I Am So Much More

In a Rapunzel frame at Shanghai Disneyland

I was able to go to Shanghai Disneyland which was wonderful.

Knowing limits is good. I need to remember that I do not have the superpower of speed to get ready for the day in five minutes. Nor can anyone read minds. We cannot fly, breathe under water, live without food or water, etc.  Limits can be helpful.

However, they can also be a hinder. So many times, I have let limits on myself – whether inflicted by me or others – that have hurt me. There were things that I was and wasn’t, limits set and dreams shattered.

This past year has shown me that I am more than my limitations. I need to stop living bound to my past or my struggles.

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Listaliciousness: Father’s Day, Women on Money, and Hidden Meaning in “Lilo and Stitch”

Family upon couch

My family

Happy Father’s Day! I miss my father so much on this special day. At least, we talked on the phone which was wonderful.

Anyway, here are some links. A few are Father’s Day themed while others deal with history, coping skills, and Disney of course. Enjoy!

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Coping Skills: #79. Ask for Accommodations

Many people want to muscle their way through life without asking for help or admitting struggles. I certainly am like that. This week I challenged that by opening up to a professor about my struggles in the class figuring out my point of view. He responded generously and helped to accommodate my learning style and abilities.

Not everyone will be willing to accommodate what you need. However, asking usually will not hurt anything. Also, more people are willing to make changes than you would think. You might be surprised at how flexible and caring others can be when you need accommodations.

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One Thousand Thanks: 877 – 887. People With Disabilites

Dressed up at the film festival with my friend Rachel

Dressed up at the film festival with my friend Rachel

This week, my university has celebrated Disability Appreciation Week. Speakers during chapel shared with the student body what life is like with OCD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder, depression, albinism and many other health issues. In fact, I shared in a panel today about my journey with an eating disorder, aspergers, and more.

During this week, I have realized more than ever how many wonderful people struggle with some type of disability. Whether from a mental illness or a learning disorder, many gifted people throughout history have faced some health issue. Many great people in my own life have as well. This post is to honor all of them and state my thankfulness that they are in this world and made a positive impact on it.

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Putting Yourself In Someone Else’s Disability

Most people strive to understand others around them. We want to be emphatic people who help those around us. Whether it is listening to our children or encouraging a friend through a difficult situation, our social interactions often focus on meeting the needs of others or them meeting our needs.

Understanding others is not an easy task, however. If you have a loved one with a mental illness or disability, this task grows even more difficult. Not only are they are a different person, they also have an unique brain wiring and genetic makeup that is extremely difficult to relate to without frustration and confusion. This difficulty also affects them as they become guilty of the time you spend and annoyed at not being understood.

That is why putting yourself into someone else’s disability is so important despite the struggle. Here is a great example of this.

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One Thousand Thanks: 555 – 565. Spring Semester 2014

With some great friends after The Yellow Boat

With some great friends after The Yellow Boat

In a similar nature to my fall blog post on wonderful events during that semester, I am looking back on what happened recently in school. This past semester was full of much anxiety and heartbreak but held some great moments still. Despite the difficulty, the overall experience helped me to grow as a person and in recovery. So today, I will recount some of the events I am most thankful for from it.

555. Winning a national award for the student newspaper website – This shocked me. As the web editor, I worked hard to make the site user-friendly and appealing. However, rarely did people seem to notice. Hearing from a huge organization that our site and paper won their award was so honoring and astonishing.

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Coping Skill #42. Attending a Group of Similar People

Joni Earkson Tada

Club SODA with Joni Earkson Tada

One of the new activities that I have been involved with on campus is with the disabilities service office. Several of us students banded together a few months ago to form a group. Now our name is Club SODA (Student Organization for Disability Appreciation). Planning events for students, speaking on panels about our struggles and strengths, and helping professors understand their students have been some of our goals.

Being part of this club has been an amazing experience. Not only have I grown as a person, I have also been able to touch the lives of others. Finally, my mental illness has a purpose: helping me to understand and love people. Now, I can be a bright light for those suffering even while I move forward in recovery.

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Meeting Joni Eareckson Tada and Raising Awareness

Joni Earkson TadaThis week, Joni Eareckson Tada spoke my university’s daily chapel. Later, I went to a leadership lunch where she spoke. Despite my fear of eating in front of others, being there was worth the anxiety.

If you have never heard of Joni, you should look her up and read about this amazing woman. At the age of 18, she dived into shallow water and was seriously injured. Since than, Joni has been a quadriplegic meaning she cannot move her arms or legs.

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“Is Everything You Do Disordered?”

Order and disorder, form and formless must have profound psychological roots, nervous roots. - Delmore Schwartz

Order and disorder, form and formless must have profound psychological roots, nervous roots.
– Delmore Schwartz

The other day, someone asked me, “Is everything you do disordered?”

Stumped, I just looked at them with an open mouth. Did that person really just ask me that? Blinking rapidly kept tears from falling down my face. However, after I pondered the question for a few minutes, the answer seemed less clear. Was everything that I did disordered? If so, did I need to change everything about me?

I stand while reading or working on the computer instead of sitting to get “exercise.” My daydreams about working out at the university gym certainly do not come from a healthy place. Most of my food, clothing, and friendship choices are dictated by my eating disorder, aspergers, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD. There are certain behaviors that cause myself harm – but not too much harm – that might still function as SIB.

So, taking those all into account, is everything that I do disordered?

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Because Who is Perfect: Changing the Cultural View of the Body

What should a body look like? That question has been answered in different ways other the years. Arms should be sculpted and brawny to do hard labor. Stomachs round out to show wealth or cave in to exhibit self-control. Pasty skin was ideal, but tan skin is now luxurious. Wigs, light hair, fake teeth, white molars, rosy cheeks, clear skin – we are always changing our thoughts about what the human body should look like ideally.

However, we are all built differently. How can you tell a Korean person to look like a French one? Why is a short girl less beautiful than a woman with long legs? Is that man with bulging muscles really better built than the guy with a normal frame? Why can’t we value the differences in our appearances instead of trying to live up to an ever changing ideal?

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