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I want air! #Breathing  #WegenersDisease

In seven years, I have had 10 separate airway surgeries to treat my #WegenersDisease. The last 3 were in  #2019 alone - January, July and November.

Since November, I've had two airway steroid injections. The last one was in February.

My 3rd injection was canceled due to #COVID19. I'm now scheduled for May.

But quite frankly, it's too late. I can't breathe again. I need surgery again.

#COVID19scares the crap out of me. My anxiety about it grows each and every day. If I end up on a #Ventilator , I'll never come off. This disease will kill me.

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To New Beginnings, Everyday is One

I had lots of plans on how to start #2020 but after just leaving the hospital at the end of #2019 as a result of #UlcerativeColitis as well a slew of personal dilemmas, I was pretty lost. Incidentally though I started to come to a bunch of personal realizations of which the most important was how I should continue to fulfill my potential regardless. #LifeIsShort and so I just picked up a couple days into January and got to it. Currently I’m trying to build a creative platform and audience as well as a platform and audience for an educational blog. In between I’m hustling and learning and striving to start school and move into a new place this year. It’s a lot but I know I can figure something out as everything happens for a reason. #LetsGo ! #AutoimmuneDisease can’t and won’t define me. Also listen to the Uninvisible Podcast episode featuring Devri Velazquez

my personal/creative ig @j.thejackal

my educational blog ig @jesbec.edu_


100 Lessons I Learned This Decade (Part 2)

45. Love yourself.
46. Don’t wear what’s trendy, wear what you like.
47. Don’t look for acceptance and kindness in other people, look for healthy relationships.
48. Don’t search for perfection, find balance.
49. Instead of constantly becoming a different person each year, focus on shedding false layers and becoming the real you.
50. Stand up for yourself much more often and frequently than you believe you need to.
51. Become your own biggest cheerleader.
52. Become your own biggest supporter.
53. Your teacher is a person with limited educational qualifications; they can’t answer all your questions about everything.
54. Bring up your past so you can heal it, not so you can wound yourself with it.
55. New days are new chances at wellbeing, balance and productivity.
56. Vocals add definition to a song and meaning far beyond any other element of a song.
57. Finding your purpose in life takes a lot of time.
58. Finding your passion in life takes a lot of time.
59. Most people dislike your enthusiasm and want to destroy it instead of nurture it.
60. Most people want your attention but don’t value it.
61. Your support network is small and needs nurturing but not expansion.
62. You don’t understand your worth because school doesn’t teach authentic self worth.
63. Sexual harassment will and often does involve grooming.
64. Fighting back against sexual harassment is the most important aspect of #MeToo .
65. There is no such thing as a person who knows what they are doing; there are just improvisations.
66. Keep fighting and keep striving no matter what comes your way in life.
67. Don’t let the hardship of others prevent you from being able to love yourself.
68. You are not responsible for the pain of others.
69. Being giving and being a doormat are completely different.
70. Being kind and being a doormat are completely different.
71. Being supportive and being a doormat are completely different.
72. Learn to let go of things which don’t matter anymore.
73. Make it a practice not to tolerate disrespect.
74. Appreciate your body for all that is has experienced.
75. Stop expecting your looks to heal your soul.
76. Stop expecting your accomplishments to heal your soul.
77. Stop expecting your wealth to heal your soul.
78. Life is more than your title.
79. Life is more than your wealth.
80. Life is more than your status.
81. Domestic violence is real.
82. Narcisstic abuse is real.
83. Discrimination is real.
84. Workplace bullying is real.
85. No more workplace harassment. Time’s Up.
86. No more sexual harassment.
87. No more gender discrimination.
88. No more domestic abuse.
89. No more financial abuse.
90. No more elderly abuse.
91. No more child abuse.
92. No more self abuse.
93. No more abuse of power.
94. Spend time in nature.
95. Spend time with others.
97. Stop staring at your phone.
98. Love yourself.
99. Love yourself.
100. Love yourself.


