“You know, it’s funny looking back. I‘ve been blessed with many awesome peer supporters. They “held the Hope” for me when I wasn’t able to do that for myself. I’ve also found my nephews to be great distractions and supporters! No matter how bad my day may be I know they’ll cheer me up. Kids are great for getting you out of your head and helping you to live in the moment.”
~ SuPerGirL, ORLANDA opens up about opportunities and challenges
People say a person’s attitude towards animals can be a strong indicator of their nature. They also say animals can bring out the best or worst in people. They bring out the best in Orlanda, but it works both ways; SuPerGirL also brings out the best in them! “Animals make me feel happier,” the optimistic, prospective Arizona Animal Welfare League, ASPCA volunteer and future Psychology student exclaims! It’s all very clear. Possessing an iron-will yet outwardly affectionate and comfortable in her own skin, she has a bigger cause. In the center of her world, there is no one worse than the other, be it animal, person or thing. Orlanda’s moral strength, loyalty and an intuitive vision make her a natural leader of any pack.
Too often we underestimate the power of a kind touch, inspiring word, a smile, a listening ear or even the smallest compliment, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Not SuPerGirL. Young. Full of determination. Her face, sweet as honey. Smart. She could land on the moon, easy. Once the humanitarian’s set in motion, SuPerGirL Orlanda’s vision for truth takes flight!
What’s your favorite part about your childhood?
…playing with my brothers and friends. Silly string fights. Basketball. Mountain biking. Water gun fights. Playing sports; we did it all! I HAD FUN.
What was your dream growing up?
My dream growing up was to become a lawyer so I could take care of my parents as they grew older.
How old were you when life’s real challenges (difficulties) tested you? May I ask what they were?
My Dad died when I was barely 18 and since the time I was a teenager I’ve been dealing with depression. I’ve also had some traumatic things happen to me as a child.
How did you address them back then?
I didn’t really start addressing my depression until I was 24. I tried therapy but wasn’t able to get a therapist that I worked well with until 2014.
Because you overcame those obstacles, what is your message to others today? Enjoy life! Appreciate the little things. Reach out for help when you need it. There are people who have similar experiences out there. You just have to find them. Peer support is crucial.
Since then, how have you emotionally and intellectually grown over the years? Emotionally, I’ve learned how to sit with my emotions and just feel them without judging myself. Intellectually, I’m a lot smarter than I used to be. I think that comes with age and experience.
How do you best cope with life’s challenges now?
The hardest thing for me is to ask for help when I need it. I’ve slowly learned that there are a lot of fantastic people out there that genuinely want to help; you just have to accept their help. Also, I use my support system to talk to peers who usually give me some great advice.
What role did spirituality play over the years?
Spirituality has helped to calm me and to remind me of the positives in my life. I find my spirituality out among nature, in self-help books and from my amazing support system …even at RI International.
What’s your favorite part about having experienced RI International? I’ve made some great friends here and the staff is awesome. They have helped me get through some rough times!
What SUPERPOWERS do YOU possess or would like to possess and why?
I’d like to be able to fly. I think that would be pretty cool.
You are a living Legend. What Superhero do you want to be known as and why? SuperGirl! She kicks butt while dealing with regular girl challenges.
Dear SUPERGirL, what’s the best way to combat evil villains and save the world today? Use the Truth to expose those crafty villains and kick some butt while you’re at it!
What’s your favorite song of all time? “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.
What are you grateful for today? I’m grateful for my recovery, my friends and family and all my peers whom I appreciate more than I can say.
The World is YOURS. What is your ultimate dream? I want to open up a place like RI for people like me. It’s been very helpful and the staff is wonderful. Ultimately, I’d like to help people as a psychologist.
PUBLISHED BY RIINTERNATIONAL, 2016