Frequently Asked Questions About Finding Clarity Through Depression Books

My friends used to say that I would outlive all of them.

We would laugh out loud, but everyone thought it might genuinely happen, considering I was the only one who took care of my body 24/7. For instance, while I would go to a bar with them, I would merely be there for fun conversations or blind dates, but I would not drink or smoke at all. If they decided to do a potluck, I tend to bring a couple of healthy dishes to eat their greasy foods. More importantly, I had been exercising twice a day every day in the last five days. It would be an understatement to say that my fitness regimen was updated.

Two years ago, I had to go home from a Christmas Eve party early because I felt nauseous. I managed to drive by myself because my friend’s house was only a block away from mine, and everyone else was far from being sober. When I was preparing for bed and went to the bathroom to pee, though, I had the biggest shock of my life when the toilet water started getting red as my urine mixed with it. Then, I felt an intense pain in my lower abdomen. I got to call 911 and give my address to the operator before I passed out.

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Waking Up To A Bad News

When I woke up, I was no longer in my bedroom. I was already in a hospital room, wearing a gray-colored gown. My arm ached a little as I moved it and saw that I was getting a blood transfusion. As if they knew I was already awake, a couple of doctors and nurses entered my room.

“Good morning, John,” an elderly doctor greeted me with a smile. “How are you feeling today?”

“I have mixed emotions,” I replied honestly. “What happened to me? Why do I need new blood?”

The doctor nodded gently and took a file from the nurse beside him. “It says on your report that you arrived here with a bleeding penis. After a few tests, we found out that a vein popped, and it caused blood loss for you. We also detected a pea-sized lump on your left testicle, although we will only find out today whether it’s benign or malignant.”

My head began swirling again as I tried to process everything that the doctor said. It was one bad news after another. In the end, I could merely utter, “What if the lump is malignant?”

“I’m afraid it’s a symptom of testicular cancer. In that case, you may decide to have the lump removed surgically or go through chemotherapy.”

As if this news was not enough, another nurse knocked and went into the room, holding a paper, which I assumed to be the result of my testicular examination.

The doctor’s expression turned from kind to sympathetic after reading the result. “I can confirm now that you have testicular cancer. The silver lining is that it’s only on the first stage, so we can still get rid of it.”

Fear enveloped me. “What if I don’t want to get a surgery, Doc?”

“I can give you medication to hopefully reduce its size, of course. However, in my opinion, it is better to remove the lump entirely to keep it from growing,” the doctor advised. “We will return to our rounds for now. You may click that button above your head to call a nurse and let them know your decision. They can pass the message to me later.”

I nodded. I thought long and hard about my circumstance. I still could not wrap my head around the fact that I got hospitalized – due to cancer, of all things! Despite that, since I was afraid of surgeries, I decided to take the long route and medication treatment.

The Long And Depressing Road I Took

Getting chemotherapy meant that I could pretty much do nothing in the next six months. I tried going to work at first, insisting that it was doable. Unfortunately, the drugs were too strong, and I ended up throwing up whenever I tried to move.

As the days passed by slowly and painfully, I began spiraling down. I started questioning everything I knew. I could not understand how I developed cancer, no matter how much the doctor explained its possible causes. The longer I stayed in chemo, the worse I felt, to the extent that I told my doctor that I wanted to give up during one session.

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In all fairness, I got lucky with my physician. On the same day, I said that he asked his wife – a resident psychiatrist in the hospital – to meet me. She confirmed what I knew all along – that I had depression – and gave me a book about it. She said, “Read this book when you go home today, and then contact me tomorrow when you’re ready to deal with your condition.”

What are the four major causes of depression? 

  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Traumatic events
  • Abuse

Is reading good for depression? 

Yes, reading is good for depression. Its effect on people is almost the same as that of meditation and yoga, in the sense that it relaxes the mind well.

What is the most reliable depression symptom? 

Feeling helpless about life is the most reliable symptom of depression.

Are books good for mental health? 

Yes, books are good for mental health. According to scientists, reading for at least six minutes every day can reduce your stress level and heart rate by 60%.

What is the primary cause of depression? 

The environment is the primary cause of depression. According to research, it makes up 60% of the problem.

What is the most significant cause of depression? 

A mixture of environmental and neurological factors is the most significant cause of depression.

Why is reading so boring? 

Reading is boring because you either have not found an interesting title or are not thinking about it positively.

