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How John Denver Affected My Life

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I was probably about 6 years old when my mom bought me The Whisper Of The Heart; a movie by Studio Ghibli about a middle-school aged girl who writes a novel to prove herself, which brought the song Take Me Home, Country Roads into my life. I fell in love with the story, which inspired me to be a writer when I grew up with the willingness to take risks to attain happiness. I was completely immersed in everything that had to do with this movie.

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Shizuku, the main character, writes a version of Country Roads for a school event, and the song is shown in different stages of development throughout the movie. Take Me Home, Country Roads became my anthem, and has been that way since it first entered my life.

One summer, at about age 8, I sang Take Me Home, Country Roads at a karaoke open mic at a family friend’s cottage; I was so happy. That December, I unwrapped my very own karaoke machine, and several karaoke CDs; including a country CD with Take Me Home, Country Roads. I remember trying to follow along with it, but the harmonies convinced me this wasn’t the true version of the song.

My mom drove us to the store to pick out a CD with the song and found an actual John Denver CD. I grabbed it with glee, and began listening to him.

Song after song, they all held such passion and meaning, and I found myself completely in love with this disk. Whenever I sang, it was Take Me Home, Country Roadsbut I hid it as well as I could. I kicked my legs happily on the school bus with it on repeat, which my bus driver wasn’t too fond of. I did school projects on his life, sang his tunes, made dances, rehearsed the lyrics and joyfully shared his music with people who showed interest.

I had found something that was uniquely my own, and that I felt only I could relate to. I felt this longing for a simple life, out in the country side, away from the city lights, honks and yelling. This life where I could write away in a log cabin, resting to the soft taps of rain drops.


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John Denver reminds us that we need to preserve the simple beauties of our planet; the mountain tops, the waters, the trees and the people we love. We must cherish having these things because, once they’re gone, we will be robbed of silent sunny afternoons, and future generations.

He reminds us that aging is not a curse, but a gift to appreciate the land and watching everything and everyone grow around us. We must gaze at the beauty in nature that surrounds us, and make it our duty to protect every ounce of it that is left. Money, material and offices will never truly make us happy, especially when nature is crumbling around us at such a rapid pace; they will never save us from destruction.

John Denver taught me to be true to myself, fight for what I believe in and put happiness above all else. If I am not happy, I will never enjoy anything, and if that means I have to cut things out that bring mediocre contentment to be truly happy, I will take those steps. There are no sacrifices that are too big when happiness is the result. He also made me realize that I won’t be happy following the paths chosen by my peers; I will only be happy writing and sharing those creations with humanity to hopefully share something beautiful.

He has inspired me to create the pieces of art that I can to influence the people I can reach; and the people I cannot will be reached by someone else. I have hope for us as a species, if we can turn it around and focus on the simplest of things that surround us and appreciate what they have given us.


Look up to someone who inspires you to be the best you that you can be, and continue to try and be that person you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t sacrifice your happiness.

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Too Afraid To Leave The House Because My Arms Are Too Fat?

A little over a year ago, a woman I was in the mental ward with sent me a message commenting on the weight I had apparently gained since we met each other instead of giving me a kind greeting (she had no knowledge of my eating habits, and was not trying to be nice). The picture she was making a statement about was one of my partner and I, his arm around my waist and my arm pressed against my body. I didn’t think I looked fat, which was a feat from the years of struggling with an eating disorder. I immediately associated her comment with the size of my arms, which began a whole new cycle. In a frenzy, I removed that picture and get overly frustrated whenever I see it.

I’ve been able to abstain from eating disorder behaviour for the majority of the past year, but that comment sits with me every single day.

I’ve planned to go to a local group in my new city for the first time since I moved, and I am too scared to go because… My arms are too fat.

I am so terrified of people seeing my body shape as of late that I’ve been hiding in pyjama pants and long sleeved sweaters for the majority of the past 5 years. I am so horrified of people gazing at my hideous arms made of jelly that, I can’t even conceal with good positioning in a short sleeved shirt because I’m covered in scars. My arms are literally the main attraction to the amusement park that is my body.

