Positive Power Thinking

It has been hard to stay positive in the past few weeks. With the hate going on for the election from almost everyone, to the pain of life and body with me personally, to the fears of issues with my car and apartment, it has all been trying to distract me. Being focused on the positive has been exceptionally difficult.

But I have been here before.

I know this walls and darkness.

I can do better now.

One of the positives of coming off one of medications is my brain fog has lifted greatly. This has given me the ability to focus and think much more clearly for the first time in almost 2 years. I am not saying I haven’t been myself in that time, more of, I can do so with much less effort. I have always considered myself intelligent, and have been told so by others much more intelligent than I, and I feel like that part has been robbed from me in this time. Now it has taken quite a bit more to do my pain management as it takes a lot out of me to focus on not letting it effect my life. It is nice switch from focusing on my mind and thoughts to focusing on my body.

Looking ahead I have felt with the upcoming holidays, the presidential election and the results, and some more conventions, I am looking into spreading that positive thinking and prayer onto other people. In these times of holidays and the winter months, depression and loneliness can come over everyone. I am looking into a project that I have wanted to do for awhile.

It is no small task however.

I am wanting to go through my friends list on my personal social media sites, the email list of this blog, and all other outreaches I can and write at least one letter telling that personal that they are special and loved and that I am thinking and praying for them. I want to spread more love and joy to others.

And this is on top of my life, work, and writing on my blog.

However, I think the results would be more than worth it.

I am so thankful for what I have been given in my life. Yes, I write about my hard times and troubles here on my blog, but this is a great place to vent and to show others they are not alone in hardships or so that they know what someone living with invisible disabilities goes through. I have tried to show the opposite side of the coin and show the life and joy that can be had in spite of these trials. I have tried to bring something positive into this world.

I am trying my best to have an impact on this world, at least those in my reach, and be the most wonderful person I can be.

I ask you all, dear readers, that if you want to be part of my and joy making, I would ask you join the email list on my blog, follow my twitter or you can leave a message on this post or any others. I will see and respond. I will keep all information confidential, unless you say I can share it with others.

Lets bring back love for each other. Lets spread some joy.

#hugapony everyone.

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Happy thoughts.

It was a rough week last week. I cut out the primary pain medication I have been taking for almost 2 years. I am writing a post on it but it is still very emotional and painful for me to write about. In the meantime, I decided to write about something positive. Thinking positive in efforts to help those around me.

Today was Halloween and I was able to be with my wife and kids for most of the day. That alone is a positive. I have missed quite a few family events due to work and I was able to capitalize on this one, mush to my joy. It made me very happy.

I also was able to put on my ears for work. Being Halloween, they allowed some dress up. I personally try to seize every opportunity to have some fun and inject some craziness into everyone’s life. It reminded me of when I was a teenager.

In my teens I worn a rubber dog nose everywhere. Literally everywhere. I wore it for such long periods of time that the string broke. I wore it so much my face would have indentations for hours afterwards from where the plastic would have embedded itself in my face. I wore it to school, I wore it to go shopping, I even wore it to church! Why did I do it?

To make people smile.

Some of my favorite times were when I had a child or a grandmother smile because of what I was wearing. Seeing their faces light up with joy always brought a smile to me. Some kids would point and laugh and that’s okay some of them weren’t old enough to understand what I was doing. I just wanted to bring a little joy and light into the world and I felt I did by just wearing a simple dog nose.
Oh I had some of the older folks frown on me and tell me that I was doing something wrong which never made any sense to me. The occasional mother who would hush your child from having a laugh at my expense which was perfectly okay in my opinion. Still the mothers quieted the children because they did not want to cause a scene or any type of attention to what I was doing. It would always make me sad seeing somebody frown or look down upon me because of something I was doing. All I tried to do was just bring a little joy and light into everyone else’s lives around me.

