10 Mar. 2017

Update 14
Posted by Veterans Stand
8 hours ago

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Thank you to all of our supporters and donors. We greatly appreciate your ongoing commitment to our mission at Standing Rock. The last month has been filled with dramatic events, important partnerships and significant advancement in our long term role into the situation.

On Feb. 22, 2017 the Governor of North Dakota deployed all accessible law enforcement agencies, including private security firms and the National Guard, in a show of excessive force which began a 2 day aggressive eviction of Oceti Sakowin and subsequently the following week was devoted to the same aggressive evictions at the supporting Rosebud, Sacred Stone, and 7th Generation Water Protector campsites. The Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, with the support of Veterans Stand, maintain the only active camp in the Ft. Yates – Cannonball area. This camp sits on private land and fully complies with all state and tribal property laws and zoning regulations. The foundation has been built and the camp capacity grows exponentially on a daily basis.

The Dakota Winds and pending snowstorms are still a challenge with more Water Protectors arriving every day, and the pending continuation of Keystone XL, there’s a lot more work to be done.

In addition to this camp, The Cheyenne River Sioux tribe has opened an offsite service center for Water Protectors in transition, with running water, electricity, and RV hookups, in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Free medical and mental health support, as well as resources to assist Water Protectors along in their journey is available at both locations,

All sites will be operated under guidelines set by the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe; Chairman Harold Frazer and his team have been working closely with #VetStand OPS to develop a long term strategy for support of this camp, the Eagle Butte center (which will serve as the primary command post for Veterans Stands’ ongoing #NoDAPL efforts), and future #NoKeystoneXL sites and operations. The sign-up roster for 1-2 week rotations in support of these missions can be found at veterans-stand.org and we encourage you all to sign up and share.

As our mission and involvement has expanded, and continues to expand, we’re taking this opportunity to change up our funding model for this ongoing campaign, which gives donors more flexibility in how they can support and participate. Please join us at http://bit.ly/2n5giM2 as we continue our stand in support of our brothers and sisters against all enemies to the US people, constitution, and human rights, both foreign and domestic.

Again we thank you for your ongoing commitment to #StandingRock and the Veteran Volunteers of #VeteransStand

Website/Mission Info & Roster: www.veterans-stand.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/veteransstand4
Twitter: @VeteransStand4
Instagram: VeteransStand4
Snapchat: VeteransStand

PR/Press/Media: media@veterans-stand.org

#VetStand #UnitedWeStand #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

Eagle Butte Center Video:Brian Churchill
Dakota Winds Video: Lachlan Ross

Cheyenne River Camp Photo: Ross McKee

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Update 13
Posted by Veterans Stand
22 days ago

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So sure Rubber Bullets aren’t lethal?

Making Progress!

Sacred Rock – #NeverForgetTheBeauty

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Update 12
Posted by Veterans Stand
24 days ago

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Each and every one of you is amazing – THANK YOU!

Halfway to our goal thanks to the generous support of 4.9K donors like yourselves. We are honored and humbled by your commitment to the Stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Many of you have been anxious for news of our #VetStand #AdvanceTeam in Standing Rock. Join us tonight for a Facebook Live event hosted by our friends at EcoWatch. We’ll have Chris Duesing our head of Field Operations and some of his team online to answer your questions and provide an update on our mission.

Please join us TODAY, Monday, February 13 at 7 PM – 8 PM EST https://www.facebook.com/events/735343503282662

Thank You from Veterans Stand

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Update 11
Posted by Veterans Stand
25 days ago

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Update from the #VetStand #AdvanceTeam in #StandingRock

Thank you for your continued support of our stand for Standing Rock. Our campaign has just passed $230K and we are humbled by your kind support. We have already begun putting the funds to good use! Our advance team has been onsite for just over a week, building the right network for ongoing, sustained support of the camp community and addressing the more immediate needs for help.

There are a diversity of needs within the camp infrastructure such as food, supplies, gear and transportation but the biggest overall is manpower, manpower to finalize the cleaning of the camps in the flood zone and moving to the higher ground before the thaw. We are working with several leaders to understand resources available and how to best house the camp community in their new locations, including all hygiene and sanitation needs.

