A Way To Deal With Negative People

I can see proof of my own successes all around me — my book, my wedding ring, a baby sipping milk. Despite some heavy stuff, I have shown up and conquered. We all have these things. You might have a diploma on your wall, own your own house, can complete crosswords in record time or maybe you do good work in the world.

We walk around, doing these lovely things, and then someone says something negative — about our project or our attitude or our parenting or our diet or whatever! Why is it that we sometimes listen to negative people?

I don’t mean horrible people. It could be a loved one “trying” to get through to you or “trying” to help.

I’ve been thinking about relocating. There is a lot to think about and I have a lot of opinions of my own to contend with, so I really didn’t need the steady stream of insults from my friend. They ranged from “you’re going to fail at this” to “I already know you’re going to do the wrong thing” as they gave me advice about what to do.

The minute that someone says something negative, I can’t follow their advice anyway. I can’t even really keep listening. I just keep repeating the insult in my head.

Now, I just cut someone out of my life for being TRULY toxic. This isn’t one of those people. He’s not trying to be mean — it’s just how he expresses himself to prove that HIS ideas are correct and you reeeeallllly should listen to him or everything will go horribly wrong.

Maybe it will. But maybe it won’t. I don’t need to hear any of these insults. Period. My therapist recently told me to write down whatever crazy negative insulting thing they say. This way you have a record of it so you can’t think, “Nah, it wasn’t that bad, I must be projecting.”

You can address them about it directly, of course, but what’s most important is to address yourself. I’m afraid of relocating and all the decisions that come with it, but — and this is from my therapist — I must remind myself of what I have already accomplished successfully with my own hard work. So, I tell myself some good, real things. For example, I think I have successfully been keeping my blog up for however many weeks and meetings some cool people I wouldn’t have met any other way. I created that myself, I did that.

Don’t tell yourself stuff like, “I’m great!” I’m sure you are — but you won’t believe it! However, you MIGHT believe yourself when you give yourself some concrete examples of all the times you didn’t fail.

Have any other great ways to deal with these people??? Let us know!

 

10 Ways To Cope Between Therapy Appointments

Sometimes you NEED to see your therapist — but you have to wait. Maybe you just saw her, maybe your insurance doesn’t cover it until you wait a certain amount of time or maybe you’re waiting to see a new therapist. Whatever the reasons, you’re counting the hours. Obviously if this is an emergency – you call 911. Yep. We know. This is for those times when you’re just feeling anxious and need to put yourself in a different head space to distract you from your problems.

1. Figure out all the things you are looking forward to that will happen before your appointment. There aren’t any? Create some. This could be anything from lunch with friends, going to the park with your kids, getting your nails done, binging a show on Netflix. Write a list!

2. Take photographs. For me, taking pictures in nature is my go to. I try to find beautiful things. This is not a bad habit to have because you are paying attention the outside world – not your own thoughts. Don’t want to take pictures? Try the same thing with Pinterest. Hunt and gather pretty things.

3. Journal! Go ahead and ruminate all you want in that thing. Write about what is bothering you over and over and over again. It will not complain.

4. Creative writing. I’m a poet, so I’m a big fan of this one. Anyone can write! Here is a free rainbow color coded poetry prompt – those are suuuuper fun. You can write in any genre. Fact or fiction.

4. Get crafty. When I had my painful pregnancy I needed things that took time to distract me from the entire experience. This purse from A Beautiful Mess was the Perfect distraction. It took time picking out the yarn, it took time wrapping them up and creating tassels and adhering them to the bag. And at the end of it? I had an awesome bag AND some new skills! There are DIYs allll over the internet just waiting for you!

5. Plan meals that are healthy but YUMMY. Love mac and cheese? Find a healthy mac and cheese recipe on the internet that you have never tried – what’s nutritional yeast? – and then make it. This way you’ll be comforting yourself with something you like, but you’ll also be making something and learning a new way to do something.

6. Write handwritten letters to friends or family. They will feel really loved when they get it, it will take some time for you to do, and you’ll be forced to write about what good things are happening. For example, today was a realllllly bad pain day for me and I had to be heavily medicated for it. That’s not what I would lead with if I wrote a letter to my brother in San Francisco. I’m pretty sure I’d tell him about how Elro is trying to sit up, she’s having long conversations with the dog and she tried mango for the first time.

