Discovering Self-Love

In November, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Putting a name to my mental illness and knowing that it is more than depression has been positive in many ways. Knowing the nature of my illness means that I can better take care of myself. Despite going through multiple traumas in the last year, I find myself more and more stable each day because I am better equipped to support myself.

In the past few months, I have learned so much about what it means to me to be someone with mental illness, and I’ve started to own it like never before. I had to start making some hard realizations, though. One of the things I had to come to terms with most is what the true nature of self-care really is.

Self-care is a term that most people who frequent the internet these days know. It has become popular, almost fashionable to talk about self care and to “treat yo self”. Listicles about “Self-Care You Should Do Right Now”abound.

I’m not saying that buying a latte is a bad way to take care of yourself. I find myself using rewards to help myself do mundane tasks that my disorder makes more challenging. However, the glamorized version of self-care that exists in popular media leaves out some very important parts of the equation.

Real self-care is more often than not uncomfortable. It means going to medical appointments even though I don’t want to. It includes doing homework even when my medication makes me sleepy, and it means doing a lot of emotional work that can be incredibly painful and taxing.

Instead of self-care, I like the term “self-love”. I like this because love is an action that requires hard decisions and a toughness that sometimes means making yourself do things that you don’t want to do.

So when you are practicing self-love, some of it is going to be difficult as hell. But your health is worth it. And when you’re done doing the hard work that loving yourself requires, go get that latte.



The darkest of clouds

In the vast sky

Fill up my mind

And fill up my eyes

I was the storm

That broke up your sun

I’m sorry

I’m sorry

That I took your light

The grass wasn’t greener

The candy was sour

You deserve everything

You deserve all my hours

But I have the time

That sits on my chest

Crushing my lungs

And cutting my skin

I guess this is justice

That I deserve pain

Nothing left to debate

No more harsh words to trade

Your last word in a paintbrush

Now everything’s gray

Nothing was worth this

You deserved so much more

I wish you had stayed

For what comes after the storm


The Cost of Kindness

depressionEver since my last post, I’ve been struggling about how to be open about my depression in a genuine way. I spent a lot of time contemplating what to write about, and consistently struggled with what to write, feeling like none of my ideas were “enough” to encompass what it really feels like to have chronic depression. The truth is, no description can really touch what it truly feels like to live with depression every day. The best I can do is describe honestly what it feels like for me.

Everyone gets sad every now and then, but not everyone has depression. Depression means that for reasons that can vary, the person with depression can often feel hopeless, sad, and doomed with no obvious external cause. Depression can feel like you are 100 pounds heavier and drain your motivation and drive. For me, one of the hardest parts is when my depression gets tangled with my passion. I have so much that I want to do and share with the world, but often get bogged down by an anchor of doubt, anxiety, and self-loathing.

Now, I am a professional procrastinator which many times is the reason I don’t get as much done as I would like. I’m not writing this to use depression as a blanket excuse, but rather to give a glimpse of what a barrier it can be every day.

Since I’ve become more aware of my depression, I started working hard to be responsible for my mental health and take charge in my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days, but it means that I check in with myself often and have the power to make choices that are good for both my health and productivity. I do little things every day that make me feel good, like wearing cute outfits and having a yummy bagel to start my day.

Most people are understanding of physical pain and the limits it can place upon someone. Mental and emotional pain, however, is more difficult to grasp. If you have depression, remember not to be ashamed. Though you carry a burden, you are still continuing on your journey despite it and that is something to be proud of. If you don’t have depression, you probably know someone who does. They may not want to speak up about it for fear of being viewed as lazy or whiny, I know that was a fear I faced. Just remember to be as kind as possible. It costs you nothing, and it can be incredibly valuable to those around you.

Stand Up

Everything feels surreal right now. I’ve spent the past two days at Seattle University, my new school, for orientation. My new school. It’s still sinking in, as you can probably tell. It’s so incredible because I sincerely, in all honestly, did not think I would live to see life after high school at many points. I’m sure many of you can relate. In fact, I think everyone feels that way at some point during secondary school.

Now, that time is over. I’ve finally stepped into the chapter of my life where people really start to define themselves and I’m so excited. I know I have stars in my eyes for something brand new and that eventually it will become a place where I have a routine. In other words, the honeymoon phase will end. Of all the information I learned at orientation I can’t help but feel excited about how I walked with my cane confidently, how I introduced myself to others and how I finally feel comfortable in my own skin.

There was a portion of the orientation where we all assembled to discuss diversity. The speaker would say statements, and if it applied to you, you would stand. For me it pointed out that we are all very different but we all have unique challenges and components to our lives that make us who we are.

“If you have or live with someone who has a disability, please stand.”

To many of the students there the activity may have felt like a waste of time or just too invasive. Most of them probably thought it was stupid, and yeah maybe it was a little melodramatic. There was a time when I would have felt the same, but yesterday I couldn’t. I was too busy standing as tall as my 4’11 stature would allow. In that moment, I realized that I am nothing but proud and confident about who I am. Everyone has their own challenges, and mine have made me who I am. I’m no longer ashamed or apologetic because I have different abilities than everyone else. This is all to say, DO NOT BE LIKE ME.

