How Do You Define Yourself?

Written By: ingridricks - Mar• 04•16


Seeing a blurry bald head looking back at me in the mirror has done a number on my psyche these past couple of weeks. Between the RP and chemo-induced blurriness and hair loss (topped off by a black eye from hitting my face in the shower), I’ve hit the kind of emotional lows I’ve not experienced since those first dark weeks after my RP diagnosis twelve years ago.

But this morning, as I listened to the voices bouncing around in my head about my RP and cancer and the challenges of it all, it occurred to me that so much of what is bothering me is mental vs. physical—and that none of these ridiculous health problems have anything to do with who I really am.

So I made a list of who I know I am and this is what I’ve got:

  • Happy
  • Healthy
  • Passionate
  • Strong

What do these words mean to me?

 Happy: I’ve always been an upbeat person. And I’ve got plenty of reasons to be happy. I’ve got the most amazing husband and daughters around. I’ve got an incredible group of friends  (and a caring mom) who are there for me WHENEVER I need them. I live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. And I have a flexible work life and work that I’m passionate about. Happiness is a choice and I’m making that MY choice –every day.

Healthy. I’ve worked hard to be healthy and I’m going to continue to do everything in my power to be as healthy as I can be—mind, body and spirit. This Includes working out daily, making healthy eating choices, eliminating stress whenever possible and walking to the beach whenever a sunny day appears.

Passionate. I started my career as a social issues journalist and continue to root for the underdog. I believe in pulling together and giving each other a hand up. When it comes to RP, I’m convinced that whole-body health is key to saving eyesight and know that micro acupuncture has been helpful to many of us as a treatment option — and I’m going to keep fighting until quality RP acupuncture is accessible and affordable for anyone who wants to give it a try.

Strong. I’ve battled adversity my entire life and it’s made me tough.  I’m a fighter, I’m a survivor. I’m defiant and I NEVER give up.  I’m go to live a long healthy life – and I’m going to SEE IT all the way through.

Now it’s Your Turn

What defines you as a person and makes you who you are? Who is your best you – and if you are living your best you, what does that mean in terms of the actions you take and the way you live your life? Make a  list and share it here — or on the Determined to See Facebook Page.

Retinitis Pigmentosa and other health issues are hard. But they DO NOT define who we are. So let’s live the life we are meant to live.

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  1. Jeanette says:

    I agree with your insight into yourself, Ingrid!

    I am a friend, committed to eating healthy foods and drinking green juice (thanks to you!), serious about fighting for equality and social justice for everyone, and taking care of the earth.

  2. Ronak says:

    Hi…you have no idea how much ur posts inpire me!
    These diseases definitely DONT define who we are!
    All the best and god bless! Youre a warrior! fight on!!

  3. Sushil says:

    Hi Ingrid!

    being a fellow RP’er you continue to spread so much positiveness!
    I have read all your posts on this website!
    I wish to thank you for your noble work.

  4. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you’ve been, and I’m so thrilled to see that, despite this difficult time, you’re still you, still that passionate fighter who always finds the good and the things to be grateful for. You’re an inspiration, and you’re also damn right – whatever illnesses or conditions we suffer from, are not who we are.

    All the best to you and your family — and a big hug from halfway across the world.

  5. Erin W says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Ingrid. You are, indeed, a fighter, and I aspire to have your strength. Do you have any recommendations on micro-current stimulation? I really don’t know where to begin? Do I need to attend training to use a machine?

    • ingridricks says:

      Thanks, Erin. The machine I use was purchased from Dr. Damon Miller at Better Eye Health. It’s pretty straightforward. Put on the eyes, turn it on and let it cycle through for five minutes.But maybe I’ll do a video demo on it in case it helps people.

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