Crystal Williams

Disability Advocate, Mental Health Advocate, Blogger, Kabuki Syndrome, Animal lover & Loves Travel

Hello I’m Crystal Williams! Thank you for taking the time to check out my website. I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself & why I decided to become a blogger. First off  I’m a person with a disability. I have a rare Syndrome called Kabuki Syndrome. It’s not as popular as autism or down syndrome. Most times when someone comes up to me & they don’t know me or do know but don’t know that I do have a disability it’s because you can not tell that I have one, part of my syndrome is that I have a hearing loss. I used to have a hole in my lip when I was born & that was called a cleft lip I no longer have that thanks to all of the surgeries that I had as a child. I also used to have very poor balance but thanks to therapeutic horseback riding I can now walk normally. I still do horseback riding today & I’m happy to say that I no longer need therapeutic lessons. Being a person with a disability doesn’t stop me from doing the stuff that I love, it just means that I have to work just that much harder than anyone else.

Now why did I want to become a blogger. I’ve always loved to write. Writing has always been a huge passion of mine. It has always been my way of expressing my feelings & it’s also been an escape for me. Now I want to be able to share my story with others & hopefully educate others. Being a disability advocate not only for myself but also for others who are not able to share their own voice is very important to me because I want to be able to educate others to understand & not be afraid to ask questions & want to get to know us better. I’m also a big advocate for mental health. I struggle with Depression & I want to be able to help others to come forward to share their story as well & know that they are not alone on their journey. We are all in this fight together.

Other things that you may not know about me. I’m a huge animal lover especially horses, dogs & cats. I love doing horseback riding. I love to travel. I married my best friend & the love of my life. We adopted a cat named Buttons. I love doing photography in my spare time.

Hello everyone. I hope that everyone is having a good week. Today is the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day here in Canada. For those of you that are not aware of what this day means. It’s for raising awareness for mental health and ending the stigma. I have been struggling with depression for over ten years. It hasn’t always been an easy road but I have found ways to help me cope with it. Taking medication, exercise, eating healthy foods, going outside for walks, horseback riding, using a special light, reading books and listening to podcasts that are motivating. I have a harder time in the fall and winter months with depression because of the darker days and wet weather. I have to try very hard during these months to make sure that I don’t go into my dark hole and have those negative thoughts. Another thing that I have found very helpful is writing a journal everyday by writing the things that I am grateful for.

This past fall of 2021 I was really not doing great even though I was doing everything that I could to try and make me feel better but wasn’t working so I started seeing a counselor again. That started to help a little bit but I was still struggling so my counselor suggested that I go see my doctor to see about either changes my medication or maybe upping my medication. After going to seeing my doctor things started getting a lot better for me. All I can say is that I am grateful that I have found ways to help me manage my depression. Even though i still go through my ups and downs I know that being able to share my story to help someone else that is struggling with their mental health. Knowing that your not alone and there’s so many other people that are going through the same thing makes it a little bit easier.

So I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post today. If you know someone who is struggling please make sure you let them know that you are there for them. That’s all we ever want and knowing that we have people that we can count on. I just want to take a moment to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your day.

~Crystal~

#bellletstalk

Hello everyone we are finally in a brand new year. I hope that everyone had some time off over the holidays to be able to see and spend time with your family. I really enjoyed having some time off to spend with my family because in 2020 we were not even aloud to see family or friends because of the pandemic. Well I know for sure that this past Christmas felt like Christmas and it goes to show you how we can take things For granted. When we don’t even know how lucky and privileged for the things that we have.

It’s hard to believe that we are already in the middle of the second week of January already. I have been a little busy this past week, so that’s why I haven’t posted much on my social media or on my blog. This week I have been enjoying being able to spend more time with my two cats Buttons and Rickie. I took Rickie to the Vet Clinic at the beginning of the week to get him neutered, so now I have been home with him making sure that he’s okay and that nothing goes sideways while Rickie is recovering.

