An occasional series featuring our favorite Instagram follows.
Who she is: Right below-elbow amputee (RBEA), lost her arm in 2013 to heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.
What she does: She’s an actress who co-starred in the award-winning short The Vanished, made a cameo in a Nike ad, and shows up on TikTok often enough to keep us on our toes. She’s also a yoga teacher and mindfulness coach who exemplifies the power of self-healing and holds weekly live sessions on Facebook. And she’s a substitute teacher when necessary, a camp counselor occasionally, and a lupus survivor always.
Follow at: @whereswaldman (and please follow us @livingwithamplitude!)
Why we followed: Two reasons. First, for her moving thoughts about social distance, difference, and resilience (see below). Second, for being the only person ever to use “heparin-induced thrombocytopenia” correctly in a complete sentence on social media.
In her own words:
May 11: “I couldn’t imagine my life without living with my adversities. It makes me different, sets me apart in its own way, and connects me to a world of infinite possibilities—the world of the disability community. This life is strange and often scary, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
April 7: “Each of us has the ability to bring ourselves to new places, new mindsets, new shapes that may have originally brought us to self-doubt. This is why it is SO incredibly important to practice non-attachment to our fears and anxieties around unthinkable goals—that were actually fully attainable to begin with….Take the time to be with those uncomfortable moments or feelings, today. Breathe them in and acknowledge their presence, how they cause us to react in moments of stress. PAUSE, then respond instead by releasing those fears and letting them go. Use your breath to do this ….You are capable of so much more than the boxes that your mind has you stuck in. Take the time to break free!”
April 3: “I believe my limb difference doesn’t make me any bit less-than, it only emphasizes my inner persistence….To me, social distancing has become a part of my survival skill set. It’s embedded in my bones. To the people with disabilities, spoonies, stay-at-home moms, anyone that has had to endure their own sense of isolation before this knows that same familiar feeling. It’s what makes us resilient, resistant, and relentless in this battle….I am beyond grateful for the limb different & disability communities that I have been connected with over this time. Finding a commonality in our adversities is a beautiful perspective on this life—so the in-between is where I will stay, and find my own happy ending in this chaotic mess of time. I hope that when things return to normal that we all remember how we persisted.”