Don’t wait until you are 18 years old to feel comfortable in your skin and to be proud of who you are. And if you’re older than 18, do not wait another second. Time putting yourself down and not loving yourself is wasted time and in addition you are preventing yourself from so much. You’re going to make mistakes and you have flaws. We all do. But you will never learn from them if you’re consumed with punishing yourself.

Don’t be your own worst enemy. Be proud of who ou are and don’t let anyone dictate how you feel about yourself. Stand up, and start moving.



Life is a state of constant change. Even when we don’t know it, things around us in life are always changing. Circumstances, relationships, moods, if you think about it humans are incredibly temperamental. Simultaneously, we’re also habitual. As a child, we’ll touch a stove twice even though it burned us the first time, and we still do it as adults. We keep toxic people in our lives, we do things that are unhealthy for our bodies, and possibly worst of all, we consistently stay in mindsets that hold us back from being happy. These kinds of behaviors can be really difficult to change because sometimes we don’t realize that we can be our own worst enemy.

I have been treated poorly by people in my life, but two years ago I experienced the worst treatment I have ever known. The perpetrator was the person I know better than anyone, the person should be able to trust the most.

It was me.

Of all the times “friends” have walked all over me, the times partners mistreated me, and the times strangers have been incredibly rude to me, none of it compares to the way I treated myself during my depression. I wanted others to accept me for my disability and who I was, but I was more harsh and ignorant toward myself than any of my peers. Not to say that their words didn’t hurt and have impact. If I had one kind person in my life during those times, I may have never gotten to the dark place that I found myself in. The funny thing is that I could have, and should have, been that person for myself. Instead I dissected all of my mistakes and punished myself every day, mostly for things that i had absolutely no control over. I know I’m not the only person with a medical condition who has done this. I’ve found that the best decision I ever made was to realize that I’m not a mistake. I work hard-sometimes harder than most people- through disability and the depression and anxiety that comes with it and I’m building a future for myself. I used to be ashamed to have a visual impairment. Now, I’m proud to be exactly who I am, and I love the way it feels.

In my head, I have this kind of reverse mirror of Erised. I look into it and see all the things I used to be, and I compare it to who I have become. Stay humble, but don’t forget to give yourself credit for the changes you have made. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you and never accept less respect than you give. Above all, respect yourself because how you carry yourself sets a precedent for how others will treat you.



Love Yourself

I think of people and their personalities as something that is very abstract. There isn’t a scientific formula for the contents of a personality, and therefore one can never be sure how a person is going to react to a given situation. Some people are highly logical, while others are propelled largely by emotion. No two people are exactly the same, just like our fingerprints. The problem is that what is inside someone, what “makes them tick” is not as easily examined as a fingerprint or DNA, but is often much more compelling.

These facts and more are the reasons that human relationships are often complicated. There will always be work in the therapy field because people will always have problems. One of the ironic things about human behavior is that we often know more information about ourselves the anyone else and yet we often don’t understand the way we feel or why we feel that way. One of the things I have learned about my personality is that I am very empathetic.

I don’t think that I have a psychic superpower, or any kind of power. I’m just attentive to how the people around me feel, even if I don’t know them very well. Sometimes I find this part of myself helpful–it forces to pay attention to how my actions affect other. By the same token it can also be a hinderance. Always gauging how other people feel and taking on what I perceive to be their mood can make it difficult to tell how I am feeling about a situation or to act normally. For example, I often feel extremely agitated if I watch someone who i very nervous giving a presentation even though I am sitting in the audience

So, why am I telling you about my weird quirk? I’m telling you because you have them too! Everyone has different attributes that nobody else has. We spend so much time getting to know other people. Memorizing names and relationships and how others act. Sometimes, though, we don’t take an adequate amount of time being introspective. Maybe we don’t want to see our flaws. The fact is, you’re going to have flaws whether you think about them or not and it is much better to know yourself in terms of identity rather than letting others define your traits. Accepting yourself for all that you are is absolutely essential to staying happy. And think about it; who knows you better than you?



Four Eyes.

imageWhoa, it’s been a a while since I’ve posted. This is probably for two reasons; one, my training schedule has gotten busier exponentially and secondly, I hate writing just for sake of creating a post. I always want what I write to have meaning. I could blather on into a monologue about the sanctity of the written word, but I’ll spare you. My point is that I am writing because something has caught my interest.
This past week, I started wearing my glasses again. This relatively simple choice is unremarkable except for the fact that I didn’t do it sooner and that I was seeing the world in HD again. The interesting part was how it affected other people.
The behavior of strangers around me has changed completely and this past week since I’ve been wearing my glasses. I still carry my cane and wear the same clothing. I’ve hardly changed anything at all, yet my interactions have been so different. The same strangers that I’ve passed walking back-and-forth to the training center each day now say hello or good morning more often than not. People don’t try to help me by explaining where things are anymore, people don’t scramble out of the way if they notice me and people haven’t opened doors. It’s incredible to me that such a little change can cause such a drastic difference. Nothing about my ability level for my disability had changed; simply the judge,net that others were making.
The “moral to the story” so to speak is this; life does not work in clean lines or straight edges. Disabilities are no exception to this rule. Blindness is not work in absolutes. Just because glasses help an individual does not mean that their disability is not significant. If someone is using a cane, it is safe to assume that there is a good reason. Please remember that blindness is a spectrum disability with thousands of different scenarios. It often blurs the lines of what we know and what we fear; the possibility of being blind.


