How MY Blogging Saved Someone’s LIFE

picture of a hand holding a pen

Sometimes bloggers wonder if their words truly have an impact on others.

I am pleased to report that mine did, and are continuing to do so.

It’s true. I have actually helped save lives!

In fact, I recently saved someone’s life. Seriously.

How I Learned I Saved Someone’s Life

I received a letter in my inbox a while ago. Apparently, a suicidal teenager read a post I wrote about the time I tried killing myself. (Wording Well is unique because it contains personal posts from when this site used to be called Lorraine Reguly’s Life, before I found my niche — I guess I should say “niches,” as I have three: writing, blogging, and freelancing — and before I had direction as a services provider and business owner.)

Anyway, getting back to this teenager…

She contacted me through my contact page form. She granted me permission to post her first two emails to me, as long as I didn’t use her name. Naturally, I agreed. I even sent her a copy of this post before publishing it to double-check that she’d be okay with what was published.

This is what she wrote: Read More

I’m Going Into Hiding (sort of) + I’m seeking Beta Readers, too!

This is a digital business card for Lorraine Reguly.

Guess what? I have a few announcements to make today.

This post is kind of like a True Tales Tuesday post crossed with a social media status update, but I figured that I owed it to you to tell you about what’s going on in my life, and what I have been doing for the last month or so… because I’ve been a bit ill, tired, and neglectful of some of my blogger friends.

In keeping with my own suggestions of what to do when you’re a blogger who is sick, I wanted to be transparent with you and tell you what’s happening, what’s been happening, and what’s going to happen in the next little while in my life.

I’ll give you the bad news first, just to get it out of the way, then I’ll move onto the good stuff.

First of all, I’ve been tired lately. A lot. I’m so tired that I’m even thinking of going into hiding… and am… sort of.

In the last month or so, I’ve been helping with renovations to one of the bedrooms at my mom’s house, editing an ebook for Max Ivey (the blind guy whom I interviewed, who is also the man behind The Blind Blogger), writing a series for Dear Blogger (on how to put yourself out there on the internet and how to be seen as an authority), Wording Well, Laying It Out There, and… I’ve been under the weather with a cold that just won’t seem to go away.

But that’s not all.

Wording Well is becoming licensed!

I’ve also been trying to get things in order business-wise, as I’m going through the end-of-year review process with ODSP (the Ontario Disability Support Program), whom I have to report my earnings to (well, if I want them to continue helping me pay my rent and stuff, which I do). They’re great, and are helping me get set up in another program, for women entrepreneurs. I’ve been to three meetings/appointments already, and I have more to go to. On the upside, I am putting together a business plan and will soon be registered as a licensed business!

Yes, I’m getting exhausted! Running a business by yourself is hard. Most people have support, but I’m a one-woman show, folks, and I’m tired. It doesn’t help that my leg has been giving me problems, either, but I think it’s my fault — I shouldn’t have been painting and standing on it for so long. However, I’m happy I have my leg and didn’t lose it in my accident. Of course, attending all these meetings is not helping my leg much, either. 🙁

What also doesn’t help is having technical problems like testing out a new plugin and running into problems that aren’t even connected to the plugin. That added stress is something I surely could have done without!

I also am supposed to have a new book coming out in December, but I’m not even close to completion. Ugh. The good news is that my Media Kit for Risky Issues is pretty much finished.

I Am Seeking Beta Readers

What I’m going to do, in honour of November being National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo), is go into hiding, to work. That means I’m not going to be too active on social media, I’m going to be commenting less on others’ blogs, and I’m going to try to focus on finishing my book.

I’m going to be looking for a few beta readers for Letters to Julian, too.

If you want to be one, please let me know.

I’m not sure when it’ll be finished, or how long it’ll be. What it will be is a collection of letters I’ve written to my son over the years. I’m a single mom, and I’m not perfect. I’ve been a crappy mother to him on many occasions, and I carry a lot of guilt about that. Of course, there have been a lot of good times, too, and these days my son assures me he’s over the bad parts. I’ll give you more information as I progress with this project.

