Tag: recovery

Shed Some Light

a oman in UV light covered in shining glitter

“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

“When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light.”

‘Stargirl’ by Jerri Spinelli is by far the most inspirational book I have read this academic year. It is particularly close to my heart as I read it in one go on my very first taxi journey to college. It is filled with such wonderful and inspirational passages and I am so glad I picked it up. As soon as I saw this picture on tumblr I instantly linked it to Stargirl, prompting this post. After finishing the book I have found myself constantly longing to become the free spirited heroine from its pages. If you haven’t read it, it doesn’t matter what demographic you are in, you must. It is a modern masterpiece.

Monday Mantra: Shed Some Light

“Storms Make Trees Take Deeper Roots”

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Through bad times you find out what really matters and who is really there for you. These people will help you to be strong and stay strong once the storm has passed. The roots will stick with you for life, and so you are just that bit extra prepared for when the next storm comes. Your roots are getting stronger day by day. Things are tough. I hope my roots grow deeper.

Music: Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

Everyone You Meet is Fighting A Battle You Know Nothing About…

A whiteboard reads "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind always."

I am a confidant. I have been for many years. People tell me things, ask me for advice and I do my best to listen carefully and give the best suggestions I can muster. I saw this quote on a support group I am a member of on Facebook and it really struck a chord with me. The amount of times people have opened up to me about their lives and what I hear completely takes me aback is massive. I also have had people say this about me when I open myself up to them. The truth is you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, so in order to avoid being the one who says something nasty ‘today of all days’ to someone; just be nice. Just be nice fluently and use it as your default response to anything and anyone. Sometimes you get beaten around a bit by people who have not taken on this advice yet, but be assured you are most certainly in the right here. Hearts are protected by our ribs; this implies it’s expected we will put them at risk from time to time.

Have a great week.

“Don’t Count The Days, Make The Days Count”

Don't count the days, Make the days count.

It’s the holidays! With my exams done for this year it means I can enjoy the time off and relax properly. On the night I arrived home, after the regional delicacy of chip spice on chips and half a bad animated movie, my other half and I went out into the cul-de-sac. One pair of rollerblades and one pair of detachable shoe wheels later we were reminiscing our childhoods of bruised knees. We skated around the cul-de-sac (me clinging on very tightly) before deciding a cloud burst was imminent and heading back inside. It’s nice to have days to do things like this in, and I fully intend on continuing to do the same throughout this week. I will read for pleasure, play instruments because I want to and sing and dance to my favourite songs… Because why not?

In the UK it is a bank holiday today- so I very much hope you use it to do the same! Do what you love and have a great Monday!

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“I’m Doing Things At My Own Pace”

'I am doing things at my own pace and that's ok' quote next to a drawing of a snail.

Good morning to the lovely people in upside down world…
At the moment I am feeling very stressed and like there is too much to do but not enough time (or energy) to do it. Last week’s exams are now over, and I am pretty sure I would like to re-sit two of my subjects next year. Believe me, I tried my best. A lot of realisations have taken place and the repercussions of which have been pretty harsh on my mind. This amounted to me falling asleep in a sociology exam. Truth is, I’m behind on eating and behind on sleeping and I didn’t have time to put it right. On telling people my re-sit revelation everyone seemed shocked. “You’ll be fine”s and “You can’t do that”s create a war field between our bodies, laptops and phones. But re-sitting isn’t the end of the world. I know it won’t be fine. I know exams didn’t go well, so I am just going to do this at my own pace with the hope that I will then be able to put all I have into everything. I am looking for the balance of getting the grades I want, being the person I would like to be and finding the happiness which I believe these achievements will bring in turn. In the long run I think it is this which will take me the furthest. Sometimes bad stuff happens, even if you have exams.

“I Know I Can Make it Through This Week”

A white page with red hearts surrounding the words 'I know I can make it through this week!'

This week is the start of my AS final exams. It’s going to be hard, but I’m trying to keep myself in the mindset of what happens… happens. At the end of the day nothing is truly failed for good- you can always try again and I know I will keep trying until I get the grades that I want. This week is also the start of my new blog schedule. See my FAQ or ‘The Weekly Menu’ box in the sidebar for more details.

Good Luck Revision Warriors!

A Letter to The Years

Dear 2013,

Look where we are! It’s cold outside and we are looking at the start of a brand new year. To say you have been a year of two halves is a massive understatement. There have been massive highs and lows- that’s for sure. But maybe a person needs that kind of year every now and again so that we can truly understand the difference between the good and bad, and make the most of both. 2013 you weren’t that nice to me in the beginning, but you certainly built momentum. You took me through my GCSEs which right now seem so long ago. I sat large numbers of exams, some were successful and some were not so, but somehow I got through and passed all of my subjects. You are the year that I properly set about ridding myself of the eating disorder which has controlled me on and off over the last couple of years. A lot of people are unaware that food was, and is, an issue for me but many have provided me with valuable support which I can’t say thanks for enough. I would like to say I am anxiety free, but I’m still work in progress. You’ve been the year that I cemented my relationship with my beautiful guide dog and celebrated our one year anniversary. Now it feels like she is a limb of mine and without her I’d be completely lost. I also left school, which closed a very stressful chapter of my life. But my word that book was closed well- with a lovely prom and a fantastic summer camping trip with friends. As I’ve said before, school wasn’t easy, and many people helped me get through it when I really didn’t think I would. Thank you to those who have given hugs, been on the ends of phones for lengthy chats and listened to my keyboard screams through messenger. In the summer I went to the Czech Republic where I met lots of fantastic new people from all over the world. You also changed completely for the better from september onwards when I moved to my new college, which has definitely changed my life for the better. I have made amazing friends there who I refer to as my ‘non-biological family’ and I’ve also managed to keep good contact with friends at home. I am so lucky to have such amazing influences around me- friends and family, of both the human and furry variety.

