Journaling on Accomplishments and Hopes

From the age of ten or eleven on, I used to keep a journal, first on paper and then on the computer. I quit in 2003 when my computer crashed and I’d lost the last four months of journaling. Besides, an Internet diary had taken over my mind. In 2006, when I moved into independence training where we didn’t have an Internet connection, I started again. I continued to write a journal through my first two to three years in the psychiatric hospital, and then the Internet took over again. My online diaries have often been pretty persoanl, but over the years, I learned to write more for a general audience.

Nonetheless, journaling never ceased to capture my interest. I read and enjoy a lot of personal blogs. A few months ago, I tried to start a weekly gratitude journal here on this blog, but I never got past the first entry.

Today, I bohgt Journaling Tools by JanMarie Kelly, which is basically a very introductory explanation of journaling plus an assortment of prompts, alnd I thought I’d createa “jouranling” category here on the blog.

The first and third prompts in Kelly’s book are about accomplishments you’ve completed and expectations you have for yourself. Kelly asks the journaler to write ten of each, but I am not sure I can get to that many, so I guess I’ll just reflect on a couple.

My biggest accomplishment so far has been graduating from high school. I went to a mainstream school where I was the only blind or visually impaired student. I am also gifted, as were about thirty percent of the students, and of course I have Asperger’s, which I suspected at the time but had not been diagnosed with yet. I remember when I was in the tenth grade, my teachers saying in a performance that only students who had something different about them – gifted, Asperger’s, blind, dyslexic, etc. -, could go to their school. “But our little Louis William George has nothing wrong with him, not even fear of failure, so he can’t come to this school?” Quite funny.

My second biggest accomplishment is choosing my own path of study, which was quite at odds with my parents’ ideas of an appropriate field of study for me. I chose psychology, and completed my foundation (first year) in 2007. I reaalize that psychology is not an ideal major for someone with a communication disorder like autism, and I guess so neither is linguistics, which I majored in the following year. The only thing I can say I accomplished during the two months at that university, is getting a B in intro to linguistics despite taking the exam in the week of the crisis that led to my hospitalization.

I honestly cannot think of any more accomplishments that I consider big enough to list here. Of course, I lived independently for three months and am married, but are these accomplishments or just things I did?

I also cannot think of ten expectations for myself. I used to be able to think of several dozens when I was still in school. I wanted to graduate from college, get a Ph.D., live in the United States, get a job as a researcher, and many other expectations that are out of reach for most non-disabled people. Now I cannot get beyond hopes. I will just write a list of hopes that I have for my future, and think I can get to ten with this.

  1. Complete some more further education.

  2. Get a volunteer job.

  3. Live in a workhome or other suitable supported housing.

  4. Learn to cook independently again.

  5. Work as a recovery worker either on a voluntary or paid basis.

  6. Get any paid job.

  7. Live with my husband./Li>
  8. Visit the United States.

  9. Take and complete some writing courses.

  10. Write a memoir.

Yeah, I made it to ten. 🙂 In fact, I could think of some more, but these are enough f o now.


3 thoughts on “Journaling on Accomplishments and Hopes

  1. I’m quite surprised that living with your husband isn’t further up the list – is this something that’s coming from the hospital staff or from you? To be honest, I’m astounded that you’re still in hospital after all this time with no prospect of discharge other than to a “workhome”. In this country (the UK) you’d not have stayed in hospital for seven months, let alone years, after the train station incident – people with mild or high-functioning autism don’t get kept in hospital for years unless they stab or rape someone and are sent there by the court. (We’ve had funding cuts too, but there’s a different culture as regards the place of hospitals.)

    How often do you see or stay with him? Do you have regular weekends with him? Is there a reason why they’re not directing you towards spending more time away from hospital? What would happen if you said you wanted to leave?

    BTW there’s a list item tag that’s not closed properly (at number 7).


    1. Matthew, thanks for your extensive response. To be honest, I am not all that high-functioning. I have an Asperger’s diagnosis only because I spoke at an early age. I need help with all household skills (including making bread or ceral for myself), need to be reminded to take care of my personal hygiene a lot, need help with activities, and most importantly, can run off or self-harm when I am irritable, which can happen at any moment but more so when I’m without support for a long time. I do realize that I’d maybe do okay living with my husband if I got outpatient support, but due to my complex care needs that’d have to be at least say twenty hours a week plus the support from y husband when he’s home (he works irregular hours). In the Netherlands, if you need more than say ten hours a week of support, you need to be institutionalized. Either that or you just won’t get the support. I had sixxteen hours a week in 2007 and still ended up in danger pretty often. By the way, i do want to ultimatey live with my husband, but not right out of this institution. It is further down the list because it is a less realistic hope than residing in supported housing (although residing in a workhome is also pretty unrealistic given the extreme waiting lists).


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