For now, I’m going to post some “fun” posts while I’m “gone” but will begin with an installment of the FITS series, next Tuesday. I am committed to continuing to serve my faithful readers, even though interactions online may be somewhat limited.

Knowing me, I’ll end up getting so into things that I’ll probably be active regardless, but if I’m not, I want you to know beforehand WHY I’m not around.

So there you have it. I’m going into hiding… to work.

I’m expanding my services, too!

Because I don’t think I do enough (yeah, that’s sarcasm!), I am also going to be expanding the services I offer. I’m going to be offering consulting services for struggling and/or newbie bloggers, as well as different purchase packages for blog posts. (I’m sure Greg will like that!)

I’m also going to be blogging more about my life on my other site, Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There, where True Tales Tuesdays and Featured Fridays are moving to (they used to be found on this site, and some are still found in the archives here), so if you like those kinds of posts, please follow that blog instead of this one — or in addition to this one! 😉

I also wanted to wish my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving (Canadians celebrated theirs earlier this month) and a Happy Halloween, to everyone. I am not too sure of what I should be saying to my readers from other parts of the world, as I don’t know a lot about your cultures, but you can educated me in the comments section, if you want.

I’m still going to be giving away some free editing to one lucky winner, so please don’t forget about the opportunity to win free editing!

I also wanted to mention that I need a hug. I do. I could probably use something else, too… but I had better not say what THAT is… LOL

I’ll leave it to your imaginations. 😉

See you on a limited basis in Novemeber, over here, but hopefully more on my other site, Laying It Out There.

Don’t forget to let me know (either in the comments or privately through my Contact page form) if you want to be a beta reader for Letters to Julian. Thanks!

Characters with Disabilities: Does YOUR story have any?

 

This shows my two legs, the right one scarred from my two operations, the left one still healing from my recent surgery.

 

Think fast! Name five well-known fictional characters with disabilities. You cannot include Professor X.

You have one minute. Okay. Go.

Tick. Tick. Tick….

 

Time’s up!

 

How did you do? Don’t worry, if you couldn’t get five in under a minute. There aren’t very many to begin with.

Here’s a new question:  Of the ones you named, how many of them rely on one of these clichés for the character development?

  • The tragic figure
  • The angry whiner
  • The overprotective or absentee “caregiver”
  • The former badass
  • “My disability is a superpower,” “My disability is why I have this job,” or “My superpower makes my disability better.”
  • The desperate search for a cure

The problem with all of these scenarios is that they present disability as something that is always, unquestionably a tragedy.

The message is that any person with a disability must either fight against it, become a powerless victim, or become evil because of it. These stories aren’t written to represent the experiences of people with disabilities; they are written to explore the fears of able-bodied authors who have trouble conceiving a disability as anything more than a horror that lurks in the back of their minds.

There are people who view their disability as a tragedy — especially if they acquired a disability later in life. Most people with disabilities don’t think like that, and fiction writers are doing this community of diverse individuals a huge disservice by perpetuating stereotypes that play off of cultural fears about what it means to live with a disability.

There is a deeply rooted cultural bias that says any person whose body or mind functions differently from current norms is “special” or “less capable.” Sometimes that means a person is marginalized because of a disability. Other times it means the person is idealized as an “inspirational figure.”

It can be hard for able-bodied writers to get beyond the stereotypes, but writing is richer and stories are better when authors abandon cliches and purpose to write with authenticity about characters with diverse experiences and backgrounds.

The best example I have of a compelling character who breaks disability stereotypes is Geordi Laforge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Geordi is blind, and sometimes his blindness or the way his VISOR functions are relevant storylines of TNG, but Geordi’s story-purpose is to be an engineer. His job is to make sure that the Enterprise runs properly, and he chose to go into engineering because he was interested in the field. He didn’t choose engineering because it was an avenue open to a blind guy where other areas were closed or because he wanted to “break in” to a field where blind people weren’t normally allowed. He’s a talented engineer and capable scientist, but he’s not the only person on board the Enterprise who can do his job.

For me, every story is different, but those are the principles that I try to follow when I write characters with disabilities. I think I might start calling them the Geordi Principles.