Can anxiety affect reading? 

Yes, anxiety can affect the reading. When you are panicking, your brain cannot comprehend the words even when you can read them well.

Is reading good for your brain? 

Yes, reading is right for your brain. Aside from improving your vocabulary, it also allows your brain to create new neural connections.

What are the four types of depression? 

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dysthymia
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Clinical depression

What are the five mental illness signs? 

  • Severe anxiety
  • Long-term irritability or hopelessness
  • Excessive mood swings
  • Self-isolation
  • Varying behavioral patterns

Is it normal to cry for no reason? 

Yes, it is technically normal to cry for no reason, especially when you are stressed out.

Does reading increase IQ? 

Yes, reading increases IQ. That’s why IQ tests have a vocabulary or reading comprehension section.

How can I improve my mental health? 

The easiest way to improve your mental well-being is by talking about how you think or feel, no matter how embarrassing it may be. Then, you should focus on your physical health and ask for mental health if need be.

What are the five benefits of reading?

  • Creating new neurons
  • Expanding vocabulary
  • Increasing empathy
  • Reducing stress
  • Slowing down cognitive decline
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Final Thoughts

I knew that the psychiatrist’s initial tactic – giving a book about depression – was a bit unconventional for some. Still, it genuinely helped me realize that I was not the only person dealing with such a disorder. Hence, while I was not doing chemo, I was getting one-on-one therapy to cope with my depression. Six months later, I left the hospital cancer-free and depression-free.

The Fear Of Dying (Understanding A Cancer Patient’s Mental Health)

The fear and anxiety about death is a normal part of human lives. We understand that it is inevitable and that all of us will soon get there. Of course, some death experiences can be brutal, and we all don’t want that. None of us wish to deal with the unpleasant aftermath of death from scenarios such as murder, accidents, and fatal injuries that can kill us instantly. But sadly, there is this one specific type of death that we feel reasonable and acceptable at some point. It is the death of a severe medical health condition, such as cancer.

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Knowing That We Are About To Die

Perhaps the most significant advantage of having cancer is the idea that we have to accept death no matter what. Of course, for some of us, there is still a chance that they could manage to extend their lives through treatments, medications, and surgeries. Some can even survive and avoid deaths from chronic conditions. But for a couple of us who only have a limited amount of time, everything is like a finish line. We understand the end is coming, but we do not know when it will happen. We try and prepare ourselves every single day for death to come, and we wait for it. We try everything to make ourselves comfortable with the things around us because we know whatever we do; we will still die.

But the agony of knowing that we are about to die does not lie with the idea of accepting it. Instead, the worst part of it is leaving the ones we love behind. As cancer patients, our death is part of the moment that we will not witness anymore. Clearly, it is about the emotional battle of wanting to stay despite knowing we were about to leave. And because we do not want our loved ones to feel emotional about our situation, we try to convince them that we are okay with death. But the truth is, we are afraid and terrified.

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The Mental And Emotional Torture

For some of us with severe conditions and a limited time left, we know there is only a small hope hanging around in the back of our mind. So as much as possible, we make the most out of our time. It becomes ideal for us to demand so much from our friends and family because we believe that every second is essential. We have this mentality that since we are about to die, our loved ones should consider allowing their lives to revolve around us. We become so selfish of wanting and demanding everything. But it is not because we want to make their lives miserable, of course. We are just afraid to tell them not to forget us once we disappear on earth.

Knowing that death is near creates an emotional and mental strain on every part of us. But we understand that we have to fake it to save everybody’s well-being. We try not to feel bad about the situation, and we try our best not to feel sorry for ourselves. We want the people around us to remember us as happy and satisfied with life. That is despite the truth that we are not entirely ready, pulling up our baggage. We emotionally and mentally torture ourselves by forcing it to believe that we are okay with death, even if we somehow wish to live more. And that is the saddest part of knowing the end.

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Takeaway

For ordinary people who are not experiencing our end-of-the-line situation, I would say they are lucky. Not because they get to live longer than us, but because they can manage to stay happy whenever they want. They do not worry about tomorrow because they have all the time they need to make the most out of their lives. They are lucky because they do not suffer from fear of death in silence. And most of all, they can spend time with their families without the worry of unexpectedly leaving them behind.