This year is going to be a big year for me and my husband. We are both turning 30 this year. I have to say that I am really looking forward to being in my thirties. I look forward for new challenges that come my way and new life lessons that will continue to make me grow into the person that I am suppose to be. I’m still planning on doing as much writing as I can and to continue doing new projects that hopefully later on in the year I will be able to share more details about it. Anyways that’s all for now from me. I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

~Crystal~

Hello everyone happy Friday. It’s hard to believe that it’s already Christmas Eve today and Christmas Day tomorrow. Where did this year go. I just finished wrapping all of the Christmas presents while listening to Christmas music. One of my favourite things to do during the holiday season. I thought I would take some time today to do some reflecting back on this year for my annual blog post that I do every year. The beginning of this year was pretty quiet nothing super exciting mainly just been working and trying to stay safe by not getting covid. Got to see some family in person and then also did lots of video calls with other family and friends this year. Matthew and I got to go to Tofino BC with his family for a few days in July. It was a nice little getaway and a much needed vacation that we all needed. It was my first time ever getting to go to Tofino and it was absolutely beautiful. If you want to know more about that trip I did a blog post back in July once we got home, so feel free to go read that blog post. An other thing that happened in July was that my parents got a new puppy named Remy. She is a Black Labrador Retriever. She’s been a great new addition for my parents. I got to stay over at my parents house to look after our family dog Gracie while they went up to trail BC to get her. Gracie is also a Black Labrador Retriever as well. I’m sure lots of you follow my instagram posts so you would see lots of pictures of them. Then in August we got to go away with my side of the family to Canim Lake for a few days it was so nice to have my nana join us as well. There’s more about that trip as well on my blog as well from a post that I did way back in August if you want to know more. September was a pretty good month. We added a new family member to our little family. Rickie has been a great addition. Matthew and I have never had a kitten before so we are both still learning. Rickie and Buttons are getting along pretty well now, but I have to say that it was a big adjustment for her having to share us with another cat around. Also at the end of September, We celebrated our third wedding anniversary this year. Throughout this year I have been able to go horseback riding and volunteer again at my riding stable, which has been really good for me to be able to get back out there to volunteer all of the riders that I get to help with their lessons makes me so happy. One thing this year that has been hard for me is I was really struggling with my depression more then usual, but I have found some new solution to help me feel a little bit better. Anyways that’s pretty much all that has happened for me this year. I am looking forward to having sometime with my family over the next week. I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season. Well that’s all for me until the new year. Looking forward to see what next year will bring.

Our first Family holiday card!

~Crystal~

Hello everyone, happy Friday. It’s been awhile since I have done a post on my blog. I still can’t believe that it’s already December. Where did this year go. Today is a special day for me and many others who have a disability because it’s International Day of Persons with disabilities. I have been trying think of what I wanted to say for this blog post for most of the day. So I figured that I would just speak from my heart about how much things have changed for over the years being a person with a disability. It really amazes me how far things have come over the years. When I was growing up it was always hard for me to understand my disability because I didn’t know a lot of information about it and let alone I didn’t know anyone else who had the same disability as me. I only knew a few other people who had other disabilities and I always felt like we were outsiders or something. As I was growing up I started meeting more people who have other disabilities through School, Special Olympics and through my riding stable Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association. People who have disabilities come in all different forms whether it’s physical or intellectual. I know that sometimes people who have an intellectual disability don’t always look like they have a disability on the outside and it can be confusing to some people, where it’s easier to understand someone who has a physical.

We have certainly have come a long way with all these amazing resources, programs and organizations over the years to help make sure that myself and many others who have disabilities feel safe, included, respected and belong into the community. I am so happy to see that there are so many people who want to learn more by helping out at all these incredible programs and organizations. It certainly makes a huge difference for all of us that have disabilities knowing that we have people who want to make sure that we don’t feel like we are isolated away from our own communities. I know that I have said this before in my blog and to my family, friends and other people that I have met over the years. As a person who has a disability we all want the same things as other people, we want to be loved, happy, healthy, feel included, respected, seen and heard. I am so grateful that I have been given so many great opportunities to be able share my story with others and to be able to help others. It sure has given me more confidence in myself to truly be myself and not feel like I have to hide who I am.

Anyways I know that I probably went on to long about this blog post today, but I do really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my blog post. There’s nothing more that I like better being able to share my thoughts and feelings with others. Writing is not only very important to me but it’s also a huge passion of mine. I hope that you did enjoy reading this blog post today. I hope that you are having a great day.

