Play It Loud

Play it loud
Drown out the world
The world’s crazy enough anyway
All those mixed up words
All those scripted lies
Trying to make you feel like someone understands
Play it loud
So no one can hear you scream
Drown out emotions
Drown out the world
Twisted words
They hurt so bad
Don’t try to get in
Because you’ll never get out
You can drown in my head
You can drown in these thoughts
So I play it loud
I drown out the world
Walk like nothing matters
Feeling lonely
Just stop
And play it loud
Life’s too short
To waste these moments away
Play it loud
Play it high
Let it in
And never let it out

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Finding a Community

“Why fit in when you can stand out?” is a quote that I feel can clearly resonate with other writers. Throughout history, writers have not always fit into the mainstream of society but that only strengthens their abilities to write. For some it is the sole reason that they write—to find an outlet where they can convey how they feel about their status in society.
Writing can seem like the most solitary of experiences at first. You can be sitting at your desk in your bedroom furiously scribbling down your thoughts in a notebook or scrambling to find anything that can be written on when you just have to get down what’s on your mind. The location doesn’t matter, what does matter is that you are alone in your writing process. This can be a source of frustration for many writers. They need to feel like they have someone they can share their writing with, someone else who can understand what they’re trying to express.
Once you have found someone who will collaborate with you in the writing process, it feels like a weight has been lifted. Suddenly there is someone out there who is going to help you on your journey of developing your writing. I have had numerous occasions throughout my life where I have been able to share my writing with others and learn how to improve my writing through their feedback. This feedback has helped transform me into the writer that I am today.
Finding a community is crucial for anyone who truly wishes to evolve as a writer and be able to have their own metamorphosis. At first it is difficult to have your writing evaluated by others but eventually you realize how beneficial it is. It enables you to develop a stronger sense of your voice and allow others to have a greater understanding of you as a writer.
Writing can be a transformative experience but you cannot allow yourself to be isolated as a writer. You have to find ways to share your writing and let others help show you just how powerful a writer you can be. I also experience reluctance about sharing my writing with others but I have found that the feedback I receive only helps me to blossom as a writer. You can learn from courses such as this how to enhance your writing abilities and enable your writing to have a personal impact in the lives of others.
As a writer you are constantly learning how to share your insights on life and the world around you and showing how you fit into society. You can learn from the experiences of others and empathize with their triumphs and failures. Once you are a writer, you become a lifelong student as you never stop learning how to improve and why your writing matters to others.
Reading is the best way to learn as a writer. You can read about a writer’s personal writing process and gain valuable insight into how you can change your own writing process. You can be impacted by the way someone writes and adapt your writing so that it meshes with that writer’s style of writing. You can even learn how someone from a different culture than yours identifies as a writer and what influences them to write.
Writing really takes you on a journey and can connect you to a community. This community will support you in your endeavors, provide constructive criticism on your writing, and help you reach your potential as a writer. Once you have found your writing community you may no longer feel like an outsider. Instead you have become part of a larger community that will inspire you, motivate you, and encourage you to do your best work.

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The Gift

I was born with a neuromuscular condition that doctors didn’t really have a name for at the time, as well as hypotonia, which results in poor muscle tone, poor muscle coordination, slow reaction time and learning difficulties. I went through years of physical and occupational therapy, as well as adaptive physical education classes from elementary to high school. During this long period of time, I also battled insomnia that was so bad that I couldn’t stay asleep or even fall asleep in the first place.

Many of my classmates had no idea I had disabilities, since I had been in mainstream classes since the second grade. It wasn’t something I really talked about with them either. I always had trouble making friends, because I didn’t know what to talk about – and perhaps, because of my disabilities, I was more socially awkward than others. I never really had a best friend growing up and remember always feeling like I had missed out on a class in school on making friends. I didn’t know why everyone else seemed to have such an easy time. I tried hard to fit in and listened to some of the same music that my classmates did and was even in Girl Scouts with several of my classmates for five years until the troop disbanded.