Honestly, as much as we want to make people believe that we are okay with death, some of us still find reasons to hate it. We always question why God allows it to happen. We still have that moment where we want everything to end, but we know wasting the little amount of time we have left is not a good idea. Some of us cancer patients still want to live, even those who know they can’t physically make it. Some of us want to beg for another life, even though we know it is impossible. Some of us want to fight to be with our family, even if we know it is useless.

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With all this in mind, perhaps the next time you will look at us, things will become a little more different. In case it is still possible, please hold us and reassure us that you will love us forever once we are gone.

How My Therapist Helped Me See My Family’s Worth (A Cancer Survivor Story)

Having breast cancer was the worst thing that ever happened in my life. It was a very hopeless situation, and I felt so out of luck. I kept on asking why it has to be me. I am a mom of four children and a wife of a very responsible and loving man. That moment that I caused so much emotional pain to my loved ones made me hate everything about life. Nothing ruins the emotional and mental aspect of the ones I love more than the reality of me having cancer. It was not something they are prepared for. Although they didn’t show it, my whole family was devastated to know the truth about my condition. But regardless of all the drama that cancer has brought to my life, one thing is certain. I have learned that my family can entirely make a difference in my life decisions.

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The Struggle Of Knowing The Unknown Enemy

The first couple of days and weeks after the cancer diagnosis, everything was mentally and emotionally disastrous. All my thoughts are about me dying and leaving my family. It was all about me complaining a lot of stuff to my husband. It seems like not a single thing is making me happy anymore. I was full of worries and agitation. I do not want everyone around because I pity myself so much. I do not want my family to think that I need them, even though I do. Everything about my life was hatred towards God and His every creation.

As days go by, I became a tough thing my family deals with. I refused to listen, I don’t take some of my medication, and I even isolated myself from them. I was shutting down people, including my parents, my siblings, and all of my friends. Fortunately, my husband and children didn’t give up on me. They kept on loving, caring, and supporting me even though I was unreasonable and belligerent. And after a couple of weeks more, I took the initiative to seek professional help and attended therapy sessions, as advised by my loving husband.

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A Realization That Changed The Mental State

The whole experience of the therapy was exhausting at first. I was too stubborn to follow suggestions on how to take care of my mental health. I did not even open up about my emotional dilemma because I thought it was not a big deal. But one time, there was this particular moment that made me look at things in a different way. It was right after my therapist asked me, “what is my purpose in life?” Honestly, it was not supposed to be a stunning question because I knew that I wasn’t thinking about life the way I did before. But after that, I snapped back to reality. I still have my family. Thus, why on Earth am I wasting time trying to feel sorry about my condition instead of spending it with my loved ones?

At that moment, I realized that the things I did for the past couple of months were a waste of everything. The isolation and cold treatments I gave my family were useless. So when I came home after that epiphany, I immediately hugged my children and husband. I asked for their forgiveness and promised to stay positive. That is despite all the uncertainties this cancer had brought into our lives. I was sure that it would be a long and tiring journey. But it doesn’t matter. That time, all my hopes and motivation were driving me to look forward to a fast recovery. I aimed for me to get better and better every day.

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Insight

To be honest, if it weren’t for my therapist, I would not see my family’s worth. That even though I understand their hardships and struggles, I am sure I was going to ignore them. It would become impossible for me to focus on my recovery despite the fact that my family is trying their best to convince me to live life. Perhaps if my husband failed to talk me into seeking professional help, he would have lost me a couple of months ago. Gladly, I feel relieved that I listened to him.

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Having cancer is entirely a big deal. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally wearing. But it would help if you recognize that it is not enough reason to stop living despite the unfortunate instance. You have your family. There are still individuals around you that are more than willing to be there whenever they are needed. So if you are fighting with a condition, please seek any kind of help, whether it is physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental. Let everyone around you become an inspiration. Allow them to contribute something to your betterment, most of all, recovery.

Cancer Patients’ Dilemma Due To The Pandemic

Cancer patients are one of those most susceptible to be infected by the coronavirus.

According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States alone, there are an estimated 1.8 million new cancer patients this year. But because of the pandemic, there is a great dilemma as to whether cancer patients should continue their treatment.

Dangers Of COVID-19 To Cancer Patients

Cancer patients who will contract the virus have a higher risk of being admitted to ICU than those who do not have the disease. COVID-19 is life-threatening for them. This is because those living with cancer, especially patients undergoing chemotherapy, are known to have a compromised immune system.

