I Am Enough, And So Are You

I Am Enough, And So Are You

Mindset
Image from Redbubble Reminding myself that I am enough is a lifelong process. I write it on my mirror, put it on the background of my phone, and set reminders to keep reinforcing this belief. Recently I even wrote a poem about it on a day when I was having doubts. If you need help remembering that you are enough, keep repeating it. The brain needs repetition. Say it in the mirror, create mantras to repeat when you are struggling. Write your own poem. Here is my poetic reminder to you that you are enough. I am enough I am enougheven on the days when exhaustion keeps me in bed until noonand I don’t have the energy to take a shower I am enoughwith a migraine raging fury in my…
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On Being Unf***withable

On Being Unf***withable

Mindset
I am consistently hearing people talk about being fuckwithable. Sure, they don't use that word, but they say things like, "You make me so mad! " or "This makes me feel sad. or "I know he is just a guy from Tinder, but I still obsess over why he hasn't texted me in 3 hours!" In many cases, people are handing over control of their emotions to other human beings. When you say, "you make me feel.." you are giving power to someone else, whether you realize it or not. That means you have the option to take back the control. In the case of someone not calling us back, we know rationally that the reaction is silly. But maybe we don't feel in control of changing it. There are…
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Identifying Negative Self-Talk

Identifying Negative Self-Talk

Mindset
I used to have trouble deciphering what "negative self-talk" meant and how to determine what was constructive and what was not. In the beginning, I only pulled out the really major negative messages with words like stupid, lazy, worthless, etc. ⁠I had no idea that there was more to negative self-talk than these obvious problems. Why Does Negative Self-Talk Matter? This whole idea stems from the principle that we all spend most of our time with ourselves. Therefore, a lot of time we are talking to ourselves even if it's not verbal, it is inside our heads. So it's important to pay attention to what we are saying to ourselves. On one hand, we have to tell ourselves what we need to work on to stay motivated and to grow.…
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Protecting My Energy

Protecting My Energy

Mindset
Learning to empower instead of enabling The phone rings, and I feel obligated to answer. Cindy, a new acquaintance, is hysterical on the other end. I drop everything I’m doing to rush to her apartment. I need to make sure the assignment she was working on is still somewhere on her computer. The deadline is tomorrow, and she doesn’t know what happened to it. Luckily, I’m a computer whiz and must have bragged about it while making small talk the first time I met Cindy. After rushing out of my house to put out the fire, I return home exhausted. Her nervous energy and panic were all it took to drain my reserves, and even though I had my own paper to write, I curl up on the couch for a recharge nap.…
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Are you authentic?

Are you authentic?

Mindset
And what does it mean? “Who are you?” I was asked that question in an interview on Monday. I fumbled a lot because I have this definition of WHO I am, but I didn’t feel like it was the answer my interviewer was looking for. What did I say? I answered that I was a life coach, an American living in Myanmar, a former ESL teacher, and a person with narcolepsy and chronic migraine. Why? The interview was for a volunteer position with the Migraine World Summit, so that’s what seemed relevant. We’ve been trained to show the sides of us that make us most qualified for a position in life, to get the job. Even though I know better, my training kicked in, and I said what I had…
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Accepting the Changes to My Sexual Identity

Accepting the Changes to My Sexual Identity

Personal Story
And being okay if others don't Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash Kisses scatter across my long, pale, leg as I hurriedly tell my friend I will have to call her back at another time. His dark hair tickles my thigh as he moves lower, kissing me next to my knee. I feel so ticklish and giggly and 100% completely in love with this man. But there are things I miss about my identity when I was dating a woman. Being LGBTQ I miss my individuality. I miss being recognized as an LGBTQ person by outsiders, even if I never felt accepted by the community. It may be shallow but know its true because every chance I get, I slip it into conversations. “You know, before I met my current partner, I was…
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Five Ways to Respond to Rude Comments

