s fault for getting sick, but I haven’t heard any uproar about this video…and the shirts don’t make any such implications.

Love lets others go first and love leaves no one behind

(Love is—Little Dogs on the Prairie)

I have been listening to this song on repeat for the past like 3 Sundays, and it hasn’t gotten old yet. I feel like every weekend a different part of the song speaks to my heart…and this is what it is at the moment. Love lets others go first and love leaves no one behind. It incorporates a lot of me—I want the best for others and sometimes forget about myself in the process…and also, because I have been marginalized, I am uniquely sensitized to when other people are being marginalized and I want to fix it so that those people aren’t left out. I sometimes am powerless to these ambitions, but even when I can’t change anything, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t tug at my heart. Like an article I skimmed recently stated, I don’t want you to ever understand how I feel. No, that doesn’t mean that I desire isolation, but what it does mean, as this article pointed out, that to truly understand you’d have to experience the pain and trials that I have experienced to at least some extent, and as meaningful and deep the connection may be if there were someone else who had experienced it and with whom I could relate in that way, I would never want anyone to experience anything like that.

Sometimes surrendering looks like cancelling FCA on Wednesday, skipping Cru on Thursday, ordering extra frosting on Friday, and not even bothering to pretend on Saturday that I’m only going to eat one bag of skittles…

A lot of things have been going wrong, most recently the grocery store only having two bags of frozen peas left and not having the kind of apples I wanted and prior to that accidentally driving into the curb at church triggering another OMG I miss my old car episode…but like Kati so eloquently said in her Thursday video this week, I am human, and humans make mistakes.

On the positive side, I haven’t fallen into another OCD episode (yet), but I am just really exhausted…and I don’t mean just because of the time change…I wanna sleep in my bed at home and get up with absolutely no responsibility besides maybe getting ready for work…Although I am tired from the time change too…when I was at home my parents always made me set the clock back the night before so that I’d have to stay up late. Because I hate staying up late, as soon as I was on my own I waited and set the clock back in the morning (’cause I’m a rebel you know the kind that dies in the streets ’cause you refuse to perform won’t eat the king’s meat). And every year I think (and forget by the next year) that it might be better to change it on Saturday and have an extra day to at least sorta get used to it before Monday comes…although that might just mean that I’d be even more tired on Monday…it’s hard to say…but that last hour of fighting to stay awake on Sunday night is hard…lets just say I filled a water bottle with ice-y water and put it in my mouth so if I started to fall asleep and let go of the water bottle it would pour cold water on me…yeah, supposedly I still have 8 hours to sleep, but I don’t make up night sleep in the morning very well, so scooting the clock backwards really just extends torture time which is what I just named the time between wake up and alarm, it’s melodramatic, but that time is quite unfun.

I also read an article recently about how both entitlement and unworthiness steal our joy. It was really interesting. I would have RT”ed it, but that would have required making a second twitter account because it was blocked from being retweeted from my primary account. The example the author used was that a kid on any other day would be thrilled with pretty much any piece of candy, but if you gave a kid just one piece of candy on Halloween that kid would feel slighted. Similarly, if you feel unworthy of an award then when you receive it, it doesn’t make you feel very good because you have already self-determined that you didn’t really win. The author also made the point that at the core, a diva feels both entitled and unworthy which I think makes a LOT of sense.

Writing for me is like breathing…some people hyperventilate when they are excited or nervous or otherwise adrenalized…I write.

(Apparently, adrenalized is a real word…I wrote adrenilated and autocorrect in Microsoft word told me I meant adrenalized)

I used to mostly read psychcentral and (in)courage day in and day out and thought I could never ever give them up. I now almost never read those blogs…it is funny how these things change…now I am reading Scary Mommy and The Mighty. Scary Mommy is okay, but I really love The Mighty. The Mighty is about empowering the disability community, and engaging in empathy, and enabling acceptance. What I like about it is how inclusive it is. Their definition of disability is not narrow, rather it includes everything from having a birthmark that you think is ugly to respiratory disease so severe that you live most of your life in the hospital, and from severe developmental delays to a broken finger. In my opinion, the majority if not all people have something that they feel makes life more challenging for them, and so I love that this community can supportively celebrate these differences and respectfully acknowledge that what feels good and normal to one person may feel offensive and hateful to another. Basically, everyone’s opinion is valid.

Sometimes what needs to go first and not be left behind isn’t a person, but the circumstances. I don’t like anyone else telling me what I am not capable of. If I think I can do it then please let me try and let me have a chance to succeed before you say I can’t because I will fail…I understand sometimes this comes as a form of trying to protect me, but sometimes I need to stretch my wings and find out if I can fly…other times I know it might be coming from avoiding the inconvenience if I try and fail, but either way, I just want the same chance as anyone else to try. I will admit that I wasn’t the best greeter and sign in person ever as a senior in high school, but with just a little extra direction I could do just fine…and if I’d known the purpose of the sign in sheet in advance then I wouldn’t have needed the extra guidance that writing “Sam” for the name wasn’t going to be enough. This having people tell me what I can’t do isn’t a situation I come across very often anymore; it was much more common when it was profoundly obvious even to an outside observer that I was not a confident communicator. A situation more common now is that I hate having to inform myself that I cannot do something. The adventurous and creative side of my brain is quite fun-loving and is going a million miles a minute thinking of ways to insert more joy into my day. That is the half of my brain that doesn’t wanna let me close out of the internet when I found a new awesome D-blog, and the half of my brain that writes letters to people inside my head while it really should be learning the ADR’s of AED’s. The other side of my brain takes on the task of reason. Reasoning with an adventurous fun-lover is hard…but after a look at my grades it was time to have The Talk. Yeah…It is time to stop analyzing who is most likely to be within a reasonable driving distance and have the best child options for me to hang out with for Thanksgiving. As much as I would like to tell myself that I will only stay for an hour and so it will just be a really good break to have some fun and hang out with people*, I know myself a little too well. I know that this extravert** cannot leave in only an hour…too much FOMO (fear of missing out). I am so excited to be surrounded by all these people that I can’t say goodbye. I just want to stay forever…which is how a lunchtime meal somehow ends with me getting home past bedtime and shoving food in my face on the way to bed. Clearly it is not realistic to give up an entire day of studying to celebrate a quasi-holiday. In my opinion it is only a quasi-holiday, because it involves no candy and because I don’t even really understand what we are celebrating.

*I do recognize that most people would include eating a good meal on this list. Combining the fact that I am a polite but picky eater, with the fact that it seems at other people’s houses the food isn’t actually on the table in front of me and I am too distracted with everything going on to actually obtain food, I don’t tend to eat much if at all when having a meal in a new situation. It took me until this summer before I actually ate anything at all at the Night to Unite celebration. The first year I did it, even being told repeatedly to take a break from what I was doing and eat, I didn’t. After that I was less awkward and therefore no one noticed that I wasn’t eating, but at some point this year I was finally comfortable and used to the situation enough that I had no problem getting what I wanted to eat.

**I am and always have been an extravert. It used to be tightly concealed, because no one really understands how a girl who is terrified of being around other people could possibly thrive on connection and crave friend time. It was kind of an oxymoron that being with people required a significant amount of energy and planning and required alone time to recharge, yet I needed to be around people to obtain energy to recharge the alone time. Now I try really hard not to be obnoxious or a time hog, which sometimes comes across as not wanting to be with people, but I still crave being with my people. As long as I still feel a sense of control, I am in my happy sweet spot when surrounded by chaos…not so much when I feel like I am being pushed around but any other time, the right kind of adrenaline makes me feel alive.