  • Disability should be relevant, but not a defining characteristic.
  • Disability can be a challenge, but it should not be “the problem” that moves your story.
  • Disability can also be an asset, but it should not be idealized or the “solution” to the problem.
  • Characters with disabilities can and should be able to work at the same jobs other characters can do. There is no need to create “unique” positions that ONLY the “special” person can do, unless you’re writing a monomyth type hero who just happens to have a disability. The disability shouldn’t be a superpower or the reason your character is fit for his/her job.
  • Please, avoid the overprotective and absentee family members who can’t cope appropriately with a character’s health issues or desire for independence. This is insulting both to people with disabilities and the families who view them as capable individuals who should be treated with respect and dignity.

Redefining Disability artwork (c) Rose B. Fischer.

Back in February, I got into a discussion about disability in the media and how there just doesn’t seem to BE a whole lot. I’d like to change that, so I’m creating an interactive blog project. If you’re a writer or story creator interested in authentic representation for people with disabilities, please check out Redefining Disability. We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the points in this post, hosting discussions on a variety of issues related to creating characters with disabilities, and providing feedback for authors who have story content to share.

I would like to thank Lorraine for hosting me here on Wording Well and helping spread the word about this project. I hope you’ll check it out and join in the conversation.

 


rose b fisher picture

 

 

Rose B. Fischer is an experienced blogger and author of speculative fiction who is currently developing an interactive project to promote awareness and media representation for people with disabilities. She also reviews books!

My Son Was In An Accident (a car crash/collision)

car crash

On May 17, 2014, my beloved son was in a motor vehicle accident.

The picture of the crashed vehicle (above) was the one my son was driving when he was hit by someone going through a red light.  I think it was taken by Randi-Lynn Manduca, but am not entirely sure. (I don’t know why there is a line through this link; perhaps it because it links Facebook page?)

I learned about the accident the day after it happened, on May 18, 2014, and my son said that I could find some pics on this person’s Facebook page. Naturally, as a mom, I cried when I saw the photos but am happy my son lived through it and is still alive.

The truck that hit him is rumoured to be driven by a young man (age 20 or thereabouts) who had just broken up with his girlfriend, was upset, tried to involve her and her mom in a car accident but failed to, and so sped away from her house, accelerating and running a red light as my son happened to be going through a green light on the other street. (Yeah, my lucky, lucky son…)

The truck flipped and rolled, coming to a stop in someone’s front yard. He apparently went to the hospital but is also being charged.

The Psychological Effects

Since the accident – which was reported as a scary crash on our local news site – son has been terrified to drive. He no longer owns his own vehicle (he got rid of his last year), but driving was part of the job he had. I say “had” because two days after the accident, he actually quit his job. He’s still anxious when in a vehicle. He also gets freaked out when riding his bike. Intersections scare him, and I don’t blame him one bit!

Pictures of the Accident

Here are some more pics of the accident, also taken from the aforementioned person’s Facebook page: Read More

I Want to Kill Myself – What Should I Do?

woman holding a gun contemplating suicide

Here is a list of the contents of “I Want to Kill Myself – What Should I Do?”:

  • Introductory Words
  • If You Are in Crisis
  • My Life Was Awful
  • How I Tried to Kill Myself (and What Happened)
  • When I Was a Teacher, These Thoughts Returned
  • I Went to Counseling to Discuss My Suicidal Thoughts and My Other Problems
  • How to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts (Hint: Start by Using Positive Affirmations)
  • Why Do People Think about Committing Suicide?
  • 11 Things to Do When You Have Suicidal Thoughts
  • 5 Things of What NOT to Do When You Are Occupied with Negative Thoughts
  • What to Do if You Feel Helpless
  • Phone Apps to Use to Help You Seek Professional Medical Attention
  • How Do You Discuss Suicide?
  • I Have Helped a Bunch of People Already
  • Want Help?
  • Why I Am Qualified to Help YOU
  • My OTHER Article about Suicidal Thoughts – Suicidal Thoughts, Sickness, Health, and Hope: A Personal Journey
  • Some Resources for You

Introductory Words

I’m not sure if you’re in a crisis right now because you want to kill yourself (if you are, you need immediate intervention), or if you’re just starting to have some suicidal thoughts.