When I worked at GameStop, I made sure to go out of my way to do you things, again, to bring a smile to people’s faces. Dressing up for a special event, or wearing the silliest hat to make people stop and laugh. Joy is something best spread around in my opinion and so I did my best to spread it around as much as I could. Being able to turn someone’s bad day into a good day was always a great feeling for me and I’m pretty sure it was a good feeling for those who I helped as well.

So tonight when I came into work I decided to throw on my ever so loved ears that I wear, again, pretty much everywhere. My co-workers all gave me a smile and said I was being silly. I told them right back that this is something that makes the night go by faster when you’re working. I had four or five customers come up to me and tell me how much they like my hat and in my opinion that’s me doing a good job and providing excellent customer service. Any chance of having a little silliness or having a little fun, especially at work, is a chance I always try to jump on.

And so dear reader, I hope that by sharing my story, I inspire you to do something to make someone else smile today. I welcome any and all comments in which you’ve made someone else’s day a little bit brighter. In this time of election, where the country and families seem to be torn apart by anger or hate  it seems only fitting to try and bring joy into other people’s lives. One of the things I’ve always noticed about bringing a smile to others is the smile that comes back to me. I do hope my story cheers you up a little and that you have a wonderful day.

#hugapony my friends.

I dedicate this post to JL. I hope I bring a little smile to you with this post.

Labor Day quickie.

I find the title funny because I am now employed! I am back in the labor force and am going to be stocking shelves overnight at a big box store. My family is in need of a little extra income to make it through the month and pay some bills off. I really wanted to be able to make my blog work on donations or my convention work to pick up the slack but that is not the case.

I hope everyone remembers to treat others as humans this weekend and not like robots. I do believe in good karma and treating our fellow man as a person and not a cog in a corporate machine. As you encounter people working this holiday weekend, go out of your way to say thank you. Make them feel special. You could help save a life.

A-kon panel #2

My second A-kon panel was not an easy one. I was part of a group that spoke on invisible diseases and disabilities. I was asked several months before, if I wanted to be a part of it. I jumped at the opportunity to speak. Unusual for a introvert like me. I, however, know that I have a way with words and thoughts and feelings. I know I can help people.

That I have, indeed, helped people.

We all gathered in a panel room, all unsure of what to expect. The room was almost filled. We sat down and our head panelist called everyone’s attention.

And we talked.

We, as the panelists, gave our stories. We gave our backgrounds and our illnesses. We gave our experiences. As our stories were told, I ended up passing some of the ponies I carry on me (my talisman against the evils of depression and anxiety) up and down the panel line to help every get through their stories. We gave a piece of ourselves to the crowd.

And they responded.

I do not believe there was a dry eye in the room. I saw some people get up and leave, only to come back with tissues.

Some cried for us. I had a close friend who said they could only see us as people she couldn’t help and wept. She had me in tears when I talked to her afterward. This kind and loving soul said she just wanted to give us all a big hug and make everything better.

Some cried with us. Some in the audience stood up to thank us. They were amazed that we had the courage to speak. They said they didn’t feel alone any more. We all were in a room that was a safe place, and the audience opened up.

It was awe inspiring.

After the panel the crowd came up to talk to each of us. Some wanted to know more of what we do to work through our illnesses. Others to reach out with encouragement. One will forever stick in my mind.

I have a wonderful young lady come up to me and thank me for speaking. She told me she had been fighting her own anxiety that day and had almost left several times, but she wanted to attend our panel. She said she was so glad she did. I thanked her for coming and started talking about what she had been through. She started to cry as I could see her beating herself up for having the anxiety but she didn’t know what else to do. She had nothing to help her.

She didn’t have a talisman against the dark.

I pulled out my mini Fluttershy and handed it to her. She took it as she wiped away tears. As she started to calm down, I asked her if she had heard of stuffed therapy. She said she had during my presentation but didn’t know much more than that. I told her that the plushie she held was the first step in helping. I showed her how much she had calmed down just by holding it and petting it. I showed her a weapon to fight with.

And I gave her my talisman.

The room stopped. Many there knew my symbol of stuffed therapy. Some knew it was my first plushie in this adventure. They knew it was my mini Fluttershy, and how special it was to me. Tears started to flow from my friends who were still in shock.