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100 Lessons I Learned This Decade

1. Self-love is a journey and a constant process, not a destination.
2. Just because an illness isn’t recognised by medical science, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
3. Most people with mental illness possess an ability to care far beyond most of us.
4. Autistic individuals are the most unique out of us all.
5. Almost all of us in this generation are growing up insecure and deprived of self-love.
6. Stimulants are never the answer.
7. You’re not even remotely mature as a teenager.
8. You’re not even mature as an adult.
9. Spending time with yourself is important.
10. Social media is extremely toxic.
11. Pictures of ourselves have destroyed our self esteem.
12. Most relationships are toxic and one-sided.
13. Mental illness needs treatment not mockery.
14. You can’t “cure” another person because only a professional can do that.
15. Stop going out of your way for people around you who haven’t impacted your life.
16. Write, paint, sing, make art and continue to express yourself in any way you can.
17. Don’t expect school to teach you what you need to learn about your emotions.
18. Self-esteem is not a joke or something to be disregarded.
19. Support those who are recovering from addiction, instead of judging them.
20. Stop looking at mentally ill individuals as social pariahs.
21. Stop judging individuals who are transgender and start helping them get meaningful resources to live lives of dignity and self respect.
22. Animals and plants are deserving of this earth just as much as we are.
23. Racism is real, toxic, and damaging to one’s physical health.
24. Our gender predicts how far we can go in life.
25. Most processed food is just as good as poison for your body.
26. Don’t eat refined sucrose, and lose the dairy as you get older.
27. Fast food is worse than poison for your body.
28. Cocaine and caffeine aren’t too different.
29. Makeup contains hormone disrupters and so needs to be replaced with mineral makeup.
30. There is no shame in going to the gym, and becoming a healthier version of yourself.
31. Many people are too superficial to see beyond their perception of your physical appearance.
32. Body dysmorphia is real, and needs more attention and understanding.
33. There is no such thing as a perfect love or romance; relationships are a constant process.
34. Children are far more intelligent and responsive to their environment than you would imagine.
35. Neurodiversity is not a disability but a different ability.
36. Severe mental illness needs destigmatisation and awareness beyond stereotypes.
37. Severe physical illness needs destigmatisation and awareness beyond stereotypes.
38. I feel alone when I use social media and so do you.
39. I feel ugly when I use social media and so do you.
40. I feel a little smaller when I use social media and so do you.
41. Body acceptance is a crucial aspect of mental wellness.
42. Accept yourself.
43. Forgive yourself.
44. Celebrate yourself.


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50 Lessons I Learned in 2019

1. Healing is not linear.
2. Self-love is the best love.
3. Always choose your health over anything else that may come forth in life.
4. As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
5. Autism is misunderstood beyond belief.
6. Most people we know don’t want to work on themselves at all.
7. Some people we know are threatened by our very existence.
8. Choose self-worth over anything else that my come forth in life.
9. There is no such thing as a universal morality for some people.
10. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it.
11. You’re never too good for therapy.
12. There is no shame in medication for mental illness.
13. Women who bully other women are the enemies of feminism.
14. A foot in the door is not a seat at the table and never will be.
15. Perfection doesn’t exist, so stop searching for it.
16. People are not interested in you, people are interested in themselves.
17. Sometimes the ugliest people wear the prettiest masks on the outside.
18. Sometimes the nicest people are the worst dressed.
19. Never, ever suffer for anyone who wouldn’t bat an eyelid for you.
20. Choose yourself over fake people in life.
21. Insecure people make for excellent toxic relationships.
22. Sometimes the people who hate you the most want what you have the most.
23. Men silently disregard feminism and gender equality even if they pretend to accept it, many a time.
24. Neurodiverse people are rarely given credit for the enormous work they put into their lives.
25. Most people don’t want you to succeed; get rid of them ASAP.
26. Never let anyone make you feel like self love isn’t deserved.
27. Those who don’t believe in self love don’t love themselves at all.
28. Time’s Up is the next glass ceiling for feminism.
29. Slander is the biggest and easiest sin to commit.
30. There is more worth in a single cell of yours than in all of your haters combined.
31. Choose yourself. Constantly. Over and over again. Each day.
32. Self love is never selfish; those who see it that way don’t love themselves.
33. Open mindedness is a skill which requires constant effort.
34. Choose to love and heal, constantly.
35. Broadened horizons are the best horizons.
36. You are not the people who hurt you.
37. You are not the people who hate you.
39. Abuse is a crime. No matter how much the abuser says it isn’t.
40. #MeToo is much more common than people say it is.
41. #time’sUp needs more support than its’ getting.
42. School teaches only a fraction of what life demands of you.
43. Loving yourself is the biggest act of rebellion in today’s world.
44. Love and love yourself, and love yourself.
45. For every disease, there is a remedy. Sometimes just talking about it can ease the pain a little.
46. Self love is a virtue.
47. Good mental health is not an option.
48. Good physical health is not an option.
49. Turn off the TV.
50. Stop using social media - it’s toxic.


