Hello all. It’s been awhile since I’ve actually talked about…myself. Which is more daunting than talking about activism or theory, but it is also cathartic.
Last time you heard from me about my life, I was in a day treatment program at a hospital, and things were going ok but I was still struggling.
I finished the program awhile ago. It was very helpful, but not concrete enough for me to really know what to do with it afterward, and how to apply what I learned there to my everyday life. I’m still figuring that out, though I’m glad I did the program. At the very least, it gave me an outlet to talk about things with people who understand, and the motivation and knowledge and skills to continue moving forward. Also, therapy dogs! 🙂
I’m surviving, and feel comfortable calling myself a survivor, but I’m also still very ill at the moment, and I’d be lying if I tried to say it isn’t tough. As I peel back the layers, I realize more and more how disabled I am in ways I never even thought to question before. When something is “normal” for you, and has been your whole life, you might not have the basis for comparison to know to even seek help or advice. However, I am also accepting, more and more, that being disabled is a large part of who I am and that is actually ok. I do want to get better at this thing they call living, but also if I weren’t disabled this blog wouldn’t exist and I would probably have a completely different major and career path and friends. I can’t even imagine what that life would look like, and I’m honestly not sure I even want to. For what it’s worth, whatever experiences I’ve had in life, good and bad, have made me who I am today, and at least in this moment I like that person.
Accepting disability is harder than I expected though, because to be honest I was naive enough to think I was already done with that process, but that was before even more symptoms popped up and I had to get to know myself all over again. Now I am accepting not only that I have to see a therapist and psychiatrist for the rest of my life, and be on disability at least for the time being, but also that I might want (or need) to look into such things as accessible housing and a service cat.
Hopefully things will work themselves out as I continue to get to know myself and my options. From where I stand now though, despite having an underlying sense of fear that something horrible is bound to happen, I am enthusiastic about these new options for independence that I am discovering. I am also learning that “independence” doesn’t mean “without help”, but rather “having access to whatever it is you need to live life fully”. I like that definition much better.
In other news, I have a few new projects in February. First is this e-course taught by someone I know through Facebook: http://www.moretolovewithrachel.com/class/. It’s a course for “curvy” people, or whatever word you use, to develop self-confidence and body-positivity. The second is I am thinking of starting the certification process to become a Peer Support Specialist, through my local Recovery Learning Community (nation-wide drop-in recovery centers), but I have to consider whether now is a good time for the commitment of 10 hours/week for 4 weeks. Regardless though I am definitely going to become certified eventually, including developing a Wellness Recovery Action Plan: http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrap/. Wish me luck!