7. Exercise. Yeah, this should have been number 1, I know, I know. I took a brief nature walk this morning – before all the pain – and it was AMAZING. I wondered why I didn’t do it all the time. Now I know. So, if you can exercise? Do it! Too freaked out to leave your house? Walk around your house. Even better? Put on some awesome music and DANCE around your house. It counts.

8. Clean and organize. This has really been a life savor for me. When I have the energy to organize or clean something I feel VERY busy and I don’t think about any of my problems, and then I feel super proud of myself for getting it done. It makes me happy! What a perfect distraction.

9. Once I needed to see my therapist but she was on vacation. I went online and saw an online therapist. It was so easy, so helpful and I didn’t need a baby sitter. So, I actually dropped my therapist and kept the online one. And, if SHE isn’t available? I could see anyone with an open time slot

10. Treat yourself! I’m talking amazing baths, your softest pajamas, and your favorite movie. Treat yourself to a massage or use your favorite lotion. Find a way to express gratitude for yourself. Loving yourself in all the waiting-for-the-next-thing parts of life is so ridiculously important. Good luck!

 

 

Interview With Heather Thomson

 

For people who aren’t All-Things-Heather-Obsessed like me, could you explain some challenges you and your son have faced?

Getting Jax the proper nutrition has been one of biggest challenges. He has a lot of food allergies and so it makes it very hard to ensure he is getting enough healthy calories, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It was a catalyst that sent me to nutrition school. The underbelly of that degree has helped clear the confusion and help him heal through the power of food.

How has he been doing recently, since you left the show? 

Jax is a strong growing boy! He has been doing really well. He is enjoying being back to school and his video game! We recently we got a family dog that he is completely in love with and brings him joy every day.

Do you have any advice for mothers whose kids are facing health challenges?

Do your research, be your own advocate, learn how food and nutrition can help your children grow and be healthy. Educate yourself.

Do you have any personal mantras or positive affirmations to get through the difficult times?

I love the mantra from my friend Eric Weinhenmayer – the founder of a nonprofit No Barriers that I am an ambassador for —  it says… “What is within you is stronger than what’s in your way!”

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your son? 

Patience.

What charities are you working on?

I love doing charity work and have my hands in a lot of great organizations, this fall (Oct 5-6) I will be speaking for No Barriers in New York on the intrepid, about nutrition and wellness, and using the two to overcome obstacles and barriers in your life.

What’s next for you?

I recently launched my own superfood nutritional brand called Nutritionairy! It’s exclusively sold on Evine, the home shopping channel. I will be back on air October 22 and 23rd, with two new products added into my nutrition line.

 Where did you learn your confidence and your go-for-it-attitude?

I grew up with a single mom raising two girls. She is a very strong and spirited woman who taught me a lot. I also played a lot of sports — sports are a great way to build confidence!

You did so much charity work on the show – and I’m not forgetting how awesome it was that you hired Aviva to walk the runway! Do you think you raised the bar? What do you think of Bethenny’s work for Puerto Rico, for example? 

I think anytime you can reach across the aisle and help someone who is less fortunate than you it is a fantastic thing!!

Do you still watch RHONY? 

No, I am super busy and don’t ever have time to watch television. If I do it is moments with my children watching a movie or one of their favorite shows.

Do you still hang out with any of your cast mates? 

Yes, I talk to Carole a lot and we see each other as often as we can. I keep in touch with Ramona and when I’m in the Berkshires I run into Dorinda and we’ll have a hang.

Do you have an all time favorite quote from the show? Mine happens to be “It’s about Tom.” I would have put in my favorite Heather quote but there is cursing in it. 🙂

Not really….. that’s a hard one because there are so many funny one liners, and silly things that we said to each other along the way!! 🙂

Thank you so much, Heather!

My Little Pumpkin Baby

::This is a guest post written by Rebekah Taussig.  After you read it check out her blog and instagram @sitting_pretty::

In the last couple of weeks, my four-year-old niece (aka, My Little Pumpkin Baby), has become curious about my paralyzed legs. “Do you use that wheelchair aaaaaall day long? Why don’t you walk down the stairs?” We chat about it. “I got veeery sick when I was littler than your little sister,” I say. “I can’t walk, but I can wiggle my foot.” I can see her turning these ideas over, but I’m not sure she’s grabbing onto any of them.