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Goals for 2020

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever."

~ Neil Gaiman #2020 #2019 #NewYear #goals #Depression #Anxiety #sad #Bipolar #BPD #PTSD #CPTSD #MentalHealth #ChronicIllness #Pain

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100 Positive Things About This Decade - Part 2

62. I rediscovered bike riding.
63. I had my first taste of Red Velvet Cake.
64. I moved off Facebook and Instagram.
65. I discovered blueberry mousse.
66. I discovered a local television serial.
67. I discovered liquid nitrogen ice cream.
68. I tasted coffee for the first time, properly.
69. I discovered Nasi Lemak.
70. I discovered Philly Cheesesteaks.
71. I discovered Hainanese Chicken Rice.
72. I discovered Kueh dessert.
73. I wore high heels regularly.
74. I pierced my ears.
75. I got my first pair of braces.
76. I discovered iced Milo.
77. I visited the Wagah border between India and Pakistan.
78. I discovered strawberry cheesecake ice cream.
79. I relearned how to swim.
80. I was filmed for a television channel segment.
81. I was a panelist at a mental health play.
82. I made a film.
83. I made my first soundtrack.
84. I wrote my first song.
85. I wrote my first fiction prose.
86. I made my first website.
87. I visited the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
88. I visited a UNESCO world heritage site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
89. I attended a Quincinera.
90. I witnessed my cousin get married.
91. I attended the wedding ceremony of my oldest cousin.
92. I attended the wedding ceremony of another cousin.
93. I met my cousin’s first and second born son and daughter.
94. I met my cousin’s first born son.
95. I met my cousin’s first born daughter.
96. I visited a UNESCO world heritage site, the Shalimar Gardens.
97. I met my cousin’s second and third born son and daughter.
98. I took a ride in a rickshaw.
99. I took a ride in a horse carriage.
100. I took a ride in a subway train.


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100 Positive Things About This Decade - Part 1

1. I am still alive!
2. I graduated from university.
3. I graduated from high school.
4. I managed to reverse insulin insensitivity.
5. I began my mental health recovery journey.
6. I began to take medication for depression.
7. I began my management journey for chronic illness.
8. I began to take medication for Polycystic ovarian syndrome.
9. I embarked and successfully lost 14 kilograms on the Paleolithic diet.
10. I began to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.
11. I travelled to the United States for the first time in my life.
12. I travelled to Argentina for the first time in my life.
13. I travelled to Malaysia for the first time in my life.
14. I travelled to Indonesia for the first time in my life.
15. I travelled to Paraguay for the first time in my life.
16. I managed to win a hackathon.
17. I began to learn how to drive.
18. I began to learn how to cook.
19. I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
20. I had my first experience of Yoga.
21. I began to meditate.
22. I began to drink electrolytes.
23. I began to practice the KonMari method religiously.
24. I began to receive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
25. I began to receive counselling.
26. I visited a Buddhist temple for the first time in my life.
27. I visited a Hindu temple for the first time in my life.
28. I visited a Taoist temple for the first time in my life.
29. I travelled to Thailand for the first time in my life.
30. I visited a Sikh Gurudwara for the first time in my life.
31. I began to identify as a feminist for the first time in my life.
32. I discovered Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
33. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
34. I received my first colonoscopy.
35. I became a mental health advocate.
36. I joined Resilience Collective, a mental health organisation.
37. I joined CHAT, a mental health organisation.
38. I discovered the writing of John Grisham.
39. I discovered the writing of Jessica Semaan.
40. I discovered the writing of Amanda Rosenberg.
41. I discovered the writing of Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.
42. I discovered the philosophy of Viktor Frankl.
43. I discovered the sayings of Hazrat Ali (A.S.).
44. I discovered the Nahj-ul-Balagha.
45. I discovered the music of Kygo.
46. I rediscovered the music of David Archuleta.
47. I rediscovered My Wife and Kids.
48. I rediscovered Eastenders (twice).
49. I rediscovered The Story of Tracy Beaker.
50. I rediscovered Lizzie McGuire.
51. I self-diagnosed myself with eczema.
52. I self-diagnosed myself with dyscalculia.
53. I began to work out at the gym regularly.
54. I sent out my own Season’s Greetings cards.
55. I studied Mandarin Chinese.
56. I studied Spanish.
57. I studied Portuguese.
58. I studied Urdu.
59. I rediscovered Casualty.
60. I had my first taste of Pao de Queijo.
61. I had my first taste of Guarana.