Chemotherapy treatment depletes the white blood cells causing to weaken the immune system. Among those who have cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that 650,000 patients undergo chemotherapy.

Increased Exposure To Covid-19

The dilemma lies in whether the treatment should continue or delay it. It is a difficult choice to make since time is of the essence for cancer patients. The more time elapses, the more serious the illness gets.

Also, the most significant barrier probably is not knowing how long will the pandemic last.  

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On the other hand, pushing through with the cancer treatment may increase the patient’s exposure to the virus.

As the treatment itself contributes to the weakening of the immune system and considering the frequency of hospital visit a treatment need, the patient then will have a higher chance of contracting the virus.

Factors To Consider

According to Noel Brewer, Ph.D., “Patients have no choice but to take the Covid pandemic into account in their treatment decisions.”

In deciding whether to continue or postpone the treatment, there are several factors to consider. These factors include the type of chemotherapy, cancer stage, and how risky the recurrence will be if the treatment gets delayed.

The oncologist can help cancer patients weigh these factors and the risks to decide what the next step should be.

Should Treatments Continue?

A thorough assessment is essential in deciding whether the treatment should carry out despite the risk of exposure.

For most doctors, advise continuing with the procedure. The life expectancy of a person, especially those dealing with late stages of cancer, is dependent on the treatment.  For them, it’s important to suppress the spread of malignant cells earlier to prevent further complications.

As to the risk of exposing the patients to the virus, doctors say that there are a lot of precautions to take to minimize the risk. If precautions are observed seriously, cancer patients can dodge the illness. 

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Precautions Against COVID-19 

  • Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Just like everyone, cancer patients especially should stay at home. Staying indoors reduces exposure to other people who are potential carriers of the virus.

It’s challenging to identify who has the virus since there are asymptomatic patients. Meaning, someone can feel their full health but still carry the virus. So, don’t be too complacent.

  • Observe Strict Social Distancing

As a cancer patient undergoing treatment, there are instances when you had to leave home. In cases like these, always observe 6 ft distance from other people. Since the virus transmits through droplets, maintaining this safe distance reduces the risk of contracting the virus. 

  • Always Wear A Mask

When leaving your house, always wear a mask. The mask protects both yourself and others.

In instances where there is no social distancing, and someone accidentally sneezes, having a cover on will keep you protected. With enough distance and a mask, there is a little chance of getting infected by the virus. Remember that the mask goes over the nose, not only in the mouth.

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  • Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

It’s crucial to keep in mind always to wash your hands thoroughly. Since the virus has this fatty outer layer, experts say that it is best to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

In cases wherein you are outdoors, and there is no access to clean water and soap, using alcohol and sanitizer on your hands will do. Also, refrain from touching your face with unclean hands.

If you are among the cancer patients having the dilemma of whether to continue your treatment, we hope that this article has helped you assess your situation and make the decision.

5 Things You Can Do If Cancer Stresses You Out Too Much

I went to the 2019 Stress and Anxiety Conference for cancer patients with my best friend, an ovarian cancer survivor. Now that she’s on remission and a doctor invited her to speak at the said event, I wanted to show my support. 

I knew most of what my best friend was supposed to talk about during her panel. I stayed by her side throughout the treatments, so I knew her story first-hand. But what made me proud even more was the fact that she fought the stress that cancer could bring to any patient by doing the following:

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Eat Good Food

The first thing you can do is to eat good food. Order or cook the best comfort food that you can think of and eat as much as your stomach can take. Your doctor will never advise you to do this, but forgetting your diet once may relieve your stress.

Talk To Loved Ones

Stress builds up in our mind and body when we do not have an outlet for our deep-seated thoughts. In that case, you should open up to your family and friends about whatever that may be bothering you. They care more than you possibly realize, so they will undoubtedly listen to you.

Turn Off Social Media 

Some people find peace in browsing through a friend’s or celebrity’s Instagram or Twitter page, and that’s okay. But it seems to amplify your stress—possibly by reminding you of what you should have been doing instead of treating cancer—you should immediately turn off your social media. You are free to log back in when you feel calm but not when others’ posts agitate you.

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Move Around

Moving around is another trick that offers stress relief. Say, go around the park, get new plants to place in your backyard, etc. Assuming you may be too weak to stand up due to treatments, it should still not be a problem as long as you have a wheelchair. 

