It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Thankful

Well, it isn't thursday, but I'll be too busy to post on "thankful thursday." Some people wonder why my blog posts are so personal, so raw, why I'd open up my heart to perfect strangers. This blog is sort of cathartic for me. It allows me to sort out all of the feelings in my head without feeling judged. There is a reason that I host this blog on Disaboom as opposed to somewhere else. There's a niche audience here, who often think and feel as I do. I've learned through becoming an active participant within the disability blogsphere how comforting it can be to have finally found "my people." This blog post is particularly raw. I questioned posting it, but I've decided that if I could help even one person to realize that they are not alone in their struggles then it is worth opening my heart this wide.

For the rest of my life Thanksgiving will bring forth a strong emotion from deep inside of me. It's right up there with October 10th. I think I've been bipolar since I was 15. approximately. I went around for 7 years knowing that there was something "wrong" (for lack of a better word) with my head but I couldn't get anyone to recognize the pain I felt being only partially diagnosed as "twice exceptional" (I guess being smart and having CP also counts? Maybe I'm "thrice exceptional"?). The strong emotion that I associate with this year's Thanksgiving has little to do with just being thankful, but more to do with my life at this time last November. I started a downward spiral last Oct 10. I didn't know that the antidepressant I had been prescribed 3 years earlier had been making me manic during the times I was actually taking it. Who knew antidepressants could make a person manic? It only took one dose to trip me off. Thankfully my quick change in mood raised the concern of both my previous and current shrinks and I was referred to a new psychiatrist who would be able to follow me while I'm up at school.

I certainly have some serendipitous timing. It turns that October 10th, the anniversary of when I decided to finally consistency start taking my medication-- quite by accident-- is world mental health day and Thanksgiving weekend is when I hit rock bottom. I had gone from complete mania to a severe depression in less then 2 months. I can remember pleading with my mom and her boyfriend to leave me behind at school while they traveled up to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with my family. It was too painful to do anything but sleep. I can remember spending up to a week between shrink appointments only leaving my room to go to kitchen to grab some food once a day and then crawling back into bed. The only other thing that got me out of bed was going to get my laptop to peruse the disability blogsphere (it was then that I decided to start this blog). Something happened last Thanksgiving weekend that set me on a horrible schedule of falling asleep at 5am and waking up at 3 in the afternoon. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving that I found someone to finally believe me that after all those years the pain that I was feeling had nothing to do with my family dynamics and that I wasn't just looking for attention or an excuse for my behavior. I got a prescription for mood stabilizers that day. They've changed my life.

As this year's Thanksgiving has been approaching I've found myself thinking about all of the changes in my life this past year. I knew my life was better, but it took remembering the struggle of getting me out of bed last Thanksgiving day to fully realize how far I have come. So this Thanksgiving I am thankful.

I am thankful:

  • For the disability blogsphere and all of the people I have been able to connect with over this past year
  • For the ability to do simple things such as change my clothes everyday and take out the trash.
  • That this semester I am passing all of my classes. I've had to make some changes that haven't been easy, but they've been worth it. I am especially thankful that I am not only passing my community services for families class this time around, but that I have an 88. It's a tough class for anyone and even tougher when you're "thrice exceptional".
  • That through only 3 degrees of separation I was able to meet 2 very special people in my life (they know who they are) who have allowed me to almost completely shed my negitive self-concept and fully embrace my inner crip. They're my biggest cheerleaders
  • That I've learned to focus on how far I've come and that now when I list my attributes I can list not just the negatives but also the positives
  • That there are other people who also recognize how far I've come
  • That as of Saturday, after 3 weeks of a non-functional powerchair, it is now in top working order again

I'm running out of time, I have to make an appointment, but I'm sure within the next few days I will be coming back to edit this list.

Last spring I heard about a book on the radio. Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memiors by Writers Famous and Obscure (Disaboom's very own Karen Putz made the book!). It was pretty easy to come up with my own six word memoir-- Always trying but never quite there. In the span of only 7 months I can now change my memoir. Always trying and I'm almost there. Please share what you are thankful for this year. I'd love to hear.


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