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Then she gets into the markers. The vivid, ink-soaked illustrations turn into coloring the inside of her belly button — covering her body in swatches of red and blue. She turns to me. “Do you want me to color your legs, too?” she asks. “Yes!” I say. “Please.” She starts scribbling my shins — purple and yellow and blue and green. I wonder if this is the idea she’ll absorb more than the others. Both of our bodies — her little, squirmy one and my older, scarred one — warm, moving pieces of art.

Lavender Snail Mobile

Elro loves mobiles. She even seems stoked when the materials for a mobile come in the mail — but perhaps I’m projecting.
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A made a lot of braids in different colors of lavender and white, all the same length. It takes two pairs of braids to make a snail. (One braid is one half of the snail shell.) I wanted some bigger, thicker snails, so two of the snails are made up of 9 strands. That is, ONE BIG snail is made up of two braids. Those braids are each made up of a 9 stranded braid — I just braided three strands as if it were one. 1. This is what a bunch of braids looks like! 2. I started sewing them together, sort of like a braided rug, but it was tedious and so I turned on the glue gun and MAN that worked better! 3. I cut out a snail-body out of felt, then glued it onto one side of the shell. I then glued the other side of the shell on so it was, you know, wearing a shell from all angles. 4. My dog started doing this thing where he wanted me to give him the bells. I bought these bells on Amazon and tied one to the bottom and then the top of one string. So each string went bell, snail, bell. Please note that ::I:: don’t feel that this is entirely safe. I would not leave my daughter alone with this mobile because I would be afraid she would somehow get a bell off, and the bell is the perfect size to get lodged in her throat. This is a toy we play with together and I watch her closely as she plays with it and pack it high and safe when she’s done with it. I then tied these strands to a embroidery hoop, along with some felt lavender I had already made months ago for another project. There are felt lavender DIYs all over the internet, but basically you’re going to need felt, wire and a glue gununnamed-4

 

 

I set up the mobile outside so what you’re seeing here is the fence. I just don’t want you to think the walls of my house are that filthy! 🙂

Elro was very happy.

unnamed-5.jpgRaeRoseDIY.JPGsnailsI love how full of wonder she looks here. Magical!

Rae Medicated vs Rae Unmedicated

Do you know when you get really really mad from a post on Facebook that you just want to scream? People are STILL telling people with bipolar disorder, the disorder I have and treat successfully with medication, that you can treat it with yoga and diet and freaking herbs. That medication will make you a “zombie.” Ummmm, yeah, if you take too much of it. If you take something that doesn’t agree with you. If your doctor is terrible.  There is a clear difference to me between my life medicated and non-medicated. I’m not saying don’t go to yoga — go to yoga! Eat a great diet! Take herbs if you want! But please don’t tell people they don’t need meds!

 

Unmedicated, I:

Dropped out of five different colleges.

Dated terrrrrrible people.

Haaaaaaated myself.

Scared my family constantly — would I kill myself?

Medicated, I:

RaeRose.jpgI wrote a book!

ADK-0020 Got a dog.

ADK-0019 Married a nice guy.

ADK-0022Earned an MFA.

ADK-0021Had a medicated pregnancy. 

unnamed-3And now I’m a medicated mama! Thank you, science! So, no, Stacy-or-whatever-your-name-was… the answer isn’t diet. This is the best time in history to have bipolar disorder — because we have medication that treats it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large Felt Cacti

I wanted to make something at least three feet tall and three feet wide out of felt, and since I had a ton of green felt, the decision was made. A cactus! But this time it is for my room, so I could make it a little more colorful and a little more muppet-y than if I was making it for a classroom or a friend.

1 With orange paper I cut out my pattern. I had enough felt to make six of these pieces of cacti. 2. I chose a different color for each one and on one side of each pieces I used embroidery thread to make stitch marks that reminded me of spines. 3. It took forever! 4. I paired up two pieces to create three pieces of cacti, then put it up on my bulletin board to try and figure out how to piece it together. RaeRosecraft

5 I pinned them together when I had it figured out. Then I made a blanket stitch around half of the entire cacti. 6. I stuffed it with cotton, then closed it up with a blanket stitch. 7. To make it be able to stand straight I put a bag of lentils on one side. 8. I stuffed the pot (It was a formula canister) a bit to make the cacti stand a bit taller.

