When Your Own Problems Take Over

I haven’t been updating this lately. Last time I did, it was to share charities in the wake of the Haiti Earthquake. There are some simple and not so simple reasons for this, so I shall summarize.

I had a back slide in my own issues. I’m a fairly proud individual, so admitting that is a big deal for me. Lots of personal issues emerged at once, and with little to no recovery time in between. The stress had me backsliding in a lot of areas. But that backsliding has allowed me to admit just how much help I do need.

Some of you will not be surprised to know that my executive functioning and daily living skills are not the best. This isn’t something I am entirely comfortable with- even though I know that they re linked to my disability, admitting that they are a problem  makes my pride twinge. I was, like many of us,  brought up in ableist environment. Asking for help was something that I have feared doing. And learning to do so- and to begin shedding my own ableism- takes a lot of work.

In April, I finally admitted to what people had been telling me for a long time. I wasn’t ready to live on my own. Since then, I have been preparing to move in with a family friend, who will be able to provide the type of supported housing that I need.

Many supported housing programs will house you with other individuals with certain types of disabilities, depending on your service system. I am familiar with my county’s system, and I was scared that I would be placed with someone with conflicting issues. In addition, they  tend more towards a group approach. It is hard to tell professionals that that is not what you need.

So I am moving in with Janet M. and her family. Janet used to take in hard to place foster kids- also known as those with special needs. She adopted her son Steven- my age, and non-verbal- when he was 10. He recently moved into a group home that supposedly is helping him. She has the background to know what she is dealing with. She also is renting a room to an elderly man with Schizophrenia, and he has shown improvement since moving in.

Here’s the positives involved with this new situation:

Janet is strict about keeping the house clean. There will be a chore chart. I will most likely be given the bath room cleaning and laundry (since that is what I asked for). The Chore chart is a weekly schedule, and one that she is strict about.

I will be required to wake up at a reasonable time, and to not spend the entire day in my room. She doesn’t mind if I am online, but I need to be somewhere where there is a chance for human interaction. I will also be expected to go into Franklin at least once a week. Eventually I hope to get up to more than once a week, but that is something I will have to work on- being scared of going out in public is an issue for me, particularly if I don’t have a distinct destination.

She will make sure I make it to all my appointments, learn to schedule things properly, and make sure she pushes me when I need it. Her tendency towards schedules and charts should help me- I function better on a schedule, even if I have a hard time establishing them on my own. We will also be working on independent living skills beyond that- learning how to drive, becoming more capable at using the phone, budgeting, etc.

I will still be paying for my own food and personal supplies. She is providing housing, utilities included, and guidance.  I will be asked to pay rent.

The whole thing is scary, but I have hit the point where on my own I am endangering my health and wellness. I have to admit to the need for change, even though it is terrifying. This isn’t the first time I’ve admitted I can’t live on my own- I had someone move in with me in Erie in part because of that- but it is harder this time.

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