Awards: The Disability Award

Melinda Sandor at Looking For The Light  blog nominated me for this award; she is a dedicated blogger and activist and was one of my first Featured Bloggers.

Melinda is also the driving force behind the blogging collective, Survivors Blog Here.

When I saw the name of the award my first thought was, ‘an award for being disabled?’ but based on the nominees it’s clearly an award for people who strive to transcend their disabilities and give meaning to the pain. It’s an honor to get this award. Thank you, Melinda.

The rules are to display the award badge, answer the questions, choose your own nominees, and develop your own set of questions. Melinda’s questions are so practical I’m going with hers.

Advances in Brain Imaging
Fig. 2. Example of reduced regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the anterior temporo-frontal cortices in a patient with dissociative amnesia.

Melinda’s Questions:

What was the first sign of your illness?

My first symptoms appeared when I was a child and found the name ‘Antonio’ scrawled in my schoolbooks. I was confused about my age, name and gender, which set me apart from the other children.

What is your worst symptom and how do you cope with it?

The symptoms of depression and dissociation affect memory and concentration, which makes it difficult read and write.

I often go back to a published post to discover typos and glaring gaps in logic. I cope by writing shorter pieces and relying more on photography and abstract designs for creative expression.

I’ve also stopped judging myself when I find mistakes in the work I post, although it’s frustrating to discover a flaw I would definitely have noticed a decade ago.

As for reading, I do a lot of reading I can’t remember.

This is even true of my work.

I often think I’m reading another bloggers post for the first time and discover that I’ve already liked and re-blogged it.

It’s confusing and frustrating.

What one thing about you has changed because of your struggles?

I miss reading and writing longer, more complex, stories, but I’m learning to be patient with myself, and to set more realistic timelines for achieving goals.

I am more compassionate toward other people.

What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone else suffering?

I’m changing the last word from ‘suffering’ to ‘disabled’, because suffering does not have to define life with a chronic illness.

My advice is set goals and let go of the way you defined success when you were healthy. Give yourself plenty of time to complete those goals.

Never compare your achievements to the achievements of people who aren’t ill.

Learn new skills and practice them.

I knew absolutely nothing about photography when I became permanently disabled. I still know nothing about photography. but I’m better at it.

Name one good thing that has come out of having a chronic illness.

Now that I have the right diagnosis and treatment, I have a better understanding of the forces that shaped me as a child, and a better understanding of why I made certain self destructive decisions as a younger man. I’m forgiving because of it.

The Dissociative

What one thing do you disagree with that is widely accepted as true about your condition?

I obviously disagree with the idea that Dissociative Identify Disorder doesn’t exist. If I go to a shrink and tell her I think I have other personalities and the craziness of it is wrecking my life, I expect her to believe I believe they exist and to treat me accordingly.

I wish the United States had mental health system  that wanted to treat the brain’s mind.

If you could change only one aspect of your illness, what would it be?

Some days I get sick of feeling like I’m running in place. I want the illness to go away.

Name the one thing that works best for you for symptom relief.

I get relief from photography or throwing myself into a project. I also try to eat properly, exercise, and get a solid night’s sleep.

Based on your experience, what is one thing that you would tell someone newly diagnosed with chronic illness?

Learn as much as you can about your illness and become your own advocate.Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging to advocate for better medical treatment for people with mental illnesses.

The blog began to shift focus in 2016 and is now more focused on  art and politics., but I haven’t forgotten my roots.

My nominees

Most of the disability bloggers I know have gotten this award from Melinda.

My two nominees for this award are Dream Big, Dream Often and Jason
at Opinionated Man.

My questions for them are the same as those asked of me.

Check out Stacy Chapman’s award post at Fighting with Fibro

‘The Dissociative’ (c) Rob Goldstein All Rights Reserved


Kavanaugh Confirmed

Avinu Malkeinu

Prayer of Repentance

Our father our king, hear our voice
Our father our king, we have sinned before you
Our father our king, Have compassion upon us
and upon our children

Our father our king
Bring an end to pestilence,
war, and famine around us
Our father our king, bring an end to all trouble
and oppression around us

Our father our king, Our father our king,
Inscribe us in the book of (good) life
Our father our king, renew upon us
Renew upon us a good year

Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice

 

Rob Goldstein 2018
Distress Signal found on Twitter

Sunday in the Park

I went for a walk on Sunday through San Francisco’s Alamo Square Park.

I reflected on the beauty of the day and realized how good life is when people simply agree to let each other live.

Please, enjoy this moment in the park.

Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco

 

Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco
Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco
Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco
Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco

 

Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco
Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco

 

Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco
Photograph of people enjoying a Summers Day
Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Harvey Milk: If a gay can win, there’s hope

If I turned around every time somebody called me a faggot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward. Harvey Milk

I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. Almost everything was done in the eyes of the gay movement. -Harvey Milk

Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Harvey Milk was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40.

Milk moved from New York City to San Francisco in 1972 to settle in the
Castro District where he became part of the Gay Liberation Movement.

Milk used the growing political and economic power of the Castro to promote the rights of gays by running for political office.

Milk won a seat as a City supervisor in 1977.

He served almost 11 months and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city.

On November 27, 1978, Supervisor Dan White assassinated Harvey Milk and
Mayor George Moscone.

Milk’s final campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, wrote of him: “What set Harvey apart from you or I was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us.”

Historically, Harvey Milk is the most important LGBT official ever elected to public office in the United States.

Photograph of Havey Milk and his Partner Scott Smith in a plaque on Harvey Milk Plaza
At Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco

President Obama awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

“It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.”

– Harvey Milk, after winning a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977

The Last words of Harvey Milk–Found at the Internet Archives

 

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015 All Rights Reserved

Save