Sleep

If the first four tricks do not work, you still have one more to try: sleeping. Your cells regenerate and your body gets all the rest it needs when you sleep. The more snooze, the more you wake up as if you have zero worries in life. That prevents you from stressing out over matters that are out of your hands.

Final Thoughts

You have every reason to feel stressed about cancer. It hinders you from achieving your long-term goals; it puts you in so much pain regularly. However, if you let the stress consume you, it may speed up the cancer cells’ production and keep you from healing. 

Follow the tips above until you can put stress beneath you. Good luck!

How People Living With Cancer Can Cope During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Many of us are facing stress and anxiety due to the uncertainties the COVID-19 pandemic has brought in our lives. To prevent the spread of the disease, all have to stay updated and follow precautions set by several health organizations.

More so, people who are considered most susceptible have to take extra precautions to avoid getting sick. Such as people who have heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

According to Lisa Gralinski, Ph.D., a virologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “If you’re over fifty or sixty and you have some other health issues and if you’re unlucky enough to be exposed to this virus, it could be very bad.

Cancer patients do not only need to manage their current condition, but they also need to cope with the risks of getting the virus.

It can be a tough time if you’re living with cancer right now. With that, we bring you ways on how cancer patients like you can cope during these trying times.

Take Extra Precautions

Cancer patients may benefit from extra precautions. Health professionals are recommending everyone to perform the guidelines regarding social distancing and hand washing. Furthermore, for people with cancer or living with people with cancer, these extra precautions can make sure everyone is safe in the household. Do not forget these following reminders:

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  • Do not go to crowded areas and avoid close contact. Limit your distance within about six feet to people who have a cough or respiratory problems.
  • Wash your hands for about 20 seconds. Use clean water and soap. You can sing the “Happy Birthday Song” to help you keep track of how long you’re washing.
  • If there is no soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can also place a hand gel dispenser at your front door so that everyone who comes in or out can cleanse their hands.
  • Prevent touching your ears, nose, and mouth.
  • Use masks to prevent infection.
  • Get vaccinated against the flu, and for older people, consider getting vaccinated against pneumonia.

If prescription medications are needed, do make sure that you have sufficient supply for a couple of weeks or preferably a few months. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shortages around the world due to the needs of infected patients.

It’s also a good idea to have at least two week’s supply of water, food, cleaning materials, and other household essentials. You can ask your family and friends without compromised immunity for assistance.

Talk to your employer about ways you can work from home if you’re living with cancer or have immunosuppressive conditions. You can also ask your co-workers to not go to work if they’re sick since people with cancer are more at risk.

Connect With Your Loved Ones

During this trying time, you will need all the support you can get. Although physical contact is limited, there are many ways you can connect with your family and friends.

Contact them through social media apps and share your feelings. It can be about your condition, the stress of the pandemic, or anything that can make you feel happy. It will be helpful to talk about other things if you’re already having anxiety about the current situation.

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You can also reach out to various online groups or communities for people with cancer. You may feel comfort and strength if you have constant communication with people you feel akin to.

Communicate With Your Cancer Treatment Team

Talking to your cancer treatment team can keep you updated regarding your cancer treatment and how the outbreak has affected it. If you’re worried about how the pandemic can affect your condition and your treatment, your team can also provide answers.

Unfortunately, some health services may be on a skeletal operation to limit the patients’ possible exposure to the virus. Therefore, treatments may take a longer time than initially planned. Discuss with them your concerns that they may help you find various types of support.

Speak With A Professional Counsellor

Having cancer can affect your mental health, and with a pandemic currently taking place, it can be a hard time to cope. Talking with a professional counselor can give you an outlet to express your emotions, thoughts, and worries.

Many counselors offer their services through chat or telephone. Some employers may incorporate private counseling through health insurance or employee assistance programs.

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Being physically active helps your mind to be at ease and your body to feel more relaxed. Eat healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, protein, and grains. You may also find cooking as a source of comfort. Remain hopeful and find humor during these tough times, it can get you through the following days.

Learning The Early Symptoms Of Blood Cancer

I remember going to the 2018 Blood Cancer Conference on a Friday out of genuine interest on the disease. Cancer, in general, remains mysterious in my head because no one knows when your genes exactly mutate and cause tumor formation. Blood cancer is especially challenging to catch since you won’t find any lump at all. The abnormal cells pool in the bone marrow before entering the bloodstream, so the patient cannot possibly detect it by touch.