Our team has built a strong network of partners onsite to help us deliver the goods where they are needed most. We are also identifying local vendors to ensure the bulk of the funds stay within the Standing Rock community and local economy. We will continue to work with these partners and investigate others who can assist in building a more consistent and effective supply chain of goods flowing into the camps. When it comes to manpower we are coordinating across our #VetStand network for the generalist and specialist skills that are in most need.

We appreciate there is a great deal of concern and uncertainty given the recent ACoE decision and aggressive movements to begin drilling by DAPL, but we do not believe this stand is close to over. Help us keep this story alive, help us bring this stand to the offices of people investing in DAPL and legislators who are turning a blind eye to civil rights and rule of law being steam rolled. Its time for everyone to take a stand. Share, call, write – make sure your voice is heard and if you’d like to join us in Standing Rock be sure to fill in our sign up roster at www.veterans-stand.org

Thank you,
The Veterans Stand Team

#VetStand #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #UnitedWeStand

Lot’s of prep work to do!

We spotted 15 of these at the Casino

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Standing Rock Update(s)

02/09/2017

Posted by Veterans Stand
11 hours ago

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Website/Roster: www.veterans-stand.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/veteransstand4
Twitter: @VeteransStand4
Instagram: VeteransStand4
Snapchat: VeteransStand

PR/Press/Media: media@veterans-stand.org

https://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/6/whos_investing_in_the_dakota_access

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a distressing couple of days for our mission at #StandingRock with the ACOE announcement we realize you all are looking for more information about what is going on and what happens next.

Veterans Stand has an advance team on the ground at the Standing Rock Reservation to meet with tribal and camp leadership to coordinate upcoming deployments, deliver supplies, and determine the areas of need in which we can be of greatest assistance.

It’s confusing time and morale here is low as people are worried about what comes next. Their biggest worry is that they have been forgotten, as we deliver supplies and gear to our brothers and sisters we have shared many tears and hugs of relief. It is important that we remain mindful of the fact that we are all here in spirit of peace and service, for an outcome that goes beyond the wishes and of any single person or organization.

We have been so grateful for your support which has helped us help so many others. This is a critical time for Standing Rock we have to ask for your help in continue spreading the news and this campaign with networks. Together we can stop this injustice, together we can make this Stand matter.

#VetStand #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #UnitedWeStand

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Update 9
Posted by Veterans Stand
2 days ago

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Thanks to your kind support we have hit a new high at just over $170K in just 10 days. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support!

Our advance team has made great progress in Standing Rock this week and look forward to sharing our plans with you all in the coming days. There is dire need in the camps in many areas we can address through this campaign but also hope, inspiration and a genuine tears of relief from the community of Water Protectors who have stood strong for these months in extreme conditions.

The #StoriesOfStandingRock are diverse and powerful. You’ll find people from all over the country with perspectives and motivations for taking their stand at #StandingRock as diverse as their background, political or religious beliefs. What drives them here is ultimately the need to protect our water, our land and our civil liberties.

What’s happening in Standing Rock is NOT happening to just the indigenous tribes of this area, it’s not just happening to people of this region who depend on this water supply, its NOT happening to some “hippies”, “libtards”, “protesters” or “domestic terrorists”. What’s happening at Standing Rock IS happening to ALL OF US, there is no them there is only we. What’s happening in North Dakota is happening all over the country; treaties are being disregarded; civil liberties are being assaulted; rights are being taken away and most importantly precedents are being set that can be used all over the country.

Many of you have been asking how you can support Standing Rock from home, look no further. Quick refresher on the $$ behind DAPL. https://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/6/whos_investing_in_the_dakota_access

#VetStand #Resist #TakeYourStand #InformationIsPower #NoDAPL #SelfOrganize

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Update 8
Posted by Veterans Stand
3 days ago

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Thank you again for all your continued support we are so grateful to all of you for your generous donations and for sharing this campaign with your networks.

#VetStand has advance team onsite in Standing Rock this week to coordinate with the local leadership and together determine the best path forward for utilizing this campaign for maximum impact.

Our team is incredibly inspired by the potential we have to have a positive and direct impact on the situation in Standing Rock by partnering with some exceptional Indigenous Leaders and teams like Veterans for Peace who have already established a long term presence and infrastructure here.

Please stay close to our networks for more news and updates.

