Thursday, August 17, 2017

A WEIGHTY ISSUE

My mother took care of me until she was eighty-seven years old. The reason she was able to do that was that I kept my weight down.  We had sweets and chips in the house. I just watched how often I ate them.

When I arrived at this facility I weighed approximately ninety--seven pounds. Everyone kept telling me to eat. I was underweight. It took a while until I was able to get above one hundred pounds. I was proud of being able to keep my weight down.
I am ashamed to admit that I looked down on other residents here because of the foods they chose.to eat. Didn't they know that all those carbs and sweets they were consuming would cause them to gain weight Didn't they know that if they gained weight it would be more difficult for the aides to assist them?  Didn;t they care about their health? I couldn't understand.

I understand now why residents eat the way they do. I understand because I am eating more too, specifically, desserts. Sweets make me feel better. Eating them helps me cope with stress better. I still try to eat healthily.  I eat mainly salad and fruit. The only difference is that I don't deny myself dessert anymore. If I want something sweet, I eat it. My weight (so far) is still okay.

One of the side effects of the anti-anxiety medication I am taking is weight gain. Now, I am stressing about medication that is supposed to help alleviate stress. It is a vicious cycle!

I know I cannot eat this way forever. I will just enjoy it while I can. I hope someday I will be living somewhere that is less stressful.

Until then...

Does anyone have any cake?





Friday, August 11, 2017

MAYBE SOMEDAY

Ableism is defined as discriminating against a person with a disability in favor of an able-bodied person Inspiration Porn is defined as being inspired by someone just because they have a disability. When I was young these terms did not exist.  The first time I heard them I was confused. I did not understand what the terms meant.

Growing up I never thought about being proud of my disability. I was disabled. I had CP. I wasn't proud of it. I wasn't ashamed of it. It was part of me. It wasn't who I was. I knew that, inside, I was just like everyone else. The difficult part was getting everyone around me to see me that way.

Before I entered The George Warren Brown School of Social Work my mother was told, by The Dean of Admissions, that the school did not want me. .GWB had to accept me because I met the qualifications for admission..My first advisor  told me that he "would rather see me fail than help me."  I didn't make a big deal of it.  I got rid of that advisor. I was determined to prove the school wrong. I did.

I have been told twice, by The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, that I am unemployable. Again, I am determined to prove that wrong.

I guess I view things differently than the majority of disabled people. The ADA has opened many doors for people with disabilities.   However, a part of me thinks it is sad that people with disabilities won't have the experiences I did in seeking to get an education and find employment. Those experiences  made me a stronger person,

I have been patted on the head, both literally and figuratively, more times than I can count. I have been spoken to condescendingly and ignored. It is not right, but when you are disabled, (sometimes). you have to deal with it.

Ableism and Inspiration Porn have always existed. The only difference today is now they have names and definitions. I don't think that I will ever truly be thought of as equal by society.  There will always be people who will view me as different. In a  perfect world that wouldn't be the case. The world isn't perfect. I am different. I need services and assistance that others don't. That's not a bad thing. That's just how it is.

I try to live the best life I can. I keep pushing forward toward my goals. I continue to advocate and raise awareness through my writing.  

Maybe someday the world will be perfect. Maybe someday we won't need terms like Ableism and Inspiration Porn.  Maybe someday everyone will look at me and not see my wheelchair. Maybe someday everyone will really see me.  Maybe someday.











  












Wednesday, August 9, 2017

KEEPING MY EYE ON THE PRIZE

Being positive is a choice. I can choose to focus on all the things going on around me.that stress me out. Or, I can choose to focus on my goal of transitioning out of here and back into the community. I choose the latter.

I had a care plan meeting with the staff here. My case manager was also present. She asked about my needs.  She asked if the staff thought I would be able to live in community-based housing. All agreed that, with the proper supports in place, I would.

I had to answer eight pages of questions. This was an assessment of my skills and abilities. A few of the  questions were "What is bleach used for?"  "How would I find a job?"  I was asked to calculate the correct change, in my head, after a purchase had been made. (The one thing I could not do.) Except for calculating change, I think I did well.

My case manager returned two days later. She asked more in-depth questions. Gathering information for my plan. My plan must be submitted and approved. She hopes it will be approved before she retires at the end of September. Another case manager will take my case at that time. My profile will be sent out to various agencies/.Hopefully, a spot in community housing will be found for me.

She asked what the one thing was that I would like to do if I am assimilated back into the community. My answer was. ""I know I won't have much money, but  I'd like to go out to dinner,"  I  told her I wanted to have some type of part-time so I would have a little extra money. She asked about my hopes and dreams. My hope is to be released from this facility. My dream is to be a paid freelance writer. All this really means is that I I just want to feel like myself again. I haven't for a very long time.

I have to keep my eye on the prize. I have to stay positive. I have to keep moving forward. I have to believe.