Tag Archives: Employment

Three Wishes #Theprompt

I stumbled across #theprompt via Kizzy’s post for this week, which I came across through a blogging community on Facebook. This week’s prompt is: “If I had three wishes…”

Unlike Kizzy, I don’t think big when thinking of what wishes I’d like granted. In fact, this may be selfish, but the firist two I was able to think of, only directly impact me or my family, and the third, I had a hard tiem thinking of.

Wish 1: proper care and support for myself, so that I can live a fulfilling life and have my health and social care needs met. I know this sounds selfih, but I’ve for the last several years always said that, if I won the lottery, I’d spend the money mostly on hiring support staff. I could reframe my wish so that everyone gets the care and support they need, and this would be ideal, but honestly, the first thing that would come out of my mouth if a genie popped out of a bottle, would likely be to wish this for myself.

Wish 2: for my husband to get a great job. I initially wrote “his dream job” here, but I have no clue what that is and I think neither does he. I guess I’ll leave it up to the genie to figure that out.

Wish 3: for every Internet site, book and other media source to be completely accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. I don’t mean that pictures need to be banned, because that would make media inaccessible to visual thinkers, but I would like to have a way to make them accessible to the blind. This would require technological advancements, but oh well, it isn’t my job to instruct the genie on how to make my wish come true, is it? 😉 That third wish was particularly hard to think of. I originally thought of wanting to see a little again, so this might come out of my mouth if a genie showed up, but since now writing this post, I have more time to think, I realize that what I truly miss is the ability to access visual media sources. Oh, I miss being able to see colors too, but I tried to think of something bigger that would impact other people too, and color detectors are already available, they’re just very expensive.

Okay, now I realize maybe I should’ve wished for wrld peace, an end to discrimination, and an end to poverty. As a teen, these would’ve come to mind quite quickly, I guess. I was involved in politics and not just out of self-centeredness – cause what impact did the war on Iraq have on me? Now that I’m an adult, I’m less idealistic and in a way more selfish, wishing mostly a good life for me and my husband. Oh well, maybe as a teen, if I had little time to make a wish, something more futile like a new laptop would come out of my mouth. 😉


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.

The Importance of Day Activities

Over the past week, I’ve been having a hard time of it at my ward. I decided on Sunday that I wanted to leave and go backt o my old city institution. Then over the week, I participated in some day activities on my ward, in the activity building and in the multipurpose room at another adult long-term care ward. This made me realize that at least day activities are much better here than they were in my old institution, and I softened up a bit. I had a talk with my therapist on Thursday, and this made me decide I don’t want to leave for now. This talk contributed to that decision, but the good experience I’d had going to day activities did more.

I’ve heard on some institution wards day activities are not provided, because the clients need to learn to occupy themselves. This, in my opinioon, is the biggest horse manure around. Currently mentally healthy people have a job, too, so why shouldn’t those who are too disabled or ill to have a regular job? Most people here go to some kind of industrial arts type of day activities, so it’s actually real labor. For some, like me, this is not suitable, and they end up doing arts and crafts. This may seem more like a replacement of leisure rather than work, but don’t mentally healthy people have a variety of jobs, too? For some mentally ill people, just getting out of bed is hard work, and simple day activities can provide them with the structure that a job does, too.

There are many benefits of day activites. Some of them, like a daily structure, are applicable to real jobs too. Others, like distraction from one’s mental health problems, are not, but that doesn’t make them any less useful. Becoming mentally healthy, after all, involves more than being able to do a regular job.

I for one find that day activities provide me with meaning to my days, structure, as in a reason to get out of bed, social interaction, distraction, and enjoyment. Day activities are in my opinion more beneficial to my mental health than the psychotherapy I get. This is one reason I’m willing to put up with somewhat unsuitable psychotherapy in exchange for much more suitable day activities.