RaeRosefelt

9 Now my cacti is standing despite it’s (intentional) lopsidedness. 10. I started out really simple with the flowers, but my inner muppet came out when I remembered it was going in my room so I went a little wild with them. You’ll see. 11. Yikes that silver had to go so I used an adhesive spray and some fabric to cover that up. 12. I put it in the backyard for Elro to see during one of our let’s-explore-the-garden mornings.feltcactusdiy

But, this cacti is for me. I am aware that it would look better in a bigger “pot,” but we have so many of these formula cans so I’m just going with it for now and will probably change it up when I find that-perfect-fit. Here it is set up in my crazy pink room.

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Flamingo Girl

Kenny Fries was my first advisor when I attended Goddard College to get my masters. When I walked into his office he smirked at me and said, “You can guess why we were paired up.”

This was the first time I spoke to someone with a physical disability who knew I was disabled. It was the beginning of my education about disability.

There have been a couple times when I have been obviously physically disabled – when I had a stroke and brain surgery I used a wheelchair and then a cane. And an eye patch, because something got messed up with my eyes during the surgery. I was also temporarily physically disabled when I was pregnant from SPD and used a cane or a walker.

ACS-0318.JPGBut for the most of my life? I’ve looked like everyone else. Mmm, maybe Jewishy and redheads aren’t totally common, but, no one would guess the hell I was going through in my mind. I’m diagnosed with bipolar 1, PMDD and OCD.

I remember telling Kenny how something was difficult, and I didn’t understand why it was so difficult or why I felt different than everyone in my class. He shrugged and said, “You have an invisible disability.”

He called me Flamingo Girl in the summer. Someone had put those plastic flamingos in the grass. My eyes are still a little wonky and so on the way to his office my eye sight made it look like there were dozens of them, moving. It startled me each time.

I read disabled writers, I got hip to the vernacular, I started accepting myself — but somewhere during my pregnancy I forgot that I was disabled– or maybe, maybe I never really accepted it? Maybe I just have to keep accepting it daily? Some of my friends tell me I’m not disabled.

They think disability is a level you get to, or the way you look. They can do an impression of it. They say, of course you could get a job at the market.

I couldn’t.

Well. I could. I could probably get the job.

When I go to sleep, I don’t really know if it’s going to work. The next day might be a day of catching up on sleep because I was unable to sleep off my medication or I had to take more medication than usual. I can’t apply to a job at the store and then show up every day. I might for a couple of days, but there would be a time I would be unable to do it. That’s just one of the many, many, annoying and real reasons I can’t get a “normal” job. My disability shows itself daily to me. I need to accept it. I need to accept it before my baby can understand words. I can’t teach her self hate.

But how? How do you embrace being a Flamingo Girl?

How do you forgive yourself for being different, maybe especially when you don’t look different?

For my daughter’s 4 month birthday I made her a dress with flamingoes on it and visited my hometown of Rainbow California. I started writing.

I’m trying to figure this out, Elro. I swear to you I am.

ACS-0314

A Rebel Brand by Rebekah Taussig

::This is a guest post written by Rebekah Taussig. It’s so romantic and lovely! After you read it check out her blog and instagram @sitting_pretty::

After Micah’s accident a few months ago, he picked out a cane with blue flower print and a glow-in-the-dark handle. (Who knew Walgreens had it in ‘em?) When he was first linked to a mobility aid I felt self-conscious going out in public. I’m used to people staring at me (my wheelchair) in public. I’m growing to love my strange body, to be #seenwithoutshame. But doubling-up on the mobility aids? Pairing the paralyzed legs with the slow limp? Would all of that shame in difference, in inconveniencing, in deviating from the “ideal” tumble back on me? Would we feel like a spectacle? An unsightly pair of helpless wrecks?

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What really happened surprised me.
I loved it.
We had a cripple aesthetic. We were a rebel brand. A couple of #babeswithmobilityaids, disruptive rioters through the simple act of existing together in public. It felt good. And right. And a glimpse at a possible future: a world where wheelchairs and canes and service animals and scooters and walkers and crutches doesn’t signify sadness or inspiration or pity or fear, but fits into our fashion like glasses or coats or big floppy sun hats. Where they’re made with style in mind — with patterns and colors, class and flair. Objects that signify taste and personality. I see it, I feel it, and I insist on believing #thefutureisaccessible.
Let’s make it happen.