THANK YOU & KEEP SHARING!

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Update 7
Posted by Veterans Stand
6 days ago

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THANK YOU! $100K in just 6 Days from close to 2K donors! You are AMAZING and your commitment to #StandingRock and the Water Protectors is POWERFUL. Help us continue to share across your networks & don’t let this story die!

We know many of you are anxious for ACTION hearing the recent reports coming from the camp. We want to ensure you, #VetStand has been following the situation closely and are working with several of our contacts locally. Our operations team is leading our measured actions in service of the community.

We will continue to update you all as the situation evolves, please understand for security and operational effectiveness reasons there is a limited amount of information we can share at this time. More to come, standby & stay close – we need the power of your voice!

#NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #UnitedWeStand

Join Us!
Website/Roster: www.veterans-stand.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/veteransstand4
Twitter: @VeteransStand4
Instagram: VeteransStand4
Snapchat: VeteransStand

PR/Press/Media: media@veterans-stand.org

THANK YOU!

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Update to all our supporters of Veterans Stand for Standing Rock 27 Jan. 2017

01/27/2017

Hey Yall,…..

I just donated. Please consider choosing to donate at the address / Link below or help in some other way of your choice.

https://www.gofundme.com/VetStand4-StandingRock

 

Howard Lovely, Jr.

________________________________________________________________

 

Update 21
Posted by Michael Wood Jr

28 mins ago

Update to all our supporters of Veterans Stand for Standing Rock.

In the past two weeks the turmoil and uncertainty at Standing Rock has increased significantly. We have continued to stay in contact with indigenous and camp leadership and have identified several areas where the Veterans Stand network can continue to serve the needs of the local community. We are launching this second GoFundMe to create a Standing Rock Fund to address the ongoing needs at Standing Rock and our partners in camp.

Please take moment to check out our new campaign and share with your networks. https://www.gofundme.com/VetStand4-StandingRock

#VetStand #UnitedWeStand #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

Website/Roster: www.veterans-stand.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/veteransstand4
Twitter: @VeteransStand4
Instagram: VeteransStand4
Snapchat: VeteransStand

 

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BC2M Ambassador & WNBA All-Star Jayne Appel-Marinelli is Bringing Mental Health Awareness

08/30/2016

 BC2M’s website

BC2M Ambassador & WNBA All-Star Jayne Appel-Marinelli is Bringing Mental Health Awareness to the San Antonio Stars V. Los Angeles Sparks Game on Thurdsay, September 1, 2016!

We hope to see our BC2M friends in the area at the game! And, if you don’t live in San Antonio, please share this exciting opportunity to talk about mental health with your friends and family!

BC2M’s website

Click here to watch Jayne Appel-Marinelli’s video!

 

 

SAN ANTONIO STARS TO HOST MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS NIGHT

Stars Center and Mental Health Ambassador Jayne Appel-Marinelli Will Share Her Family’s Story After Game That Focuses on Erasing the Stigma of Mental Health Issues

 

SAN ANTONIO (August 29, 2015) – The San Antonio Stars will help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness when they host the Los Angeles Sparks during Mental Health Awareness Night on Thursday, September 1st, at the AT&T Center. With the help of Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M), Stars center and mental health awareness ambassador Jayne Appel-Marinelli will tell her story throughout the night and encourage fans to join in the cause. The game will be broadcast locally on FOX Sports Southwest with Andrew Monaco (play-by-play), Dan Weiss (color commentary), and Stars General Manager Ruth Riley (color commentary) calling the action.
According to Bring Change 2 Mind, one in four people will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their lives. There are effective treatments available for mental illness, but nearly two-thirds of people living with a diagnosis do not seek help from a health professional because of stigma and discrimination. Through in-game activations, Mental Health Awareness Night will normalize the conversation around mental health to save lives, reduce suffering, and ensure that people living with a mental illness are able to pursue their human potential with dignity, full civil rights, appropriate healthcare, and unbridled access to life’s opportunities.