I never thought that my arms would be the main hindrance for me not wanting to leave the house. I am so humiliated with my body currently. And, it doesn’t help that I have another eating disorder appointment in less than 3 weeks.

I want to remain hopeful, and stay committed to that recovery path, but I’m losing my hope and faith. I can’t help but want to hide in a shell and stay concealed until I feel I am thin enough to come out of my cocoon.

I was on the right path, but I don’t know if I can continue that right now…

***I sincerely hope this didn’t trigger anyone; I just needed this off my chest.***

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Cured From BPD?

borderline personality disorder, cured from bpd, sloth speed recovery, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com

I got diagnosed at the mere age of 14, after a serious suicide attempt that landed me in the hospital. I was so confused with the diagnosis because, my psychiatrist at the time wasn’t someone I particularly liked, and that’s due to her never giving me the feeling that she was actually listening.

After a few years, and having been in an inpatient treatment center, I began to understand where this disorder came from and which behaviours were inhibited by the disorder, and which were under my control.

I have moved away from home now, and haven’t been homeless in a year. Things are looking up for me, but I’ve lost such a fundamental part of my identity, I thought.

I didn’t realize it but, I identified with Borderline for so many years and, now that I’m no longer overly symptomatic, I don’t understand myself anymore. It’s as if a piece of me was robbed and my identity is dwindling in the air, waiting for someone to stick a new label onto it.

The loss of BPD means the loss of my extreme anger which fueled extreme motivation for this blog. It has ceased any sight of improvement and has left me quite empty.

When I identified with my diagnosis, I felt more complete. Everyday, I had a goal to overcome this fight, which has now just disappeared. It feels as though I have nothing to look forward to, and my creative spark has died due to this.

I’m not sure if my BPD has morphed into something entirely different; a lot more dangerous, or if it’s disintegrating along with any sense of self I had left. And I desperately don’t want the saying “You just grow out of it” to ring true to me and my situation. Was it my efforts and hard work that took me out of the self-destructive cycle, or did I grow out of it?

I can’t talk about Borderline recovery when I am not experiencing it, and I don’t know if I’m happy about feeling free from it yet…

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10 Ways to Prepare for Eating Disorder Recovery

10 ways to prepare for eating disorder recovery, sloth speed recovery, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com

Eating Disorders are difficult to recover from because they’re characterized by disturbed eating habits and rituals, that are consistently repeated, resulting in habitual behaviour. Trying to break this pattern may be complicated due to food being apart of everyday life and a source of nutrition; being unavoidable. We are constantly exposed to foods that we may not be comfortable around or feel are safe to consume, and we may struggle with breaking habits and routine.

Everyday is a challenge, but with these steps forward, we may see an end to our eating disorder.


 

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Admit to the Problem. There will never be an end to the problem if we cannot admit it. It begins with ourselves, followed by our closest friends and family, and finally, the professionals. We should expect tears and hard times from this confession, but must remember that this is the start of something new. Be prepared for it to be an excruciating experience, with an outstandingly beautiful outcome.

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Seek Professional Help and Build a Support System. During this difficult time, you will need the encouragement and love of the people that mean the most to you, and the professionals that have been educated on your disorder along with the recovery methods. These people will able to aid the construction of  your safety plan, make lists of friends to communicate with and map out coping mechanisms to remain on the recovery path.

Professionals will be able to help with your next steps, whether that be group therapy, eating disorder clinics, meal plans, one-on-one therapy sessions or other options. Try to remain open-minded because, these people are only there to help you.

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Don’t Try to Physically Prove Your Eating Disorder. The recovery process can prove difficult when you feel your body mass does not reflect your eating disorder. It is important to recall that your body weight is not the sole evidence or validity of an eating disorder. They are mental illnesses, characterized by a perception of self and food, and not the gap between ones’ thighs.

Do not try to conform your disorder and recovery to that of someone else. Every person is unique, along with their respective disorder, and you should not be trying to emulate anyone else. The focus is you and your recovery; not that of a popular Instagram star.

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Be Uncomfortable. Put yourself in situations that you never wanted to face. Go out to that fast food joint with your friends like you’ve been wishing to visit for years; eat in public; let yourself eat “unsafe” foods. This process is about breaking rituals and routines, and to do so, you have to go places and do things out of routine or your comfort zone.

