Monday, July 30, 2012

The Superwoman Syndrome (Part 1 of 2)

In the last ten years, a number of my friends and family members have endured a number of major challenges and suffered some significant loss. There response to their experiences with loss and hardship have been what I think of as normal. They admit and demonstrate sadness, grief, frustration, anger, hopelessness, and depression. While I think all of these responses are normal, I do feel that people should do whatever they can to rise from the ashes and find their way to a place of healing, wholeness, and recovery.

Do I think it's easy? Of course, not. It takes a lot of hard work to dig yourself from the rubble of your shattered pieces of your life. However, I think that staying underneath all of that rubble will only cause further injury, more loss, and possibly even death.

Nearly thirty years ago, I started losing my eye sight due to an aggressive case of Glaucoma. Almost overnight, I went from being a highly active kid, who love to read, write, ride bikes, paint, sculpt pieces of art, and play kid sports; to a frightened, sick kid, who was locked within the blinding uncertainty of each day. I couldn't see well enough to read any of my books, ride my bike, play sports with the other kids in the neighborhood, or paint. Even my handwriting took a hit. My once perfect handwriting and cursive started looking like oversized chicken scratch. I felt sad, hopeless, ashamed of my physical disability, punished, victimized, and deeply depressed.

At the age of thirteen, my family made a decision to send me to Austin, Texas to attend the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Being forced to go to the state’s blind school was the icing, the whip cream, and the candle on top of my two layer cake of total despair. The only thing I thought could happen to me that was worse than what I was already going through was total sight loss. So, I made a decision at thirteen that I would kill myself if I ever lost all of my sight. I was fully convinced that I couldn’t live my life as a blind person.

Each night, I would call my mother and father collect from the payphone in the girls' dorm and cry on the phone at least fifty percent of the conversation. They would try to console and encourage me to be strong. After I would get off the phone with them, I would give it a try, but I would still fall in my mode of feeling weak, depressed, and hopeless.

I would also call my mother’s friend, BJ, who later became a great friend to me. I would tell her all the stuff I would tell my parents when I would call them. She also made strong attempts to cheer me up, but depression still burdened me. One evening, I called BJ with heaviness on my heart, tears in my eyes, and whining in my voice. BJ said something to me that I will never forget.

“Okay… You’re blind. And at this point, there’s nothing that any of us can do about it. It’s time to end that pitiful, poor me, blind, little girl bullshit. What are you going to do with the rest of your life? It’s not up to your mama or your daddy to make the best of this situation. It’s up to you.”

That challenge shocked and even slightly offended me. However, my spirit was awakened and jolted into a place of self-confrontation.

What was I going to do with the rest of my life?

**I’ll post the other half of this tomorrow.**

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blogging While Disabled

I'm thinking about starting another disability blog. This particular blog will not just focus on one disability. The new blog will be a platform to allow individuals that have been impacted by disability to share their stories.

I'm going to need help with this project!!!!!!!!! I already know I can't do it alone.

So, please pray that I get connected with those that can and will help this new initiative achieve great success.

I'll keep you posted.

Angela Braden
Award Winning Blogger

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Back in the Groove

Almost a year ago, I began the journey to write my first memoir. A few months into the project, I became distracted with the usual suspects; family medical illness, unpaid bills, and wavering confidence. Well, I'm back at it. This time, I'm going to write until the first draft is complete. I will not allow one day to pass me up without writing for at least an hour. Wish me well.
And while you're wishing me well, go ahead and pray that when I finish this project, a literary agent and publishing house is waiting for me be their next successful author.


Monday, July 23, 2012

New Blogger?

Google has introduced their new Blogger interface. It appears that Blogger users will be forced to move to the new platform in the coming months. I certainly hope this move will be a polite, easy adventure. I would hate for my new home on the web to be unfriendly, barrier heavy, and inaccessible. So far, Google has a pretty good track record. Let's hope they maintain their trend to be considerate to blind computer users.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My birthday turned out okay.

For those of you that read my post the other day, please find comfort in knowing that my birthday turned out okay. It was a relatively quiet day. Thankfully, there were no fires to put out, no gunshot wounds to nurse, and no hot lava chasing me after an unexpected volcanic explosion. I made my family promise to give me 24-hours of drama free energy. For the most part, that's what they did. A day void of a crisis is a great day for me. It's worth more than any birthday gift you can find for me at the mall.

I will admit that my birthday was made special by all of the beautiful posts my family and friends left on my wall on Facebook. Sometimes, FB gets on my nerves. But on my birthday, I love it! It's not that I'm attention hungry. I just love reading posts from people that have touched my life in one way or another. It helps me remember how blessed I am to know so many absolutely groovy people.

I ended my birthday with dinner with my friend. He and I went to a texmex restaurant near my house. The drinks were okay. And the food was less than okay. But the company was great!!!!!! I appreciate him for insisting on getting me out the house.

Well, I'm already looking forward to my next birthday. My plan is to do something special in a beautiful city that I've never visited before.

Be well and in peace.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On the Eve of my Birthday

Here I am, only a few hours away from my birthday. Instead of me feeling happy, I'm incredibly frustrated and perplexed with almost every area of my life. I'm almost tempted to have a pity party instead of a birthday party. But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to insist on finding any and all reasons for me to be happy to be alive.

Message to me from me: Happy Birthday Angie. Don't let your family steal your joy, peace of mind, or compassion.