“I am so proud to have the support of the WNBA, San Antonio Stars, and BC2M while organizing our Mental Health Awareness Night coming up on September 1st,” said Appel-Marinelli. “I hope that this night helps shine a light upon an issue that is so prevalent in our society today. Mental Illness has personally affected my family and friends, and is an issue that needs to be given more attention and care. This game will not only help others to talk about mental health, but it will help lead people towards getting help with their illness, teaching how to support someone they love with an illness, and encouraging people to talk about mental health and normalize it. Together, we can all make a difference in ending the stigma around mental health.”

Tickets for each game remaining in the 2016 season are available on the Stars’ website or Ticketmaster, by phone at (210) 225-TEAM, and at the AT&T Center Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on weekend event days five hours prior to tipoff. The 2016 San Antonio Stars season is presented by H-E-B.
About the San Antonio Stars The San Antonio Stars are one of five professional sports franchises owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment – the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), the Rampage (AHL), San Antonio FC (USL) and the Austin Spurs (NBA Development League).The 2016 season will mark the team’s 14th year in San Antonio, as the Utah Starzz relocated to the Alamo City in 2003. In operation since 1997, the WNBA – which features 12 teams – is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world.
About Bring Change 2 Mind Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M) is a national non-profit working to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Because science and evidence-based action are essential to achieving this mission, BC2M’s work is grounded in the latest research, evaluated for effectiveness, and shared with confidence. The organization was co-founded in 2010 by the award-winning actress Glenn Close and her family after they experienced the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Ms. Close’s sister, Jessie, lives with bipolar disorder and her nephew, Calen Pick, lives with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. BC2M encourages people to join them in pledging to end stigma and in sharing their stories on BC2M’s website and social media platforms, such as FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to show yourself a little love!

02/14/2015

Forgiveness with Iyanla
This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to show yourself a little love! Continue working through the course and open your heart to all of the joy, fulfillment and peace that forgiveness brings.If you’re having a difficult time embracing self-forgiveness, look to the Lesson Four Forgiveness Prayer to help you release any unloving thoughts you may have about yourself.Download the Forgiveness Prayer

Today I ask for and open myself to receive the strength, courage and compassion required to forgive myself. I forgive myself for all perceived sins, faults, mistakes and failings. I forgive myself for every thought, belief, behavior, perception and emotion that I have told myself is bad, wrong, unjust, unloving and displeasing to You God. I forgive myself for every hurt, judgment, condemnation, unkind or unloving thought, belief and perception I have held about or against anyone. I also forgive myself for any behaviors or actions motivated by un-forgiveness. I forgive myself for every hurt, judgment, condemnation, unkind or unloving thought, belief and perception I have held about or against myself. I forgive myself for any behaviors, habits or actions motivated by an unwillingness to forgive myself. I forgive myself with compassion and love. I ask for, accept and claim God’s forgiveness. Today, believing and knowing that because I have asked, I have received, I am so grateful.

I Let It Be! And So It Is.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your forgiveness journey.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the O Course Team!

 

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Busting Up Self-limiting Beliefs & My Swimming Progress In 90 Days. New-Years Eve-Eve December 30, 2014 (Swimming For Freedom & Overcoming PTSD)

12/30/2014

 

What a fantastic way to transition / end the current year and begin the new year of 2015…! I am damn pleased with my progress…! My nervous system is holding up fantastically and my coordination of all the different movements (right to left brain communication) and breathing is starting to flow together. My swim instructors & staff have been outstanding at helping me get to this level of swimming in such a short time…!

On a another note,…this is a very personal example of the power of self-limiting beliefs that kept me from trying to learn to swim for many decades because I was told long ago that I couldn’t do it. I even took up the charge and told myself repeatedly that I couldn’t learn to swim! I would tell anyone that asked me about my ability to swim,…”I can’t swim,…I sink like a rock”. With the right learning technique applied by very well trained instructors at least 18 – 27 years my junior,…and,…an adjusted [Can-Do] attitude on my part,…I ‘m swimming as you can see in my videos! For me this is a major achievement that has profound implications in terms of what I,…or anyone else can potentially accomplish with a little shift of belief system from a state of [I can not],…to,…[I can]. My thoughts directed my actions in either case,…and my subsequent actions got me a corresponding result in either case. Whether I believe I [can not],…or whether I believe that [I can] achieve a goal,…is clearly by this example largely dictated by my belief system. In either case I can argue for or against my limitations and be validated [right],…by my end results as [proof]. Life does really continually provide opportunities for the adult version of the childhood phrase “do-over!”. I or you can give ourselves permission to choose a “do-over” belief shift at any moment,…and get a virtual instant and different result that brings us joy and fulfillment much like my swimming has done for me. In 30 – 45 days I went from I can’t swim,…to I’ll sign-up for class,…to I’m swimming…! That’s fairly instant for a 50 year old Man who waited 42 years (15,330 days excluding leap years) to experience the joy of swimming! At this point my goal is to live to age 92 or beyond,…which will give me an unguaranteed approximate 15,330 days to choose to live a life of joy and fulfillment in whatever ways possible,…no matter what! Care to join me in the challenge?!