~Crystal~

Hello everyone, I hope that everyone is having a good day. Today I wanted to make sure that I took the time to write a post on my blog because it’s World Mental Health day. For myself I have been struggling with a mental illness for eleven years now. I have depression and sometimes it’s not always easy to deal with, but I have learned how to manage it. For the first couple of years I had a really hard time trying to manage my depression and finding the right ways to learn how to cope with it. I still struggle with it but now I know different ways to help me with it, even though the fall and winter months are the hardest times of the year for me. Over the past two years I have done a lot of learning and education for myself to find new ways to help me manage my depression. Now not everything that I have tried has helped me but I haven’t stopped trying different things. I have found that reading lots of different self help books, podcasts that are motivational, working out, eating healthy food and even journaling has really helped me. Also I have found that being able to share my story with others that are going through the same sort of situation has really helped me as well. It’s nice to know that I am not alone and that being able to share my experiences with depression can help someone else who is also struggling. I know that having a mental illness can be scary, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. I think for myself not only has it made me a stronger person, but it has also made me want to help others in anyway possible. So if you or you know someone in your life that has a mental illness reach out to them and see how they are doing. Sometimes the best thing that you can do is to let them know that you are thinking about them and let them know that you are there for them if they need you. Anyways I hope that you enjoyed reading this post and found this helpful for any of you that are struggling. I always remind myself that I am not alone and that I am worthy.

~Crystal~

Hello everyone, today I thought that I would take a few minutes here for myself to write a quick post on my blog. This weekend here in Canada we are celebrating thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to spending sometime with my family this weekend and enjoying a great thanksgiving dinner with my family. I am grateful that I am able to spend time with my family and that everyone is healthy. I am also really looking forward to having an extra day off. It’s always so nice when the long weekends roll around that means an extra day to get stuff done or to just have an other relaxing day before getting back into the regular work week. I hope that everyone has a great thanksgiving weekend here in Canada or if you live somewhere else I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

~Crystal~

Thanksgiving Fall Background with Assortment of Pumpkins and Thankful Sign

Hello everyone, It’s hard to believe that summer has come to an end and we are already back into fall season already. Today on my blog I want to talk about how nice it has been to get back into a routine. Last year 2020 sure made it hard for everyone to have their daily routines but it is sure nice to be able to have some normal back again. I know that for myself that I have been very fortunate that I was able to have some what of a routine last year. For a couple of months it was hard not being able to go back to my favourite place and my happy place which is my riding stable Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association. I really had a hard time not being able to be there while we were first going through covid. It was definitely sad because not only was it hard not being able to ride for a couple of months but it was also heart breaking for the other riders who were not able to be there for a year and a half. Most of those riders were the ones who needed the service and therapeutic horseback riding the most. I know that Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association was struggling not being able to be at full capacity for a while but they were able to open back up to most of the independent riders with no volunteers after being forced to shut down for three months last year.

Now Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association has been able to be back to full capacity for fall session and it sure feels so good to have everyone back. We now also have new people not only for horseback riding but even new volunteers. It sure has been so nice for me to see some of the riders come back that haven’t been there for a year and a half. Being able to volunteer again has been truly made my heart feel full again. I love being able to see smiles, hear laughs and connections again. Honestly there’s nothing quite like it. I still love being able to give back to this incredible organization that has done so much for me and I also love being able to see the young kids who need the therapeutic horseback riding the most improve, that’s what makes my heart so happy. I cannot say enough great things about this amazing place. I will always do whatever I can to help them out because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association has made me become a strong, confident, compassionate, patient, loyal and independent human being. The horses are definitely a big part of the organization but they certainly can’t don’t it without the incredible staff and I can’t forget about all of the other amazing volunteers that come out to help.

Well that’s all I really wanted to share today for this post. I really hope that you enjoyed reading this post. It truly means a lot to me for you taking the time out of your day to come read my blog posts. I hope that you all have a great day and a wonderful weekend! Here’s a few pictures that I have taken at Valley Therapeutic Equestrian in the last month I hope you enjoy!