Be logical. Do not expect yourself to eat a burger, fries and drink non-diet soda in your first outing, as it may be overwhelming and throw off your recovery. Take baby steps whilst continuing to progress. Go at your pace.

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Don’t Hide Any Feelings from Your Supports. If you are struggling to eat a meal, and your friend confronts you, don’t pretend your refusal is from a tummy ache. Be upfront and tell them that this specific meal is very hard for you, and that you will need time and patience to conquer it.

When you feel upset about your body, or sense a relapse occurring, speak up. Voice your feelings of lack of control and be honest regarding the trigger. Keep open communication and always be honest.

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Be Strict with Your Boundaries. Do not let someone disturbed drag you back into your disordered eating habits. There are people who will want to discourage you, act as if you look healthy and don’t need recovery, but they are wrong (according to you, your loved ones and medical professionals). If they are a disturbance to your recovery, you need to cut them out and no longer give them the time of day.

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Don’t Let Yourself Skip Out on Important Appointments. It doesn’t matter if there’s a concert or a cool party, you cannot skip out on important therapy sessions and clinic dates. You will be diservicing yourself, and nobody wants you to do that.

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Relapse Is Practically Inevitable. Be rational and expect there to be difficult times, relapses and feelings of regret regarding confession, but you must remember that you do not want to live like this anymore. Your eating disorder was never a friend or a healthy process, and it wants to destroy you. The best thing you can do for yourself is fight it.

Ride the relapse thoughts and behaviours, challenging it at every chance you get. Do not let yourself spiral. Keep your recovery in control, and consistently remind yourself the reasons you chose recovery.

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Loving Your Body Will Not Be An Everyday Occurrence. Some days, you will look in the mirror, proud of the weight you’ve gained and the way it looks on your frame, and other days, it will be your biggest nightmare. Understand that those negative feelings regarding your body are fueled by the eating disorder, and not a healthy mind. Your body is beautiful, it’s healthy and it’s on its way to recovery.

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You Are Not in a Race; Pace Yourself. Do not let yourself be affected by the hoards of others in recovery. They are not you, their experiences and feelings are different, and their recovery will reflect this diversity. You cannot expect yourself to attain a goal made for someone else. This recovery is yours, and yours alone. It is not a competition, it is not a race; it is your life.


You cannot expect perfection in a process like this. Be reasonable, be understanding of your limitations and goals, and don’t give up for anybody or anything.

Remember; you will recover and this eating disorder will be history.

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Eating Disorder Clinic Anxiety

It has been very clear through my lack of posts that something is occupying me.

I can’t really get my thoughts down on any topic because, I have this constant presence in my mind telling me I’m not sick enough for this eating disorder program I signed up for 9 months ago.

Since then, I have put back on the weight that I lost, but it doesn’t change the mindset. I am so convinced that I will be turned away and, that I will spiral out of control for them to listen to me.

Since the age of 14, I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder, but my body weight didn’t always reflect this. I would be bedroom/bathroom/gym bound, refusing meal after meal, and struggling after every piece of food I ate. The summer going into 10th grade, I rollerbladed every day, sometimes several times a day, in the hot July sun, trying to reach a weight that I deemed beautiful for my new school. I was barely eating that whole summer, and making up for the food I refused in deep cuts all over my body.

I’ve been trying to fight this competitive voice in my head that keeps telling me to starve like crazy until my appointment, but I’ve tried not to, and have been successful thus far. But, with a week to spare until I sit in that appointment and finally confess years of self-destruction, I find myself more disappointed in my body than ever.

I can’t help but feel disappointed in my decision to fight the eating disorder until then. I’ve told myself repeatedly that they will only believe me if my body is proof. My boyfriend tried to discourage this thought process, and it’s worked. I don’t feel any better, though.

I am truly scared that they will look me up and down, and say “Go home!”