So,…if there is something that you desire,…a goal,…a dream,…a fantastic amorous relationship, a dream job,…etc.,…now is all you or I have. So try altering your belief about any subject matter that is important to you and check to see if your actions shift toward behaviors that produce your desired result. Look for an out-come that brings joy and fulfillment into your experience of life. Happy belief-shifting! 😉

P.S. The above mentioned concept is not new and is mentioned in many Sacred Texts & Traditions / Religions around the world dating back thousands of years.

Howard Lovely, Jr.

 

This side view video was taken tonight at swim class two days before the New-Year. Enjoy!

 

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NAMI FaithNet Advisory Group

10/03/2014

Working Together for Common Ministry

Working Together

By Carole Wills, Chair, NAMI FaithNet Advisory Group

None of us has enough wisdom, resources and endurance to meet the complex needs in our world alone. In order to succeed we must join together. Only as a whole will we remain strong.

People in need all over the nation are becoming educated about mental illness due to the efforts of many NAMI leaders in-concert with NAMI Affiliates in communities across the country. They are learning about the role of our diverse faith communities in providing comfort and understanding to those affected by mental illness, and about the availability of NAMI Affiliates and the many programs and resources we offer so that people can get the help they need on their recovery journeys, including families. NAMI FaithNet serves to promote outreach to faith communities while encouraging caring congregations as well as encouraging the role of faith as a component of recovery with those for whom this is important.

NAMI has always sought strong allies with which to partner. And we have always been committed to education as key to our mission. A recent study shows that many seminaries fail to adequately train clergy members to help congregants with mental illness. This year, because most religious leaders desire more education, NAMI, through the efforts of national NAMI FaithNet leadership, is joining hands with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and Pathways to Promise to train seminarians and clergy about mental health issues relevant to their own personal well-being and that of those they serve. The long-range plan is to tap into the resources of other local and national mental health-related organizations and offer six full-day trainings, one each semester for the three years of seminary.

On Oct. 14, 2014, these partner organizations are launching the first pilot Seminary Training Project with a full day conference in Indianapolis at Christian Theological Seminary. Central to this pilot is the educational session, Mental Health Basics for Life & Ministry: What Every Pastor Needs to Know.

The goal of the pilot training project is to raise awareness of mental health issues faced by clergy over their lifetime of ministry, to provide basic skills, models and resources to help equip emerging clergy with the information, understanding and insight they need to respond and refer their congregants affected by mental illness appropriately. Yes, we need each other!

NAMI Affiliate leaders and others who are engaged in seminary training, conferences or workshops of all faiths are encouraged to share this information, in the spirit of NAMI FaithNet. Email namifaithnet@nami.org to share and help strengthen the work and resources of NAMI FaithNet.

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Iyanla’s six-week eCourse – “Forgiveness”

09/11/2014

I have signed-up for this course as of today (11 Sept, 2014) and I invite each of you who visit my blog,… to join me on this adventure.
My personal goal is to learn to be more Forgiving of myself,… because I believe that is the core from which I can extend forgiveness outward.
See you on 26 October…!   🙂
Howard Lovely, Jr. 

RockSolidPotential-Life-Coaching, LLC                   RockSolidPotentialLifeCoaching@gmail.com






Iyanla’s six-week eCourse
http://www.oprah.com/app/iyanla-forgiveness.html?utm_source=IFMLAppLanding&utm_medium=20140903&utm_campaign=1
Forgiveness…it is the key to a whole new life.

Embrace forgiveness and you can get unstuck, released, freed up and fired up. Replace anger and hurt with fulfillment and peace.