Things finally began to improve for me socially in my later years of high school when I hung out with a few girls in my grade, but those friendships didn’t last long after high school was over. I didn’t have much luck socially in my first two years of college either, because I think by then, I was so desperate to have friends that I would become attached to people who took advantage of me and didn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated.

What has helped me through the years has been the support of my parents, particularly my mom. My mom has been there for me during years of doctor appointments. She was around whenever I needed to talk and she worked at home, so she could be there for me and my siblings. We have always had a very close relationship, and she has done lots of research through the years to see what could be done to help me with my disabilities.

I have found writing to be a great way for me to cope with my social issues and other issues relating to my disabilities. I have been writing seriously since I was thirteen and attended a writing camp one summer at my local community college. I began with short stories but then expanded to novellas. During my high school and college years, writing became something that I turned to whenever I wanted to express myself and I loved those times when I was able to get deeply involved in my writing. The characters I created in my novellas are characters that I continue to work with today. I have conveyed my own feelings about life into these stories and have found it to be an outlet for me. I continue to work on my novellas as a way to unwind and to live vicariously through my characters.

I have found a new purpose recently for my writing through my work with the Turner Syndrome Foundation. When I first began working at the Turner Syndrome Foundation, I thought I was fairly well-educated on Turner Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that affects 1 in 2000 females in the United States. Now that I have begun writing articles about the experiences of individuals, I have begun to realize that I still have so much to learn. I have learned that although Turner Syndrome affects everyone in a unique way there are still many similarities in regards to the health issues these individuals are confronted with.

Through my interactions with patients, volunteers, and members of the board of trustees, I have seen first-hand that once you are diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, you find yourself embraced by a community of those who have already been living with it. You realize that you are not alone on your journey to find acceptance and understanding of your condition and that there are so many others walking the same path beside you. I can certainly empathize with those who find themselves on this journey as I too felt alone when I was first diagnosed with my condition. I am still searching for my own community of support that I can count on to help me through any issues I have with my condition.

Writing for the foundation has opened my eyes to the fact that Turner Syndrome and any other disability does not necessarily have to define your life. One woman I wrote about showed me that despite her limitations, her dancing is something that helps her transcend past her diagnosis and show through her movements her grace and elegance. I know that I will continue to learn more about others with Turner Syndrome and I look forward to seeing what insights I am able to obtain through reading about their experiences with the condition. It has helped shape my perspective on life with disabilities and inspired me to help others with disabilities through my writing. Writing continues to be one of my greatest strengths and if I can make a difference in someone’s life through writing about the life experiences of these individuals, I know I have achieved my goal in writing.

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“Cool Kids”

I heard this song back in April and I could instantly relate to it. When I was in high school and in my early years of college I was desperately trying to fit in not realizing that it was okay to just be myself and stand out. I didn’t choose my friends carefully. Now that I’m older I have started to accept myself more and not worry as much about fitting in with the crowd. I have met some great people in the last couple of years who like me for me and don’t want to try to change me into someone that I’m not.

Listen to the song here:

http://www.mtv.com/videos/echosmith/944110/cool-kids.jhtml

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Being Unique is a Beautiful Thing

Appreciate the fact that you are unique. Embrace what makes you special. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” –Bernard Baruch

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Sometimes What Isn’t Visible is the Hardest to Deal With

