Category Archive Blog Post

A Year Of…

Drum roll please… I have settled on a theme for 2023, after going back and forth. The theme will be creativity or simply, being more creative. I feel this goal can be achieved in various arenas of my life, thus making it very attainable. First, I am trying to dive more into my poetry aspiration. I would like to be more descriptive in my words; creating more of a impactful mental picture for the reader. For me, poetry is my go to, in terms of helping me express what is on my mind at the time. I have to admit, it can also be quite fun sometimes trying to make up rhymes 🙂 

So, I am going to circle back around to you, what is your theme for the year? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but rather simple. Something that can help you move forward with your life, while still feeling good about what you have accomplished in that realm. If you need some ideas, check out the link below.

Saying NO In November

For some, the word no can be hard to implement, especially if they get pushback from those in their lives. Some people may be made to feel guilty for their decision, thus causing them to change their mind out of obligation. Take a second to think about what can happen in this instance, if it becomes a regular occurrence. Resentment comes to my mind. The reasoning is because if you feel forced into doing things that you don’t want to do, and you know the other person is aware, then anger can set inside of you. And, instead of saying something and being honest with your feelings, you shove them down. What I tell my clients, is what goes down must come up eventually. 

Saying no is not being mean. Saying no is being considerate of yourself and feelings. It is all about intent behind the no. Check in with yourself, as you know your motives. Below are some resources to aid in the process of boundary setting by saying no, when warranted.

Boundaries, It Is Time To Say No When You Need To

4 Ways To Set And Keep Boundaries

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life: Cloud, Henry, Townsend

The Better Boundaries Workbook: A CBT-Based Program to Help You Set Limits, Express Your Needs, and Create Healthy Relationships

The Better Boundaries Workbook: A CBT-Based Program to Help You Set Limits, Express Your Needs, and Create Healthy Relationships

Giving a glimpse into what it is like

Living with Hydrocephalus and blindness,

it helps to have a platform, a mike.

Hearing what is within also shows,

I am far much more than a diagnosis,

I am human,

so without getting to know me,

don’t give me a strike.

Case loads high, time is of the essence,

But take the time to encourage, empathize.

It’s easy,

just like riding a bike.

I had the opportunity to talk to a group of Physician Assistant students; helping them have a better understanding of what it is like to live with a disability. This is the fourth class that my mom and I have had the opportunity to talk to. This time, my sister was able to join us, which made for a well rounded experience. In the medical field, it is important not to lose sight of the patients; remembering the human behind the diagnosis. As a therapist, I know this is my aim. Giving people a platform where their voice can be heard, especially when it comes to their health; physical or mental. 

20 / 20

     This summer marks 20 years since the loss of my eyesight. I was an overwhelmed and scared 18, soon to be 19 year old. I didn’t know if my eyesight would stop declining or if it would come back. When I met my current Ophthamologist, he turned my fear into comfort. He offered empathy, words of compassion, but most importantly, he listened. I shed many tears that summer and after. He is my favorite healthcare provider, to which I am pretty sure he knows, as I allude to it every year during my visit. 

      Well, last year he told me that he was planning on retiring in the next five years. Yesterday, during my yearly visit, he gave me a definite date; 2 years from now. It is funny because he knew that it was going to take years to prepare me for his retirement. It is bittersweet. I told him, I was sad, to which he said, he knows. That is why he was telling me now. Also, knowing my trepidation with medical providers, he said he would find a good doctor to fill his position. I didn’t have to say anything, he just knew what I was feeling. 

      I wanted to share about the impact this provider had on my life. He is what I continue to aspire to be. The power of listening, empathy, and compassion can go a long way, even if you don’t have the answers/solutions to a problem. Just being there and willing to problem solve can mean a lot to someone. I know it did for me.

Amidst Anxiety

With all of the travesty in the world, from the ongoing violence to the pandemic, the prevalence of anxiety has risen over the years and continues to climb among all demographics. To put it simply, anxiety arises out of fear, the unknown / uncertainity, to which we sure have had a lot of. 

Symptoms of anxiety are having that fight, flight, or freeze response. Heart starts to race, trembling may occur, racing thoughts, nausea, butterflies in stomach, etc. It is important to pay attention to your body because if you notice any of these symptoms, then it is time to take a step back and check in with yourself, to see what is happening for you in the moment. 

Instead of running from anxiety, sit with it. Running from it will not cause the anxiety to disappear, but rather fester. In a Fast Company article, a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the City University of New York, Tracy Dennis-Tiwary stated, “The problem is not that we feel too anxious, the problem is that we haven’t mastered how to feel anxious.” I like this statement because so many times in my sessions with clients, they are often asking what is wrong with them for feeling anxious, to which my answer is always, nothing is wrong with you. It is all about the way you frame things. 

I was told years ago that anxiety is a protector, it tries to help us navigate situations that may be harmful. The problem is sometimes it can be maladaptive, causing stress verses helpfulness. Anxiety causes people to leap in the future rather than being present. View it as being a vehicle trying to help us instead of causing hurt. As the driver, you need to steer it in the direction to best serve you. So, how are you going to steer your anxiety?