Iyanla’s six-week eCourse Forgiveness — How to Forgive Everyone for Everything — will redefine forgiveness as you know it. It will lead you to an important new path in your everyday life. You will uncover the feelings and thoughts that are holding you back. And, you will develop a new, more positive way of being in the world.

Each week Iyanla will be with you step-by-step to guide you through a new lesson in forgiveness—through custom videos, emails and interactive assignments.

The practice of forgiveness will bring you strength you never knew you had — and it just may give you the boost you need to make it to your next level of greatness.

Class Starts on October 26.

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“Hidden In Plain View; Disabled But Not Seen”

04/27/2014

By Marie LeBlanc on April 20, 2014

Posted in Education, Health & Safety, Science & Technology

Overlooked in disbelief, financially insecure and emotionally overcome, people with invisible disabilities remain faceless in a crowd. Many suffer in silence for fear of discrimination. Falling through the cracks of society, they are virtually impossible to spot because they look “normal.” Like a cover on a book, they are judged from the outside, yet are screaming inside for help and understanding. Awareness of invisible disabilities must be spread in order to create a just society.

An invisible disability is a hidden illness that does not require the use of visible assistive devices. People with invisible disabilities are often accused of being paranoid or faking symptoms because they “look fine.” With emotional and physical pain they struggle to keep up with society and act “normal.” The disbelief they encounter is heightened by those who fake their illnesses, discrediting those whose disabilities are all too real.

Facing hopelessness, homelessness, unequal pay, unemployment, inaccessibility to treatment and a lack of understanding from government agencies and health-care and insurance providers, people with invisible disabilities are often left on their own to survive. With everything taken away, many commit suicide as they feel there is nowhere else to turn.

A report from the Canadian Human Rights Commission recognizes that three percent of Canadians have been diagnosed with some sort of environmental sensitivity – only one of many types of invisible disabilities – and acknowledges the importance of accommodating the needs of sufferers. But due to a lack of research in the area, many people are misdiagnosed or left untreated.

Given the chance, many people suffering from invisible disabilities would prefer to work and live in a society where they are acknowledged and accepted for who they are and for their qualifications, and not excluded from society due to lack of understanding. But businesses are apprehensive to hire people who disclose their invisible disabilities due to their fear of the unknown. It seems safer to hire people whose disabilities are visible and easily defined.

Each person with a disability finds his or her own niche carved out of their own experience. Many start their own business out of desperation caused from the exclusion of society. Their individual talents and abilities can make them as valuable as the able-bodied people in their same communities, and their insights into many of life’s challenges can come from a unique and helpful vantage point.

As a person living with invisible disabilities, the scrutiny, doubt and lack of understanding from those around me has been very challenging. Facing barriers at every turn, my personal experiences with dozens of medical procedures, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, interstitial cystitis, scurvy, memory and concentration issues, insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome have affected every area of my life.

People are more than willing to dispute I have an invisible disability, as to them I look “normal.” Due to the invisible nature of my conditions, I have been overlooked by society. Misunderstood, I need special accommodations for my most basic needs while trying to survive. This leaves me searching for answers, desperate, isolated and determined to find a way to live a sustainable, healthier life.

Though it is difficult to deal with excruciating pain and odd hours of sleep, I have found outlets to cope with the barriers of life. If it were not for my disabilities I would not be on the path in life I am on now. I have discovered organizations that will allow me to volunteer at my own pace from home to help create awareness for people with invisible disabilities.

I have also been using visual art, poetry, performance art and photography as ways of being in the present moment. I use the camera to see where I have been and where I am going. It serves as my memory bank and helps me create a visual record of what I have done during a day. My disabilities prevent me from remembering things and my visual distortions are getting worse, so I use the eye of the camera to capture the shadows and reflections that define the physical world around me.

In this world where exclusion and isolation are the norms for people with all types of disabilities, I feel that inclusion, understanding and awareness of invisible disabilities would transform society. We all have our own abilities to offer the world. We all matter. There is only unity where neither illness nor status defines us.

Credit Notes:
This article was written by my friend Marie LeBlanc who lives in Winnipeg Canada.
“This article first appeared in Geez magazine, Spring 2014, see geezmagazine.org.”

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