Five Ways to Respond to Rude Comments

life hacks
No one can reject you without your permission We all want to be more connected; genetically we are programmed to seek connection because in our more primitive forms we needed our tribe or group for survival. But when someone rejects you, you need to know how to respond to rude comments in order to keep your self-esteem in tact. Long ago, rejection meant being shunned, banned, or excommunicated. This type of punishment was worse than death. Our bodies are still programmed to respond to rejection negatively, even though we don’t require our peers’ help with basic needs like food, water, or shelter and security anymore. That explains why we feel our adrenaline spiking when we face rejection. Our hearts beat faster, and we feel our pulse quickening. In those moments,…
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Choosing Life

Choosing Life

Personal Story
Choosing life didn't even feel like an option when I was depressed...  One morning I heard my alarm ringing. I buried my head under the pillow, like covering my head in cotton would make the day dissipate. My roommate threw a book at my legs to get my attention. I regretted that the sound was also disturbing her rest, so I sat up and turned it off.  As I hunkered there below the ceiling taking shallow breaths, exasperated before even leaving my lofted bed, I vowed to myself this wouldn’t go on much longer. I was 18 years old, and for the previous months, I had been applying to colleges. But I didn’t see myself [caption id="attachment_976" align="alignright" width="225"] This was me in April 2010[/caption] there. I didn’t see myself…
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Letter From a Person Living with Narcolepsy

Letter From a Person Living with Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy, Personal Story
Dear friend, Do you remember that time we had big plans to do something amazing on the weekend? I told you at the last minute that I really wanted to go but I just couldn’t do it.  Well, I remember it. Because it was hard for me to make the decision to take care of myself instead of going to do something fun that I was really looking forward to. What did I do that day? Instead, I spent the day making sure I had healthy food lined up for the week. As part of my self-care routine, I took a few short controlled naps. Focused on physical and mental health, I drank a gallon of water and meditated. I arranged my calendar for the week so I would not…
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Tell me how you take time to love yourself!

Tell me how you take time to love yourself!

Narcolepsy
Write down the five things that are most important to you in the whole world. I'll wait a moment while you do that…. If you are anything like me, your list may include values like independence or peace; it may consist of goals or aspirations, or people like your family or friends. But tell me, are YOU on that list? (more…)
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My New Year’s Revolution

My New Year’s Revolution

Mindset, Narcolepsy
Most New Year's Resolutions I have made in the past have been about changing myself.  They could be changing my appearance, like losing weight or taking better care of my skin. Others have been about making more money or saving more money in the hopes of feeling a certain way.  Some have been about exercising more, doing more meditation, or reading more books. But this year I am going to try something different. (more…)
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5 Things You Can Do NOW to Manage Narcolepsy

5 Things You Can Do NOW to Manage Narcolepsy

Lifestyle, Narcolepsy
Can Narcolepsy be cured? While narcolepsy can still not be cured, there are lots of things we can do to manage narcolepsy.  There are so many different narcolepsy treatments available, we don't have to give up.  Everyone has to find the narcolepsy treatment options that work for them! Some people choose to treat narcolepsy naturally.  There are ways for us to mitigate our symptoms without taking narcolepsy medication. We want to beat the brain fog, fight fatigue, and take back control over how we feel.  This list is about short-term goals!  Try one or more of them NOW! (more…)
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Loving Myself with Narcolepsy

Loving Myself with Narcolepsy

Mindset
Maybe the most important lesson I have learned about feeling better is just loving myself with narcolepsy.  I'm not going to lie and say it's easy.  But I do think this is especially important for people with a chronic illness. I have ups and downs and I'm constantly working to try to do it more consistently.   It's easy to get into negative patterns and tear ourselves down. It takes a lot of practice to reverse that so that we are consistently giving ourselves positive messages. (more…)
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Positive Affirmations

Positive Affirmations

Mindset
Harsh rays of sunlight are scratching at my eyelids, begging to be let in.  I squint trying to lift the heavy lids and figure out where I am at.  It doesn't feel like my pillow or my bed, and my window faces West. I'm never harshly woken like this in the morning. It's a hotel, and the "blackout curtains" they boasted about on their page do not reach the ceiling.  It must be nearly 7:00 am anyway, so its time to wake up. Even on vacation, I don't dare sleep in and disturb my circadian rhythms.  That would send me crashing into a cycle of narcolepsy symptoms that I don't like dealing with.   I can read all the tips for wakefullness in the world and work on my sleep…
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