Friday, August 31, 2012

Happiness is a choice

A friend of mine said that the other day, and you know what? It’s true! It’s one of the hardest lessons to learn, I’m still trying to learn that myself. I wanted to apologize for not blogging as much this month. I haven’t abandoned this blog; I’ve just been going through a period of depression.

Depression hurts. You know the feeling where it takes all of your energy just to get out of bed and get through the day? You feel like you’re stuck with no way out. If you really truly are stuck, think of the positives in your life. No matter how bad life may seem, there’s always something positive to focus on. Bear with me here. I’m trying to learn this myself. Here are a few things that I find positive in this negative experience.

1.  I have aches and pains sometimes, mostly back pains and headaches, but overall, I do have my health; my body still functions like there’s nothing wrong.

2. I may be poor, but at least I have shelter and I never go hungry. I am comfortable most of the time.

3. My family may be very dysfunctional, they may be wrong, I may be wrong, we may have fights, but at least I know I’m loved.

4. I may not have very many friends and I don't get out of the house much, but at least I have a second family at The Evicted, the forum I usually spend time at, therefore, I'm never lonely and at least I'm able to spend time with my second family.

Things will get better, they did before and they will again. Let's focus on the positives and I will be sure to start blogging more often again. Oh, and I did set up an About Me page not too long ago. I have put the link to my Facebook page and my Twitter on that page, so be sure to check them out. I will start keeping up my Facebook page more often as well. You can contact me via Facebook or Twitter.

Until next time, God Bless.
- MissNiChloe

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to School (Part 2)

There are more ways to be assertive and/or request accommodations, but you have to provide a solid reason, so don’t request anything unless there’s a good solid reason. There are some accommodations that schools do not supply automatically, or schools need to make an exception for. I’ve had one friend in high school who needed to use a rolling backpack even though the school ruled against that. She got to use one. I’ve had another friend in college who used a scooter to get to and from campus. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s not crazy, as long as you need it. He needed it. I don’t have very strong leg muscles, so always bending up and down was a little painful for me. During work study, when I had to do things where I had to kneel down to get to the lower shelf often, I sat down onto a stepping stool or if I had to, sat down on the floor. I worked in the school library, so I had to get to the lower shelf when shelving books or doing inventory. Now, why didn’t I think of that when I volunteered at my library during high school?

It was not until college when I found out some of the many things I could do. Freshman year was the year I learned a lot of lessons and made many mistakes. One thing though, I was always assertive. If I wasn’t assertive, I would not have been able to graduate with my Associate’s, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Sometimes, you need to be assertive to be able to get to where you need to be or to get the job done. For instance, my college has apartments, not dorms. If you needed a downstairs apartment, you had to specifically request one. Being assertive doesn’t work 100% of the time, some of the time, you’ll have to figure out another way to succeed in getting what you need or want.

There was one major time where being assertive has helped, in my experience. There may have been others that I do not remember at the moment, but this one is one of the biggest achievements I never gave up on.

First semester of my Sophomore year, I thought I was still set for the four years I had planned to be there. It was nearing mid-terms and that’s about the same time we had to go sign up for classes for the next semester. I forget how I found out I couldn’t come back the next semester. I just remember being upset about not coming back even to at least graduate with my Associate’s. Yeah, I moped for a couple of days, but then I had the mentality that if you want something done, you had to do it yourself. I knew I had to at least graduate if anything. I went right up to my academic advisor. She told me I’d have to take six classes. I was fine with that. But there was the issue with money. My mom kept saying no, but I kept fighting back so much, just to finish one more semester that I got the attention of the president of my college. I guess she was impressed, because she pulled some major strings for me to finish.

It wasn’t an easy road, but I reached my goal. It was worth it. I have no regrets about fighting to go back that last semester. I survived. I graduated. I’m proud of myself to at least have my Associate’s.

Sometimes, you just have to be more assertive. You may surprise yourself with how far you’ve come.

Until next time, God Bless.
- MissNiChloe

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to School (Part 1)

It’s that time of the year again. I personally think this is second busiest time of the year because of all the school shopping that needs to be done, especially for college because you need to get more than just supplies, you also need to get books and if you’re going away to college, possibly stuff for your apartment or dorm.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to be an advocate. I had to learn for myself how to advocate for myself or be assertive early in life. Because of this, I’ve made sure I had what I needed and over the years, I’ve been somewhat an advocate or mediator for others.

One of the things I had to advocate for myself about was my hearing impediment. I have a moderate to severe hearing impairment and I’ve had it since birth and yes, I wear hearing aids. So, being hearing impaired on top of having a disability was very difficult. I think I annoyed the other classmates when I raise my hand to tell the teacher to repeat what they said or speak a little louder and sitting in front of the class. My choices at seating were somewhat limited, depending on how the classroom was set up. The trick is to learn which area you think you would hear best at. This is tricky and it’s a trial and error process, but having done this for years, I’ve learned exactly where to sit right when I walk into the classroom for the first time. If you are unsure of where to sit, try to visit the classroom beforehand or try to get to the classroom early so you can figure out where you need to be. Also, you should always talk to the teacher. Communicating with the teacher can be a big help, especially if you don’t want to feel like you’re being a jerk if someone sitting in the one seat that would be best for you. I’ve been there, done that, it helps, trust me.

There are two things I absolutely hated about school, taking notes and having to change my hearing aid battery right in the middle of class. Fortunately, I was able to eliminate taking notes. In middle and high school, I had a friend who took notes so well it looked more like what a detailed lesson plan was. And she always let me borrow or copy them. Thank you, my friend! During college, I didn’t have that type of friend, but at least the college was willing to hand out written notes for those that needed it, so I requested that accommodation, so I would at least have notes.

The other thing I hated, I don’t think that can be helped at all and personally, I dread having to do it when I finally get a job. In class, my hearing aid battery would go dead and I’d have to change it. I didn’t want to go to the bathroom to change it because I didn’t want to drop it. The thing cost a fortune! I didn’t want to risk breaking it! The only option I could see was to do it right there in my seat where others can see. It was either that or not being able to hear the rest of the lecture. So, I did it right there. Yeah, there were a couple of times one of my classmates who saw me doing it asked what I was doing, but after seeing me do it a few times, they just didn’t ask anymore. I’ve even had a few teachers who were nice enough to stop the lecture for the few minutes when they saw me changing my hearing aid battery, and it really does take just a few minutes to do it. They would watch me and look at me when they think I was done for confirmation that they can continue. No, they didn’t think I was disrupting the class, I didn’t even expect them to, but sometimes, teachers can surprise you with how understanding they are.

For those that don’t know what a hearing aid looks like, here’s a model I found at

These are the different models. I’ve had two of these shown in the model, B and C. Personally, I like B the best. Taking care of a hearing aid can be a pain but it’s worth it.

There are other ways I’ve had to advocate for myself, but I think I’ll continue this in part two, coming soon!

Until next time, God Bless.
- MissNiChloe