To all of my fellow species, I commend each and every one of you. We have achieved something I believed would never be possible. We have invaded the human-occupied planet known as “Earth”. Many species have tried before us and many will try afterward but I doubt any will reach the level of success we have achieved. We have not only invaded but we have ingrained ourselves into their society.

By masquerading as members of their own species plagued with “physical impairments” and “medical conditions” we have fooled humans into accepting us into their society and at this time I would like you to metaphorically pat yourself on the back. Hiding in plain sight is finally going to pay off when we take over this planet. We will name this planet Cure after the human term for eradicating illness where, sadly, some of our own will be staying to be closely watched as they contracted human illnesses such as Rudeness, ignorance, and Judgmentalitis.

I would like to thank my mom and dad for sending me, their alien child, on this alien mission.

Gestures of Affection,


Eyes Wide Open

A room covered in boxes, wrappings, and bows accompanied by piles of just-opened gifts. The remains of a hearty dinner filling tummies and like a lullaby, pulling families into naps after all the anticipation and excitement. The thing I forgot about the most wonderful time of the year is that it is also the prime time for sickness. As I’m being reminded of this fact with a sore throat and the feeling of my body giving a definitive feeling of UGH, I try to think of the last time I felt this terrible. 

I don’t get sick often, but I have some memories of periods where I became part of the couch living on crackers and Gatorade. 

Surprisingly, these aren’t what comes to my mind first. I realized that the feeling that comes to my mind first has nothing to do with a bacterium or virus. Honestly, it’s much more crippling. 

The worst thing I have ever felt in my life is feeling like I was less of a person because of my physical disability. 

It’s hard to think about, hard to even write that sentence. I mean, why should I feel bad about something that I have absolutely no control over?

It seems ludicrous but I felt this way, and not just for a little while. I’m talking years of my life. I couldn’t make friends in middle and high school, at least not real ones. I ended up hanging out with any crowd that would accept me, and even there I was an outcast. 

I’m not the only one. Over the years I’ve made friends who deal with the same things I do and the story is often similar.  

So now, years later, I’ve finally realized the truth. I’ve realized that I actually have incredible value just like all of my legally/totally blind friends. But why did it take me so long to figure that out? 

Because when I was growing up there were no commercials and models and general media showing blind individuals as we truly are. 


Not an anomaly, not “wow that’s incredible they can do x,y,z considering they’re blind”. 

I wasn’t exposed to this and neither were my peers,or the peers of my friends. As a result impairments become like that curse word that even those who swear a lot refuse to say. 

 This isn’t just the case for visual impairment. Across the board physical impairments are displayed as an oddity. An oddity in itself considering that in one car accident, anyone could become a part of our underrepresented group. 

I say all of this not to be bitter but to be honest. I would never want someone to go through the isolation that I experienced during school. No one should have to because after all, this is the Information Age. Media does so much to negatively affect younger kids, giving them misconceptions about how they should look or act. Why not make it into something positive? Teach them that physical impairments happen and that those who deal with them are getting through life just the same as everyone else. We can help people to see, we just have to open their eyes. 

I See You Looking at Me

I lead a double life. Because I’m visually impaired and not fully blind, I’ve had phases in my life where I’ve carried a cane and times where I have not. Even above all the painful surgeries and physical challenges, becoming okay with using a cane was one of the toughest things I’ve struggled with due to my impairment. Finally, my senior year I moved to a new school for a fresh start. I decided to use my cane and I was asked some pretty interesting questions.

1. How do you have such a good fashion sense?

This was asked of me by my AP Psych teach in front of our ENTIRE class and I honestly didn’t know how to respond. You would think a psychology teacher to be a little more sensitive or at least know not to ask such an ignorant question. As a suggestion, if you’re ever asked this reply by explaining how you taste your clothing in order to decide on outfits.

2. Does your boyfriend drive you everywhere?

Because I have to have a sighted boyfriend/chauffeur? It’s kind of an implication of dependency, like because of my impairment I need a sighted person to take care of me. In fact, I find that relationships with people who also have a visual impairment are incredibly beneficial because you never have to worry that they won’t understand at all what you’re dealing with.

3. Should I have opened the door for her?

This was actually not asked of me but about me within earshot. The answer is yes and no. If you feel like being polite and opening the door for someone carrying a cane, by all means do it. But you shouldn’t do it because you think there is some unwritten social rule that says you need to.

So these are just a few of the questions I’ve been asked. I’d  l o v e to hear if you guys have any personal experience to add. Feel free to put ’em in the comments. ❤