It is estimated that 10 percent of people in the U.S. have a medical condition that could be considered an “invisible disability.” These disabilities may range from sleep issues to problems as serious as diabetes and lupus. I am one of those 10 percent. I have struggled with invisible disabilities since the day I was born, and while some have improved with age, others will require much more time to improve.
I was born with a neuromuscular condition that doctors didn’t really have a name for at the time, as well as hypotonia, which results in poor muscle tone, poor muscle coordination, slow reaction time and learning difficulties. I went through years of physical and occupational therapy, as well as adaptive physical education classes from elementary to high school. During this long period of time, I also battled insomnia that was bad I couldn’t stay asleep or even fall asleep in the first place.
Many of my classmates had no idea I had disabilities, since I had been in mainstream classes since the second grade. It wasn’t something I really talked about with them either. I always had trouble making friends, because I didn’t know what to talk about – and perhaps, because of my disabilities, I was more socially awkward than others. I never really had a best friend growing up and remember always feeling like I had missed out on a class in school on making friends. I didn’t know why everyone else seemed to have such an easy time. I tried hard to fit in and listened to some of the same music that my classmates did and was even in Girl Scouts with several of my classmates for five years until the troop disbanded.
Things finally began to improve for me socially in my later years of high school when I hung out with a few girls in my grade, but those friendships didn’t last long after high school was over. I didn’t have much luck socially in my first two years of college either, because I think by then, I was so desperate to have friends that I would become attached to people who took advantage of me and didn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated.
What has helped me through the years has been the support of my parents, particularly my mom. My mom has been there for me during years of doctor appointments. She was around whenever I needed to talk and she worked at home, so she could be there for me and my siblings. We have always had a very close relationship, and she has done lots of research through the years to see what could be done to help me with my disabilities.
One of the things she learned about was a condition called NLD. NLD, or nonverbal learning disability, is a learning disability which affects people’s abilities to interpret the facial expressions of others and can result in difficulties with visual and spatial cues. Those with NLD may have some social difficulties as a result of the condition. They also often have significant differences between their verbal IQ and performance IQ scores. She thought it seemed to describe me perfectly, and I was diagnosed with NLD after a neuropsychological evaluation which showed that my verbal IQ was significantly higher than my performance IQ. After being diagnosed with NLD, I have been able to find websites devoted to NLD and Facebook discussion groups where I can talk to people who may be facing the same problems that I have. I recently launched a Facebook page for individuals with NLD and their families to find support and resources. You can visit the page at http://www.facebook.com/theNLDExchange.
After my evaluation with the neuropsychologist, I began going to cognitive therapy for a few months to improve my visual coordination skills, scanning abilities and social skills. During this period of time, I also was seeing a psychologist because of my low self-esteem. My psychologist put me on hold in April 2010, because he thought I was doing better. I didn’t start seeing him again until last February, because I’d been having suicidal thoughts and was going through a period of depression.
Things have actually improved in some respects for me since February 2012 when I began seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist, as well as a new primary care physician. My psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and an anxiety disorder and put me on an antidepressant and another medication to help me deal with my anxiety. One of the medications has actually allowed me to sleep through the night most of the time, which has helped me mentally and physically. My doctor had me go through several blood tests after my disabilities were described to him and one showed that I had hypoglycemia, while another gave me a name for my physical disability. I have a rare condition called partial trisomy 16, which results in poor muscle coordination and can result in learning disabilities. As a result of this diagnosis, I am now on a special diet with less carbohydrates and sugar and more protein.
I’m still very much a work in progress, but I’ve improved somewhat socially because my mom has helped me with my social interactions, and I’ve interacted with different people throughout my five years of working at Kohl’s on the sales floor. I even have coworkers I talk to regularly and have become friends with them online as well. I am working on finding more social groups and have met some interesting people through Special Olympics who I think I can maybe become friends with over time. I have been working on my everyday life skills like ironing and cooking, and with time I hope to become more independent and be able to fully take care of myself.

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Feelings Explode

You didn’t care as I crashed and I fell
Down to the ground
Like a rag doll in the wind
I crumbled apart
You didn’t care with the words that you said
How you made me feel
So now there’s a distance
That will never be crossed
As my feelings explode
And I will never forget
The words that you said
And I hope you remember
That I was worth it in the end
And you missed your chance
To truly get to see
Just what kind of person
I could turn out to be

 

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