~Crystal~

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone is having a great start to their weekend. Today on my blog, I am writing about something really special. If you follow me on my Instagram and Facebook account, you would have seen that my husband Matthew and I brought a new family member home last week. For those of you who are just finding out now, I will tell you all about him. We brought home a brand new kitten home on Thursday September 2. A person that we know that works at the same company that we work for just had a litter of kittens in July. Matthew and I had been talking about maybe bringing another cat into our little family because our other cat Buttons was chewing on our stuff and we were not sure what to do for her. So we started to do some research to see if there’s anything that we could do to help her. There was a couple of things that really stuck out to us. The first thing was that because she is part siamese cat we found out that they can have separation anxiety. The second thing that we found out too was because she lost her mother at only two or three days old she didn’t have her mom around, instead she was bottle fed as a kitten. So we did a few things like getting her some different toys that would help her. That stuff really did help her but in all fairness I had really wanted to get another cat so that Buttons would have a friend to play with while we are both at work during the day. So when we found out that two of our other coworkers were getting a kitten from the litter we were both excited for them and found out that there was still some available. I wanted to see them so once I saw the picture of him I couldn’t help it but know that we had to have him. So Matthew and I had talked about it, he wasn’t to sure about the idea at first but then when he saw his picture Matthew was sold too. We had a few different names in mind for him, but we had two names that we weren’t sure which one that we were going to end up with. The first one was Rickie and the second name was Theodore. We ended up calling him Rickie. He is named after Matthew’s favourite professional golfer Rickie Fowler.

It has taken some time for Buttons to adjust to having her new little brother Rickie around but they have started to get along. It’s so nice to see Buttons coming out more instead of hiding when we have people come over to visit. They love to chase each other around our condo. They love to play with each other and also they love to sleep close by to each other as well. Buttons has put Rickie in his place a few times now, but he doesn’t seem to care. Rickie just wants to follow Buttons around and play. They are both so happy to see us when we come home from work. Rickie differently keeps us and Buttons on our toes for sure but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s a few pictures that we have of him. I hope you enjoy.

~Crystal~

Rickie at eight weeks old.
First picture brining him home!

Hello everyone, it has been three weeks since I have wrote anything on my blog. So I thought I would write something tonight. Two weeks ago Matthew and I went away with my family for a vacation. It was awesome getting to go camping and spending some family time together at the lake. It has been awhile since we have all gotten away together as a family on a vacation. We all went up near 100 mile house to Canim Lake. It was great getting to go fishing in my dad’s boat even though we didn’t catch anything, it was still so nice to be able be on the lake. We even went fishing off of the dock which was a lot of fun too. It was so nice to be able to unplug from my phone and social media. I took some pictures but not a whole lot. I have been trying to do more with manual mode on my digital SLR camera instead of using automatic mode. We all did lots of relaxing and mostly enjoyed everyone’s company. We all had said that the trip went way too fast so that only means that we need to do this trip again for next summer. Anyways that’s all for now. I hope that everyone is enjoying their long weekend.

~Crystal~

Hello everyone, it has been about a month since I have wrote a post on my website. Today I felt like I needed to post something because I have been thinking a lot about all of the forest fires that have been going on in my beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada. This has been on my mind for a little while now. It has been so hard to hear on the news and seeing so many posts all over social media. Knowing that so many people have had to evacuate their homes knowing that they would lose everything or hope that they still would have a home to come back to. Some people didn’t even get an evacuation warning some people had to grab things on the fly and just get out of their own home. There’s one town here in BC that was completely destroyed by the fires. Which to me is very heartbreaking. I’m still not sure if they know what caused that fire but all I know is that wether it was caused by a person or by another one of the fires, it’s still devastating. Now all of the smoke from the forest fires have finally made its way down into the lower mainland, which is really sad. It’s so sad to think that the forest fires keep getting worse and worse every year now. I feel that it has only started to get really bad in the last four to five years. I mean there has always been a forest fire somewhere in the summer but nothing likes this that I can remember.

Photo by Luc Tribolet on Unsplash

Now not only have the fires been horrible but the weather has been a big problem as well. We have had record breaking temperatures as well which has cause us to have a heat wave that has been up to the 40c which would be 104F. I can tell you that I have never experienced anything like this before ever. I am hoping that this heat wave will come to an end soon because this has been the second time this summer already that we have had very high temperatures. We have only had a tiny little bit of rain which doesn’t help. We need a few days of rain to help contain these fires. I also want to take this moment to thank all of the hard working fire fighters that have been working so hard to keep everyone safe. Thank you for sacrificing your own time away from your family and friends to do your job.

~Crystal~