Despite that, I have understood from the convention that blood cancer has early indications. Yes, they can be similar to the symptoms of other illnesses sometimes. However, knowing what they are should be enough to make you go to the doctor and have them perform blood tests on you.

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Here are the early symptoms of blood cancer:

Poor Blood Clotting

The primary indication of the illness is your blood’s inability to clot fast. For instance, if you get a manicure, and the nipper cuts the tiniest bit of skin, you may bleed for at least an hour, which is not normal. It happens because you don’t have enough platelets to perform blood clotting.

Itching Skin

Itchy skin is another telltale sign of blood cancer. It is usually felt by individuals with lymphoma, along with dizziness, night sweats, and red dots on the skin. There is no proven reason for it, but scientists believe that itchiness occurs when the immune system fights cancer cells and produces cytokines that irritate nerve endings.

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Aching Bones

Blood cancer can make you experience bone pain, too. That is especially true if you end up having multiple myeloma. Your ribs and spine tend to ache for hours from the start as the cancer cells weaken the bones and keep them from healing.

If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait another day to consult a physician. They can perform the appropriate tests to either confirm your assumptions or ease your worries.

How The Church Can Reach Out To The Disabled

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In the United States and most probably in other countries, people with disabilities are often downgraded. You can only imagine what it feels like for a blind person to order in a restaurant or an individual who uses a wheelchair going on a plane ride. The challenges can be every day for these disabled individuals to join in even the simplest activities. Going to church doesn’t exclude this, and sometimes those with disabilities don’t have nice stories to tell when they get home – only that they didn’t find it a place for comfort and connection.

Opportunities to help the disabled are right in our very eyes, especially with finding them a faith community. Here are ways that a church can reach out to them and make them better believers of togetherness, connection, and spirituality.

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  • Create A Space For Them. Most churches place speakers outside to accommodate the people who are not able to get inside during service as well for those who live nearby. It would also be great if a screen were placed in a quiet room, so families with autistic children and other disabled individuals can comfortably watch and listen to the service. This can make all the difference for them and may reduce their worries and anxieties about going to church.
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  • Encourage Them To Join Ministry. Churchgoers naturally look for a connection with others and an opportunity to serve and make a difference. One thing to consider is how the church community can make it accessible for the disabled to get involved as well. As an active member, you can open the topic of encouraging them to join ministry activities, particularly those that are possible for them too. These activities may include providing coffee or greeting service, nursery duty, and powerpoint presentations. There are always many disabled persons who are willing to serve if they are given a chance.

 

  • Provide Accessibility. There was an article that talked about a disabled person in a wheelchair who stopped going to church when he moved into a new place, simply because the restroom was in the basement. This is why church leaders need to make sure that restrooms are made available for those with disabilities. Aisles can also be made wider, so they can make their way to the front when they want to or when they are invited to come up. Ministers or deacons can also be assigned for them so they can make communion comfortably and not miss out on doing what they went there for – to practice their faith.

 

  • Label Reserved Areas. Just as families with autistic kids have an assigned section, the church can also label areas for disabled members. Some of them have sensory processing disorders, which makes a normal-volume of music seem like it’s deafening or warm-colored lights that can be overpowering for them. Providing them with a labeled section that quieter than the church hall or designed with curtains can make them feel comfortable and will encourage them to attend service. For the deaf, it would be designating them to a place where they can see the interpreter.

 

Conclusion

An individual with a disability attends a service in church to learn more about Jesus and find for himself a community that will help him strengthen his faith. He wants to be considered as a part of Christ’s family like the rest, not someone who is broken and needs to be repaired.

If you are disabled, approach a church member, and air your concerns to him, give him a chance to help you. If you are not disabled and desire to help the wounded, talk to a member and find ways to make these adjustments possible for them, so that they will feel welcomed and valued.

 

 

 

How I Turned My Biggest Weakness Into A Strength

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Sometimes we envy the ones who are rich, popular, or extraordinary (why not?). However, most of them have sad stories of their own too. Just like Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Archer Martin. What do they have in common? They’re all famous geniuses. What else? They all have dyslexia.

My son has a language disability. He’s now 20, but when he was much younger, he was so aloof, and he would always stay at the back of the classroom, afraid of speaking the wrong words at the wrong time. When he gets home, he would tell me that he knew what he wanted to say, but it wouldn’t come out the way he thought. I brought him to a speech therapist, and he somehow improved, but still, he had to practice what he would say before speaking in public.