But I want to help you.

I don’t want you to kill yourself.

I want to teach you to work through your problems, whatever they might be.

Solutions are out there. You just need some help finding them.

You also need to know you’re not alone! I’ve been where you are!

I even tried to kill myself once… and I will tell you about this whole experience in a minute.

For now, if you’re seriously in crisis, then call someone. Here are some international numbers (since I don’t know where you are in this world).

And please keep reading this article, because it contains a lot of good stuff in it!

Also know that I, too, have felt the pain, depression, isolation, and any other negative feelings you’re feeling right now. And I overcame them.

So can you.

And I will teach you how.

How? Read my story and use the exact same methods I used to change my life!

My story is 100% TRUE.

Bottom line? I tried to kill myself and I failed.

I also thought about killing myself for many years afterward but chose not to… because I didn’t want my son to be without a mom.

He is the only reason why I am still here today.

But the methods I use to stay positive and happy are the reason I am successful now

If You Are in Crisis 

i want to kill myself

If you’re in crisis… and if you really want to kill yourself, read this right now. Please. I’m serious. Read it NOW.

If you’re still thinking about killing yourself, that’s good – that means there’s a small part of you that has hope and wants to live despite the crap you’re going through.

The fact that you’re here is GOOD.

Please stay; I want to share my experience with you,  AND I WANT TO HELP YOU.

I wanted to kill myself, too. And I tried to when I was 15.

If you are a teenager, and you want to kill yourself, I have something to tell you. You’re brain isn’t done growing yet! It’s true! It will stop growing around age 21. Also, the feelings you’re having are totally and completely natural. Yes, you’re normal, believe it or not! And there are tons of places that can help you. Trust me. I may not know you, but I know what I went through when I was a teen and was raped. I have also been through a ton of other stuff in my life, and I have overcome many obstacles to get where I am today.

I’ve suffered addictions to both drugs and gambling. I’ve had bad jobs. I’ve been involved in prostitution. I am a single mom. I’ve had a really rough life. BUT I OVERCAME ALL OF MY PROBLEMS! 

If you’re an adult, please know that you’re not alone. There are people who can help you. Anytime, day or night.

Just call a hotline. Here’s one. If you don’t like that one, here’s another resource for you. In fact, nowadays, there are tons! Google search is your best friend. Try using it. Don’t be afraid.

If you’re in emotional pain and aren’t sure what to do next, then stick around and read my story.

My Life Was Awful

I don’t know what you’ve been through, but you’re not the only one who’s hurting. I’m hurting, too. You see, when I was almost fifteen, I was raped. I was a virgin at the time, too.

To top it all off, I was raised in a Catholic household where I was expected to save my virginity for marriage.

After I was raped, I also got involved with drugs and prostitution (as a way to cope with the emotional aspects of being raped)… before getting two university degrees while raising a son as a single mom. So yeah, I’ve been through A LOT.

I’m going to share my experience with you, and if you feel like it, you can share yours, too. Tell me your problems in the comments and I’ll do what I can to help. I promise.

How I Tried to Kill Myself (and What Happened)

When I was 14, I was a virgin. I had a fight with my dad one evening and ran away from home. That night, I stayed with a friend of a friend. He was 29, and he ended up raping me.

When I was raped, my world was turned upside-down. I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do or how to act. I tried pretending nothing was wrong. I was crushed beyond belief. I felt like life was not worth living, and I wanted to die.

I didn’t tell any anyone about it, either. I was ashamed and embarrassed, and I didn’t know who to tell or what to say.

The Kid’s Help Phone line wasn’t founded until 1989, and I was raped in June of 1986. (I was 15 then. I am 45 now.)

To cope with my devastation, I did a few things. I started smoking marijuana, began drowning my sorrows by eating and escaped my feelings by sleeping more. I fell into a deep depression.

I also became promiscuous, looking for love in all the wrong places. I thought about killing myself, constantly. One day, I tried to…

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