Living in a new home with a new group of people whom I’ve told my issues to, makes me feel I should starve more than I do. I’ve been doing well in keeping myself fed and healthy, though I’m a few pounds short of what my doctor wanted me to be. I get worked up by telling myself they think I’m faking it and that I should prove my disorder, somehow.

I’m conflicted in this instant. I am not having a good day. My thoughts are scattered and I don’t think I even got a portion of them down in this post.

I will try to be more present. If not here, on my social media (Facebooktwitter, Instagram).

I apologize for the hiatus.

 

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Disability Income Misconceptions

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Welfare and Disability seem to be taboo terms. There is no way of bringing it up into conversation without a stigmatized comment being proclaimed. Someone always has something to say about their preconceived notions of these income support cheques. Whether they don’t understand the reasoning or they choose not to, it doesn’t mean their opinion is fact. They may not know someone personally who is deemed disabled by the government, but these misconceptions and myths need to be debunked.


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You’re lazy. The general public sees this form of income as a way of cheating society and laying around doing nothing, without taking into consideration the reason someone may need to rely on these programs. When it comes to disability, despite some of us not being employed, the majority of us are not trying to abuse the system or sit down and let the money roll in; we understand what we’ve been given in respect to our disability.

A disabled person does not find happiness or glee in being couch-bound for days on end. We do not feel pride in the need to have government support. We do not want to flaunt our inability to work; we just strive to survive as comfortably as we can and obtain the services we need to hopefully, one day, not be considered disabled (if possible).

There are days that we cannot get up or function, especially when mentally ill. We spend our days trying to get by; survival is our biggest feat. We are in constant pain and turmoil, but we have drive and ambition, like the rest of humanity. Many of us are creative and productive folk; trying to contribute in our personal methods.

If a constant battle with ourselves is translated into laziness, we are not the problem. Not to mention, nobody would want to trade a few shifts a week for daily torture and self-doubt.

If we could work, we would. We want to be able to function along with society, but we can’t, and we need help. And honestly, that’s okay. There’s help for a reason.

You don’t deserve it. If we didn’t deserve it, and there wasn’t a reason for us to receive this money, we wouldn’t have been accepted in the disability support programs. Obviously, there is someone out there in these companies that believes our problems are valid, and affect our ability to be employed. Your opinion regarding our personal lives and income is none of our business.

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You can’t work. This is ultimately false, and is a statement some of us on disability may also believe true. Depending on the program or where you live/receive your income from, we are able to work. In Ontario, Canada, Ontario Disability Support Program allows its clients to work as much as they please, with acceptable deductions. Up to 2oo$ will go untouched, the rest will be divided in half, and you will be awarded 100$ for working.

Being on disability or welfare does not mean you can’t work; it means you need support to survive, and may not be able to work as often or frequently as someone who does not have a physical or mental illness. That being said, some people on disability cannot work at all, whilst some may work a 40 hour work week.

Only the physically disabled should have access. It would not be incorrect to state that the majority of people who believe this may also believe that mental illness is made up and inherently false. Mental illness can affect you as dangerously as physical illness, and cannot be compared on the same wave length. A mental illness, such as depression or schizophrenia, can be deadly and drive someone to commit suicide, or cause psychotic symptoms that cause danger to the individual and others.

Physical disability is as valid as mental disability, and cannot be swept under the rug for its physical nonappearance to the naked eye.

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You’re abusing the government and tax payers. No. There are reasons why these programs were put into place; the public needs the service. The government wouldn’t implement such a program for people when they don’t need it, just to lose money.

Tax is divided in the regions that need it; health care, education, construction, companies, etc. Disability income support happens to be one of those sections. Your taxes are going in various places, and even if you don’t agree with where they go, it is for the government to decide. As long as they deem the service is needed, it will continue to be funded and available to those who need it.

You can trick the system. To think that you can abuse a system that has been developing over years is ridiculous. When we apply for disability, it is a lengthy process. They look into your assets, your living arrangements, your past employment and have access to any records they need. You cannot complete the application without signing that consent, and it can only be assumed that revoking consent would revoke your income.


Being on disability does not define someone or throw them into a category, and to believe someone is something based on how they survive is ignorance.

We cannot remove stigma or teach those who do not want to be taught, but we can continue to try and reduce stigma in the best ways we know.