This wonderful person who clutched at the plushie started crying and hugged me tight. She thanked me over and over. She took a step back and looked at Fluttershy again. As she looked, I explained that that was my first plushie. I told her that I had it when I first went to the doctor. She look on in shock as I explained how much love and help that mini had given me. Shock then spread to the rest of the room as everyone saw me tell her that I wanted this dear girl, who was suffering, that I wanted her to take care of Fluttershy.

She broke down crying and hugged me again even tighter.

I said a quiet goodbye to one of my dearest friend who brought me so much strength and love. I passed her on to the next person to take care of her. I strengthen someone else to help them through life. I started to cry myself.

Everyone started to cry.

I am tearing up thinking about it now. I wonder how she is doing? I wonder how her mini Fluttershy is doing? I wonder if I helped enough?

I believe I did.

Goodbye once more, my dear friend. May you bring happiness and peace and love and joy to another as you did me. You were there for countless panic attacks. You were with me at my first doctors visit. You were there in the hospital when I was sick. You were there in the lowest times of my life. May you do well and do the same for her.

#hugapony my friends.

Pride, meet Fall.

The the human race is a very prideful race. You can take pride in your job. You take pride in your house and care. You take pride in your health, wealth, and everything. You take pride in helping others. Cosplayers take pride in costumes. Gamers take pride in their skill. Writers take pride in their words.

It is hard to accept help because that means you cannot hold to your pride of doing it yourself.

It be very humbling to sit there and accept help from others. I’ve been blessed beyond measure with friends and family who helped me in my life. I have seen more generosity and grace in the past few years then the rest of my life combined.

I am beginning to think humble is not a strong enough word for me anymore.

I humbled by the acts of my wife. She has carried the burden of children. She has stood by my side through fire and danger, poverty and wealth. She amazes me every single day.

I am humbled by the acts of my daughters. When they just come into my room to say that they love me. When they ask if I am having a bad day due to my mental issues. When they bring me a blanket and plushie because they heard me have a bad phone call. “Oh ye little pitchers with big ears.”

I am blessed beyond measure.

There are difficulties admitting that there’s something wrong or that you need help. Even if it’s meeting that means admitting it to ourselves. I have been put into many situations in the last few years that has made me ask, beg at times, for help. There is no pride in begging. Only someone broken on their knees.

I have had to ask, and still ask, for patience in my anxiety and depression. Being overwhelmed is never something you want to go through. These are issues I would not wish on anyone.

Last but certainly not least, I want to say “Thank you”.

To you reading this, you give me hope and inspiration that I can maybe help you understand my life. Maybe I bring entertainment and funny stories. I might even bring a small amount of joy to you. I thank you.

Thank you everyone who has been there for me personally, financially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. If I had time, and I want to make time, I would write each one of you and thank you personally. Let this be a statement, no, a declaration of thank you on this, my small part of the internet.

Thank you all who read this.

I don’t believe we say thank you enough in society. I want to change that. I will do it to any and everyone. Thank you for being here, on this earth. I challenge everyone to say thank you more.

One person at a time.

#hugapony my friends

#stuffedtherapy

Stealing Joy

I have teased this post enough and I hope it helps others and it has helped me. 

I have had a unique opportunity to enjoy three different events that I would not previously been able. These events have been documented in the last three blog posts, but I will summarize and detail why I would not attend them in the first place.

  1. The Zoo Run: I am not a morning person. I had to wake up myself, and the family at 6:30 am  to attend. I also do not like to run, or in this case walk, any distance.  Combine that with my anxiety in crowds and this was not where I wanted to be.
  2. The theme park: I normally enjoy theme parks when it is not a busy day, but in this case it was “Bring a Friend free” day. The park was PACKED with people. Lines to get food were an hour and a half long. Crowds we know are an issue so that was not fun. This was immediately following the zoo run so I had already walked 5k so what is another 10 for my legs?
  3. Wrestlemania. OK, I have not watched wrestling since I was a kid in the 90’s. This was one that was WAY outside my comfort zone. A friend called me last minute and asked me to go. I am not a last minute guy by any means. Crowds, loud noises, and sweaty men grappling each other are not my cup of tea. I had no vested interest in going.