Dear 2014,

You are so very close now. I wish my friends and family a very happy and successful year where their hopes and wishes can be achieved. For myself I aim to continue with the highs of 2013, and keep aiming to improve myself and my outlook on life. I also want to write more often, be more adventurous, hopefully raise some money for charity and keep speaking out about mental health. I also hope to be writing a similar post in a years time, accounting all the things I did in 2014 and wanting to see what’s next.

P.S. I know what I said to 2013 about maybe a person needs a year of highs and lows to acknowledge everything- but I wouldn’t mind if you cut out a few lows this year. 🙂

—-

To the lovely readers who stumbled across my blog, or were funnelled here by social media. Thank you for all your lovely support during the last year and for your ongoing readership of this blog. I hope next year I can carry on writing factual posts and keep trying to reach my aim of making this blog a bit more personal too. I think this post is a good start. Who knows maybe I will throw in some fiction next year? I want to get much more creative with what I do- both on here and on youtube and twitter. I hope you have a very happy new year, and I will see you in January!

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Music:

Mary Lambert – Auld Lang Syne

Sara Bareilles – Brave

Moving Forwards

As I write this I am at my desk in a room that I didn’t know I would be living in less than two months ago. There is a suitcase on the floor with stuff spilling out as I attempt to pack. My ever faithful guide dog is asleep in her bed, choosing to ignore the chaos. I have been at my new college for seven weeks now and it is nearly half term, and time to go home.

If I think about all the things that I have done in the last seven weeks it feels like I have been here for a lifetime. I’ve grown so much in independence, resilience and responsibility. I’ve done so many weird and wonderful things and formed closer friendships than I could have ever hoped. If I think about the the amount of time that has passed between nervously getting out of the taxi with my Mum and Dad on the first day to right now, it feels almost non-existent.

Moving to a specialist college was hard at times because in some ways it felt like I was giving up on myself and on ‘the system’. I want to live as a person and not as an impairment, and I was afraid that the move to specialist education would contradict this aim. But I am proud that I have made the decision, because now I can learn and I can have just a normal college experience. Normal meaning not having to justify myself, or fight for my access to the curriculum. My college isn’t so different from any other- there are a wide range of pupils with different personalities and abilities, we do lectures in the day and have fun with friends at lunch and in the evenings. At my old school I was constantly having to justify why I needed help, why I was doing things in a certain way and why it mattered that I couldn’t read things. It was exhausting. Now I barely have to talk about my sight because it is just a matter of fact that everyone has their own requirements for learning. On letters from school it used to state that things should be in my ‘preferred’ reading format, as if it would be nice if I could have it but it wasn’t pressing if I didn’t. Now my lecturers know what I need and it is waiting for me on the desk when I come into the classroom. I don’t worry anymore, because the focus at college is certainly on the person rather than the impairment.

On top of normal subjects most people here do additional lessons. Transitional support helps us to plan what we are going to do when we leave here and independent living skills teaches us everything from ironing to cooking. It’s not all about learning to get grades, it’s about learning for life itself.

I’m home for the holidays now, and although it is good to be in my own bed and away from work for a while I can’t help but think about college. This time last year I was struggling; ill, stressed and there was a question mark over whether I would actually complete my secondary education. Moving on, the changes are huge and overwhelming, but so very positive. I am so grateful to my parents for putting massive resources of time and energy into helping me get the funding to go to college, and to the college itself of course.

Obviously I know that we live in a ‘mainstream’ world and that I am not always going to be able to have the same ease of access as I do at college. However after my experience of studying for GCSE’s with very poor access to the curriculum there was no way that I could repeat the process for my A Levels. Whilst at college I am learning what technology can help me from other people, rather than doing my own research and being unsure of what I actually need. There are many people in the VI community who see going into specialist education as isolating yourself from the ‘seeing’ world. I don’t see it like that at all! In my opinion going into the specialist system is helping me repair almost. I am learning that it is possible for me to learn properly and achieve given the right resources, and I am also learning what those resources are. When I do end my time at college, and hopefully move on to university, I will know what I need and how to produce it. I will have had the time to try different things- technologies, printed formats and techniques to know what I like and what works best for me. Going to college has taken away the day-to-day emphasis on my sight, and it is truly allowing me to see myself, and develop, as an individual. This is something that I needed to do very badly, and I am so grateful I have been able to. It is definitely onwards and upwards from here.

I'm in repair