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Borderlines & Love At First Sight

borderlines and love at first sight, idealization, borderline personality disorder, sloth speed recovery, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com

Love at first sight is the concept of falling in love with someone when we first meet them – quite self-explanatory. Mixing Borderline Personality Disorder with this concept can be detrimental and disastrous, especially one has not begun recovery. This is not to say Borderlines cannot fall in love quickly, nor that a newfound relationship can’t last, but mainly that it can, and most always is unhealthy.

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A prodominant trait about BPD is black and white thinking. This is applied to everyday situations, where the individual will only see something as all good or all bad; there rarely is an in-between. Our relationships are not safe from this, and often crumble on our part because of it.

Love at first sight is accompanied with the honeymoon phase. Everything seems to be going well. This partner is providing for us, willing to take long car rides to visit us, loves our favourite movies, can have meaningful conversation and is great in bed. We believe that we’ve never been with someone this amazing or loving, and could be convinced this person is the one.

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Taking this stance is idealization, and overly common in BPD. We are looking through a positive lens, and any bad trait is not apparent to us yet. Somehow, we are capable to ignore the bad, or it just hasn’t been presented to us yet. We become enamored with their personality, their looks and their willingness to be there for us. Negativity seems impossible, and we have set high expectations that no person could ever meet, setting ourselves up for failure.

It is quite possible that, with such a short period of time, they’ve been in a good mood and have only been showing their positive traits, but as things settle down and they realize it is getting serious, that front comes down. Humanity comes through.

Maybe they are loud-mouthed, have disagreeable opinions, spend too much time away from home for your liking, participate in a lifestyle you do not approve of or have other traits you are not fond of. It is human to have these traits and is, for the most part, okay. But, not for someone with BPD.

For someone with Borderline, this person has changed. Their personality was faked, and they’ve been dishonest. We feel tricked. We fell in love mindlessly without taking into consideration the humanity of this person. We have fooled ourselves into a fantasy that can never become reality.

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We begin to realize that this person was never and will never be all good. They become all bad. They’ve rubbed us the wrong way. Next thing you know, we’ve cut them out, and moved on; ready for another black and white heart-break.


Breaking black and white thinking:

To change our habit of black and white thinking, we must break the habitual cycle.

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Challenge it. Try to view things from a different perspective. Observe a friend; notice how they have good qualities and bad qualities. Maybe you feel they don’t listen to people enough, but they have always been there for you. Anytime you catch yourself thinking  in extremes, remind yourself that this is not the full person and that they are not “all” anything.

Step back. Catch yourself when you start idealizing someone. Take a step back and consider why. Is it happening because of a recent tragic event, a vulnerable emotion, adrenaline or it being a newfound experience? Begin to understand your personal reasons for letting yourself idealize someone and let yourself down with unattainable expectations.

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Accept reality. Understand humanity. People are good and bad. They may be a good listener, but make selfish decisions. They may believe racism is wrong, but still act in homophobic ways. They may give you a gift, but talk behind your back. It doesn’t mean any of these things are right or wrong, but it’s important to accept that everyone has their quirks and edges, that no person is perfect or will ever be perfect. Accept that other people make mistakes, too; whether they are sick or not. Even in the happiest relationships, the couple makes sacrifices regarding the things they don’t like about one another. It is not your responsibility to love or hate everything about anyone.

Practice. Attempt to look at things in a gray perspective. Observe others, locations, systems, political views, art pieces and yourself. Practicing to view yourself in an objective manner may actually build self-acceptance and understanding. When you accept that you are human; that you have qualities and faults, you may begin to love yourself, and accept others for their imperfections. Disappointment and let-downs will be lesser.

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As you gain experience with these techniques, a spectrum of shades will be apparent to you; you will be able to be more critical and objective in relationships, understanding the difference between your behaviours and develop a positive outlook on relationships. You will become more tolerable of people and their faults, making your love life go smoother as partners will feel accepted and understood by you.

You must remember that this takes time. You cannot possibly expect yourself to be great at this skill overnight. Allow yourself to grow slowly, at your own pace, with no pressure.