Why did I do all these events?

For joy.

More specifically, the joy of others.

I made a mental decision to go to all these events not for me but for those around me. My family loves going to the zoo and we had friends who went with us. My daughters love going to the theme park as my youngest was able to ride more rides as she was taller this trip. My friend wanted someone to share the Wrestlemania experience. These were all acts the brought joy to others.

And in doing so gave joy to me.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared in the experiences. I grasped the joy that came off my family and friends and held it close. I used their joy to inject some back to me.

I stole their joy to increase my own happiness.

These are things, as I have said, I would not do under normal circumstances. However, I felt compelled to do them. I was presented with the option of doing or not doing these activities. Instead of my usual “Thank you, but no” response, I decided to take a risk.

And it paid off.

During the Zoo run, I was able to get my exercise, increasing blood flow and help fight off depression. I got to laugh at the crazy costumes with those around me. I got to see my daughters running and chasing their friend while their mother and I gasped for air at running to keep up with them. I got to see the wonderment that came across their faces when we got to the Zoo portion and the joy fill their bodies when they got to see lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). I felt fantastic at the joy around me.

At the Theme park, I was able to again see the excitement on the faces of the children (both mine and their friends) as we got to go on roller coasters and merry-go-rounds and log flumes. The ear piercing screams were a bit much but were almost magical in and of themselves. They laughed at the excitement and cried out in terror. The second to last ride of the day was my eldest daughters “Favorite ride ever daddy!”. More joy to seep myself with.

Wrestlemania was one were I did not have my family, only a good friend. Instead of just one person, I was swept up in the 100,000 people cheering, booing, laughing at the antics in the ring. Seeing everyone hiss and boo as the wrestler with a bad reputation comes strolling into the ring with a unique unification that amazed me. I had one little boy break down crying in front of me as his favorite fighter lost while his sister put her arm around him to comfort him. It didn’t last though, because by the next match the action was back again and the crowd was cheering. While I knew almost nothing about who was who or what was going on, the excitement was infectious. The joy of people enjoying themselves was thick in the air. I drank it in, stealing a part of it for myself.

As a known introvert, it was difficult to say yes to these events. I am more at home with a good book and a nice cup of tea or coffee. I made that decision to break me out of my comfort zone, some of which was with less than 12 hours notice, in order to find the joy I was lacking in myself.

So I ask, dear reader, are you lacking in joy? My pastor defined Joy as something that wells up inside us and is a consistent. Happiness can come from joy, but it will fade and leave emptiness. Words I took to heart when setting this up. I was seeking joy. And I found it.

In places and activities I would never have gone too.

When was the last time you took that plunge? When was the last time you said yes to something that you could do but you really just didn’t feel like it? You can come up with excuses. You can go and be a grouch and ruin not only your joy but others also.

Or.

You can go and look for the joy in places you didn’t expect. Try and seek it out. Judge not o, least ye be judged. Someone is having fun. Share in that fun. Someone is experiencing joy. Steal some of that joy for yourself.

You may be surprised at what you find with an open mind and a willing spirit.

Oh, and bring your plushie. I had several times I needed a moment to fight the anxiety, but the willingness and the strength I got using my talisman helped me through it.

#hugapony my friends. Go find joy.

#stuffedtherapy

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Jumping in the ring.

Teaser #3 for the up coming post Stealing Joy.

I am not a wrestling fan. I haven’t watched wrestling since the 1990’s. I have not been inclined to keep up with it. So when the opportunity came along when a friend asked me to go to the biggest wrestling match of the year, Wrestlemania©,  I was honestly expecting myself to decline.

Instead I said yes.

And what do you know I had fun.

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I will now complete my writing of “Stealing Joy”

#hugapony

#stuffedtherapy