(To be continued)


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A Letter About 2019 From BecomingHuman

Dear Reader,

2019 was the year I finally committed to building the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment. It was the year I finally began to take medication for my condition, and I publicly spoke about my history with mental illness on The Mighty.

I have had a year of powerful, important lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my life. 2019 was the year I turned 24, one year less than a quarter of a century old. I experienced a number of things on my wish list, reconnected with people from my childhood and managed to gain more experiences under my belt - a year’s worth of more experiences.

From the moments of silent connection with people I wouldn’t expect to the periods of pure savouring, in 2019 I redefined what it meant to be well and happy. Wellness was no longer about getting a good job, falling in love, or anything similar. It was now about kindness, social connection, savouring and gratitude.

In 2019, I finally realised that I had autism spectrum disorder, and began to recount a hidden part of my history. I connected with many hardworking, talented autistic individuals and learned more about what it meant to be a successful person and how our definitions of success don’t even remotely cover what success really means.

In 2019, I also began to reconnect with my culture and heritage. I studied my local language. I added heritage and traditional clothing items to my wardrobe. I learned how to cook a local staple food from my country and prepare tea the way it’s prepared in my country. 2019 was about accepting my heritage and culture as a normal, perfectly comfortable part of my life.

I witnessed my cousin get married this year, and two cousins graduate from high school. Another cousin’s daughter started elementary school. Another cousin settled overseas while a cousin near me transferred to another city.

In 2019, I participated in a mental health exhibition, and joined another mental health organisation. I shared my story with a local mental health organisation, and am awaiting the publishing of my story.

This year, I managed to begin painting, colouring and drawing after a long period of disconnection from the arts. I also began to write poetry and prose, as well as reignite my passion for photography.

The next year brings with it 365 new opportunities to make a new change in my life. I look forward to 365 new days of life experience, in the year I turn 25, witness my friends get married, my cousins begin university, my mental health and physical health improve, and my connection to this community grow.

To each and every person looking to find reflections in 2019, try looking at how this life changed for you this year. Share more about how 2019 has changed for you below.

Happy New Year!



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Reflection 2019 Edition

This decade has been a roller coaster for me. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and panic disorder in 2011. I was supposed to graduate college in 2013, but that did not end up happening. I was really depressed seeing all of my friends leave while I wasn’t even stable enough to go to school. Many other things happened over the years that I would like to remain unsaid due to possible trigger concerns. The point I want to make is that I didn’t give up. There were times hope was shaky, but I kept going. When I was given the okay, I returned to school. I got my Associates Degree in 2017 and my Bachelors in Psychology this summer (2019). I had moments where I thought I would never get this far and that my bipolar was going to rule my life. In the end, those moments just made graduating that much more special. Now that I am on the other side of this goal (which I have never thought about until this year), I am not stopping there. In August, I went back to school to become a certified music therapist. I’m hoping to finish by 2021, but we’ll see where life takes me. I still struggle with the mood swings and trying to get the medications right for me, but for now...things are looking bright. #BipolarDisorder #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #EmotionalRollercoaster #grateful #2019 #StayStrong #dontgiveup #shinealight