As if it was not enough, he also has an exceptional motor disability. He couldn’t tie his shoelaces by himself, and he would write big letters because he couldn’t adjust his handwriting. His teachers were struggling to teach him and became frustrated when they would fail.

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The Turning Point

When he was 18, he met a friend who had dyslexia, but he was nothing like my son. He was confident, strong, and somehow happy. What he said to him changed the way he saw himself: “Your disability does not define you, but instead, you are shaped by them.”

With his disabilities, my son eventually learned to strive hard to adapt to public speaking and in events where he would have to use his motor skills. Through his journey, he instilled perseverance and patience and became stronger in spirit. Most people think that excellent speaking and writing skills equal to high intelligence. My son would prove that wrong – he has had a remarkable academic career.

Of course, it was not a walk in the park. We were supportive of his dreams and never failed to show him how much we love him. One time, he told me that he was starting to see the strengths of those with disabilities. He had disabled friends in college, and not surprisingly, they all did well, even excelling in some areas like research. He then learned that Einstein dropped out when he was in seventh grade – and look how successful he became!

Each year, he was more determined to prove to himself that his biggest weakness would soon become his greatest strength. He won awards in Science and Math Competitions. I can’t remember when it was exactly, but when he had dinner one night, I noticed that he spoke much, much better, and I was overwhelmed with happiness. He said he was seeing a speech therapist who helped him with memorization and speech. His most significant achievement after graduating from college was being hired to be a Chemistry teacher – weakness turned strength after all.

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Failure Is Not To Be Feared

My son has grown so much, not despite but BECAUSE OF his disabilities, and his compassion for others who are struggling with disabilities and weaknesses is immense. He would tell his students never to give up and always go for their dreams, to face the negativity in them, and turn them into positivity. When he spoke and mispronounced some words, he would shrug his shoulders, smile, and keep going. That’s the spirit that he imbued to his students – and ultimately to us.

For all of you who are struggling with something today and thinking that they won’t succeed, do not give up. Do not fear failure. My son faced defeat and weakness head-on, and he just realized with flying colors.

 

 

Benefits Of Being Part Of A Faith Community

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I’ve been going to church since I was very young since most of my family members are part of a church community. I speak from experience about what I feel as beneficial about being part of a faith community. I wouldn’t say that I am super religious. I am just a practical person who happens to have my own beliefs about my faith without the intention of influencing others to any particular religion.

I believe that being actively part of a faith community can improve one’s life in several ways.

  1. It Creates Relationships With Supportive Individuals. Through the church group or community, you can create friendships and build bonds with people who have gone through or are going through similar journeys as you. They help you keep yourself focused on the direction that you want to go, which hopefully is towards the better road. You have people you can call when you’re facing difficulty or establish social connections.
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  1. You Have A Consistent Place To Contemplate Or Recover. Being part of a faith community means having a place of solace where you can go and replenish yourself when you’re drained, lonely, or need some comfort. A place of spirituality nurtures a sense of identity and belongingness.
  2. It Engages You To Do Ministry Work. As a church member, this allows you to share your blessings with others in the form of ministry work. This will help you improve your social, team, and leadership skills as you continue to meet different kinds of people and share your faith with them. Most importantly, it instills a good character that you can be proud of.
  3. You Have A Ready Place To Get Married Or Christen Your Kids With Divine Blessings. For someone like me, who’s been loving and living the church life, I must get married in a church surrounded by the people who matter to me. I feel so blessed, safe, and happy. Soon, my babies will be baptized in the community church that I am a part of.
  4. You Have A Community That You Can Run To For Personal Or Financial Need. This is true in that most faith community members have instilled in them kindness and generosity so much so that they would be willing to help financially. Financial problems are not rare, especially with families who are struggling. Needless to say, you are also encouraged to do the same when your fellow church members need your help as well.
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  1. You Can Honor Your Dead Loved Ones Knowing That You Can Pray For Them With The Community. All of us want to honor our loved ones’ past lives appropriately, without having to think where to have the funeral. There is usually a group or committee assigned to these things, such as taking care of the logistics, schedule of prayers and services, etc. Mourning won’t be as lonely.

 My years of experience of being a faith community member have only given me more than I can ask for. I want that for you too.